The summit meeting between Donald Trump and #Xi Jinping in Florida’s Mar-a-Lago resort concluded without announcement of any major breakthrough with regard to the two burning issues pertaining to North Korea and trade.
On the return journey to Beijing, the Boeing 747 plane had to make a stopover at Anchorage for refueling and Xi Jinping decided to use that opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of #Alaska and meet Gov. #Bill Walker.
Fox News reports that Alaska’s Gov. Bill Walker, his wife and several dignitaries were at the airport to receive Xi Jinping, his wife and the Chinese delegation.
The visit was kept a closely guarded secret till the last minute. There was a fleet of SUVs, limos and other vehicles at the airport to take the visitors on a sightseeing tour that included a stop at Beluga Point to enjoy its scenic beauty. The waters here are home to the endangered Beluga whale.
The importance of the meeting
Bill Walker was keen to apprise Xi Jinping about various opportunities to develop the resources of Alaska. These are in the fields of oil and gas, tourism, fish, air cargo and industries related to mineral. Walker was confident that he could convince the Chinese President about investments in Alaska. These would not let down the investors but would pay rich dividends.
Incidentally, China is a major export market for Alaska. As per U.S. Census Bureau, China had bought goods worth nearly $1.2 billion in 2016. Other markets for Alaska were in Japan (nearly $820 million) and South Korea ($730 million)..
Fish accounted for 58 percent of exports of Alaska and the varieties are frozen cod and flat fish like halibut apart from frozen salmon and pollock. Exports in other fields were of minerals and ores (approximately 27 percent).
How will Alaska gain?
Alaska is a natural stopover for world leaders because the airlines use it as a refueling stop. In the opinion of Chris Hladick, the commissioner of the state's Commerce department, the visit by Xi Jinping and the Chinese delegation was a great opportunity that comes very seldom. China was the largest trade partner of Alaska and a face to face meeting always has advantages because it helps to bridge the gaps. He feels that China is a potential market for the coal of Alaska.
In a world where competition is tough and intense, every little bit helps. If Bill Walker is able to get China to invest in Alaska, it will benefit both the countries in the long run.