China president's plane stops in Alaska after Trump visit

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with governor of U.S. state Alaska Bill Walker here on Friday, urging further regional cooperation and hailing it as one of the most dynamic aspects in China-U.S. ties. They were on their way back to China from a meeting with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago in Florida. His wife and the Chinese delegation stepped off the Boeing 747 and were greeted by Walker, his wife and several dignitaries.

China is Alaska's top export market - the state sold more than $1 billion worth of goods to China a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The next top global market was Japan, at almost $820 million, followed by South Korea, at $730 million.

Trump tweeted Saturday that "It was a great honour to have President Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan of China as our guests in the United States". Frozen cod and flat fish, such as halibut, topped a lengthy list of fisheries products, which also included frozen salmon and pollock.

Before the meeting, he took a ride on the only highway that leads south of Anchorage, a stunning coastal highway along Turnagain Arm in Cook Inlet. The waters are home to the endangered Beluga whale. Included in that past year was about $130 million of precious metals, which Hladick said was likely gold from the Fairbanks area.

Trade is a big sticking point between the two nations, with China holding a $347 billion trade surplus with the United States in 2016 - by far the largest of any USA trading partner.

"I believe there might be a boom of Chinese visitors traveling to your state as tourists, I will be happy to see that if that is true", Xi said.

He said both leaders' interaction will serve as a good advertisement for Alaska.

  • Jon Douglas