AP FACT CHECK: US-China trade package mostly about symbolism

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  • China's President Xi Jinping, center, U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump attend a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. (Thomas Peter/Pool Photo via AP)

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    U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross arrives at a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. (Thomas Peter/Pool Photo via AP)

  • China's President Xi Jinping, center, U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump attend a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. (Thomas Peter/Pool Photo via AP)

  • 1

    U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross arrives at a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. (Thomas Peter/Pool Photo via AP)

BEIJING (AP) — An AP Fact Check finds that a trade and investment package announced during President Donald Trump's visit to China is more about the art of diplomacy than the art of the deal.

The package is said to be worth more than $250 billion. But it puts a symbolic gloss on fundamentally strained economic relations between the U.S. and China.

The trade and investment package draws together some new orders and extensions of business from existing Chinese customers, previously worked-out deals, tentative investments and statements of intent that may or may not turn into new dollars and jobs for the U.S.

Such signing ceremonies in China are often just that, ceremonial. They typically represent purchases that Chinese customers already planned to make and held off on announcing.

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