Xi arrives in US for first meeting with Trump

Xinhua | 2017-04-07 06:05

Xi arrives in US for first meeting with Trump

President Xi Jinping speaks with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at Palm Beach International Airport on April 6, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

In a telephone conversation in February, the two heads of state, who have maintained contact through phone calls and letters, agreed to build a constructive China-US relationship and step up cooperation. In addition, Trump reversed his earlier stance and pledged to honor the one China policy, the political bedrock of bilateral ties.

Senior officials of the two countries have also exchanged visits to prepare for the presidential meeting. While visiting Beijing last month, Tillerson vowed to develop bilateral relations on the basis of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, a principle Beijing has championed to describe its vision for China-US ties.

Since establishing diplomatic relations in 1979, the two countries have witnessed twists and turns in their relationship, but have nonetheless become highly interdependent with their interests getting increasingly intertwined.

China is now the largest trading partner of the United States. Last year, two-way trade reached 519.6 billion US dollars. In comparison, the figure was 2.5 billion dollars in 1979.

Meanwhile, economic cooperation with China has been vital to job creation in the United States, the US-China Business Council said in a report in January. Bilateral trade and investment supported some 2.6 million jobs in the United States across a range of industries in 2015, while Chinese products also help lower costs for US consumers.

Although they still have many differences and frictions, with trade and currency among the major thorny issues, the two sides have sought to properly manage them and expand common ground, as the world craves a healthy relationship between the two countries.

Noting that the first Xi-Trump meeting takes place just two and a half months after Trump assumed office, Robert Hormats, vice chairman of Kissinger Associates, an international consulting firm based in New York City, said such an early tete-a-tete will not only benefit both countries, but also serve "multilateral interests."

A successful presidential meeting will publicly convey a message that the two countries are not caught in an "adversarial relationship" and will work together to solve problems through "constructive dialogue," he added.

Joseph Nye, a renowned US foreign policy expert, told Xinhua in an email interview that he is optimistic about China-US relations for the long term.

"The US and China will both compete and cooperate, but they have more gain from the cooperation dimension of the relationship," he said.

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