1. Xi Jinping-Donald Trump meetings: Differences over thorny issues persist

Xi Jinping-Donald Trump meetings: Differences over thorny issues persist

The "fruitful" summit charts new course of China-US ties under global gaze and sent a clear-cut message that the world's two largest economies can become great cooperative partners despite their differences.

By: | Beijing | Published: April 8, 2017 6:54 PM
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump’s first meetings underscored attempts by the two sides to avoid “strategic misjudgement” though differences remained over thorny issues like currency and trade. (Reuters)

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump’s first meetings underscored attempts by the two sides to avoid “strategic misjudgement” though differences remained over thorny issues like currency and trade, the state-run media said in a commentary today. The “fruitful” summit charts new course of China-US ties under global gaze and sent a clear-cut message that the world’s two largest economies can become great cooperative partners despite their differences, the Xinhua news agency said, referring to the Mar-a-Lago summit in Florida.

Trump and Xi met on April 6-7 and held extensive talks on all aspects of the relations in the backdrop of differences over a host of issues including Trump’s charge of China as a currency manipulator and threat to impose 45 per cent duty on Chinese exports.
In addition, Trump had warned China against building artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea and questioned the ‘One-China policy relating to Taiwan.

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“The meetings, positive and fruitful, mark a new starting point for the world’s most important bilateral relationship, which will not only benefit the two countries but also the world at large,” the commentary said. The face-to-face meetings, along with previous phone calls and letters between the two leaders, once again underscore that the “two countries are trying to avoid strategic misjudgement” and are supportive of steering the relationship in the right direction, it said.

“Although differences remain — trade and currency among the major thorny issues — both sides have acknowledged the necessity to solve them through constructive dialogue,” it said. The two countries’ common interests are expanding rather than shrinking, it said.

The outcomes of the meetings include four new high-level mechanisms for dialogue and cooperation in diplomacy and security; the economy; law enforcement and cyber security; and social and people-to-people exchanges. These new mechanisms can be taken as expressions by both sides to follow the principles of non-confrontation, no conflict, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, it said. Confrontation will only lead to losses for both sides.

China welcomes the US to participate in cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, and proposes to enhance military dialogue mechanisms and strength communication in major international and regional affairs, it said. These gestures display China’s commitment to peaceful development without seeking alliances or expansion.

Any attempt to contain China with a “zero-sum” game theory is outdated, unnecessary and harmful to both sides. Now, it is time for China and the United States to start a new chapter, one which will take political resolve and wisdom to achieve results that meet the expectation of the world in need of peace and prosperity. Trump accepted an invitation for a state visit to China this year. Hopefully, close top-level communication between the two sides will consolidate mutual trust, sweep away obstacles and accomplish something that is great, it said.

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