Xi-Trump Summit Has Drawn the Blueprint for China-U.S. Relationship

China-U.S. Focus, April 11, 2017 | 作者: Su Xiaohui | 时间: 2017-04-11 | 责编: Wang Jiapei
Adjust font size: + -

Talks between President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump were held on April 6-7 at Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. It was the first China-U.S. summit since the Trump administration came into power. The interaction of the two leaders was viewed as the indicator of bilateral relations’ future.

On the whole, the first face-to-face meetings of the leaders were positive and productive. Achievements were made in four perspectives to support the bilateral relations of the two countries.

First of all, the meetings have set the tone for China-U.S. relationship. Both sides attached great importance to the development of bilateral ties and have made it clear the willingness of cooperation. President Xi Jinping emphasized the necessity of working together for better relationship. Since China-U.S. relationship is one of the most important bilateral ties in the world, the good condition of the relationship not only benefits the two countries and people from both sides, but also does good to the world peace and prosperity. Xi Jinping reaffirmed that “cooperation is the only correct choice for China and the United States”. The U.S. side valued the opportunity of high level communication. President Trump said during the meetings that both countries were making “tremendous progress” in forging a cooperative relationship.

At the same time, China and the United States have realized that it is unlikely for the two major powers to totally see eye to eye to each other, especially when the two have different political systems, developing modes, as well as values and cultures. In this context, it is vital for both sides to agree on crisis management. Fortunately, both President Xi and President Trump highlighted the principle of managing differences based on mutual respect.

Secondly, the meetings have addressed obstacles in the construction of the bilateral relationship. China-U.S. relationship covers many levels and aspects of issues. Mechanisms play a key role to realize effective communication. During President Xi’s visit, the two countries established a new set of high-level frameworks for negotiation, including the diplomatic and security dialogue, the comprehensive economic dialogue, the law enforcement and cybersecurity dialogue, and the social and cultures issues dialogue.

The building of the mechanisms will serve as pillars of the bilateral ties. The four dialogues will be utilized to support communication, improve mutual-trust, expand cooperation and manage differences.

Thirdly, the meetings have initiated the progress for deepening the relationship. China understood the interests and demands from the U.S. side, and carried out discussion on the issues including economic and trade relations. Facing with the U.S. specific focus on trade deficit, China suggested that the U.S. take a balanced view of the issue. It was unwise to turn to protectionism and worsen the environment for economic cooperation. Meanwhile, China supported dealing with trade frictions in an appropriate way. China also stressed that both countries have been important trade partners for each other. Economic contacts have benefited two sides and the key principle for cooperation has been win-win. To resolve the problems in a fundamental way, China proposed the idea of making a bigger cake out of cooperation, so that both countries would be able to gain more profits. What is more, China underlined the need for openness. President Xi sent out an invitation to President Trump, asking the U.S. to join in the cooperation under the framework of Belt and Road Initiatives.

Except for trade, Chinese leadership reiterated China’s positions on some delicate issues like Taiwan, Tibet and South China Sea, in order to reduce the risk of miscalculation by the United States. Both leaders also talked about regional and international issues. President Xi explained China’s understanding about the developments in the Korean Peninsula and the deep-rooted problems of the DPRK nuclear issue, and asked the U.S. to work with China to resume talks and maintain regional stability. Currently, the Trump administration is still in the process of setting the policies for foreign affairs. The exchange views between the presidents will be helpful for the U.S. to have a profound understanding about related situations.

Last but not least, the meetings have proved the way for the future of the bilateral relationship. Both sides fixed the plans for more high-level contacts. President Trump has accepted the invitation of President Xi to visit China. It was announced that the invitation was for a 2017 visit. It is expected that the leaders will remain close contact by meetings, phone calls and letters. Frequent exchanges will lead to better understanding and further progress in the relations.

The United States arranged for President Xi’s visit to Mar-a-Lago resort in a considerate way, forming pleasant circumstances for the talks. After talks, meals and walks, both the Presidents and their wives got to know one another. Both sides set up working relationship and shared friendship.

Xi-Trump Summit has once again highlighted the interdependence between China and the United States. As the largest developing country and the largest developed country, China and the United States have been trying to get along with each other in a better way. Both sides have gained experiences in promoting cooperation as well as addressing problems.

The summit played a role as a starting point for China-U.S. relationship to enter into a new stage and has drawn the blueprint for the relationship’s prospects.


The author is the Deputy Director of International and Strategic Studies, CIIS.


Source: China-U.S. Focus, April 11, 2017.