Trump letter to Xi is encouraging but China must focus on real actions: experts

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2017/2/9 13:23:39

President Donald Trump sent a Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival greeting letter to President Xi Jinping on Wednesday, a gesture that experts say China should seize as an opportunity to help the new US leader shape his views on future dealings with Beijing.

The White House said Trump "provided a letter to President Xi Jinping of China, thanking President Xi for his congratulatory letter on the occasion of President Trump's inauguration and wishing the Chinese people a happy Lantern Festival and prosperous Year of the Rooster."

Trump wrote that "he looks forward to working with President Xi to develop a constructive relationship that benefits both the United States and China."

"Since Trump has made a lot of provocative statements toward China, this letter is a good signal but we still need to observe his real actions," said Diao Daming, a research fellow at the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

After Trump was inaugurated as US president, he spoke with many countries' leaders but not China, which led some people to believe that he might intend to keep his distance from China and even raised concerns about future conflicts, "even though his daughter appeared in the Chinese Embassy in the US on February 2 to participate in a Chinese New Year's celebration event," said Chu Yin, an associate professor at the University of International Relations.

"He sent a letter rather than made a phone call, so Trump may still want to keep his distance from China, but a friendly signal is better than a provocation. China can take this as a chance to help Trump to shape his view on dealing with China which is good for both sides," Chu said.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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