Public anticipates Xi-Trump summit

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2017/3/16 23:53:39

Chinese people express hope for Xi-Trump meeting

The Chinese public is anticipating the possible meeting between President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump, after US media reported that the White House will invite Xi to a summit to be held in Florida in April.

Although there is no official confirmation either from China or the US about the specifics of the presidential meeting, interviews by the Global Times reveal that ordinary people in China attach high hopes for the proposed summit.

One of the most important issues that concern the Chinese is the US deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea, which is claimed to be aimed at North Korean missiles but effectively undermines the Chinese and Russian nuclear deterrence.

Many say the deployment only worsens the tension on the Korean Peninsula created by North Korea's missile launches and nuclear tests. Since South Korea prepared the land for the THAAD deployment, the Chinese government and the public have reacted strongly, with protests and spontaneous calls for boycotts of South Korean products.

"I hope the meeting between Xi and Trump will talk about this [THAAD], because we all know that the US can well influence Seoul's policymaking," said one Beijing resident surnamed Li, 60.

Trump on different occasions has urged China to do more to restrain North Korea. US media reported that Trump wants China to use its irreplaceable economic relationship with North Korea as leverage to push Pyongyang to give up its missile and nuclear program.

But a Beijing resident surnamed Wang, 58, said "the US wants China to do more to control North Korea, but the fact is the Sino-North Korean relationship is not like the US-South Korea relationship. We don't have a military base in North Korea, and we have no authority over the North Korean military and government."

"China always respects the resolutions of the UN Security Council, but we should remember that if we cut ties with North Korea, ordinary people in that country will suffer the most, and the collapse of the regime may cause war. So where is US politicians' humanitarianism in this regard? They want innocent people to die for US interests?" said a 22-year-old Tsinghua University undergraduate student surnamed Tang.

The peninsula is too close to China but very far from the US, so China will receive direct impacts, like a refugee crisis if there's a military conflict, and Seoul might be destroyed by North Korea's artillery corps, said Wu Na, 24, a postgraduate student at the Renmin University of China.

"THAAD can do nothing to protect the South Korean capital. But it seems like the US doesn't care about this and continues with its massive drills with South Korea, because it won't really lose anything, even if there is a war," Wu said.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Tokyo on Thursday and met with Japanese foreign minister Fumio Kishida, the Xinhua News Agency reported. Tillerson will visit China starting on Saturday, and US media reports anticipate Tillerson's trip will prepare for the summit between the Chinese and US presidents, and also focus on the tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

US allies pay the price

"We can see that from the immigrant crisis in Europe, the US doesn't care much, so the US dares to take risks and urge others to follow its risky plan. There have been too many lessons in the Middle East already, in which US allies paid the price for their 'boss,'" Wu said.

"I hope that after the summit, the US can learn to respect other countries' positions, change its arrogance and act responsibly … not only in the peninsula, but also for Taiwan and the South China Sea," Tang said.

Trump also criticized China on trade issues and threatened that he will put China on the list of currency manipulators.

A young entrepreneur involved in manufacturing, surnamed Su, said that since the US is an important market for China and China is also an irreplaceable market for the US, "Why don't we just sit down and find out a solution that can satisfy both, rather than going for a trade war or unilateral sanctions?"

Chinese companies are natural allies to US state governments, but not the federal government, because we can provide jobs for grass-roots Americans, and the states don't care what happens in the South China Sea or North Korea, Su believes. "The federal government is more hostile to Chinese economic activities in the US," he said.

"Trump wants to make America great again, and we are also willing to contribute our part. But Trump needs to create a friendly environment for Chinese companies," said a manager surnamed Lu working in a construction company.

Newspaper headline: Public anticipates summit

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