Illustration: Luo Xuan/GT
Chinese President Xi Jinping successfully visited the US and held a beneficial meeting with US President Donald Trump, an event that built a solid foundation for a shared future between China and the US.
Some people worried about Trump's frequent improper behaviors and utterances and speculated that Xi would be subject to Trump's rude petty actions. However, the successful outcome proved those worries unnecessary. Trump has shown respect and hope for cooperation with China, the biggest developing country, which has enabled the world to update its view of China's international position and reputation.
Xi's visit has resulted in three achievements, from which China and the world will benefit.
First, Xi and Trump have built a trusting relationship, which has crucial meanings for international affairs. Mutual trust serves as the basis and precondition for mutual understanding and respect. In spite of the current technologies that facilitate communication, face-to-face contact is still a necessary and irreplaceable communication method. During the presidential campaign, Trump frequently expressed his dissatisfaction toward China in regards of the trade deficit, unemployment, eroding industry base and exchange rate disputes. Nevertheless, when the two leaders met in a beautiful and placid environment, they beat swords into plowshares and many agreements were reached by both sides. The construction of the friendly relationship between the two leaders manifests what the ancient Chinese philosopher Mencius said - "A wise man would figure something out for himself before he tries to enable somebody else to understand."
Second, many people believed that Trump would raise sensitive topics during the meeting and possibly even ignite the fuse for a trade war. This didn't happen because both sides were prepared and negotiated smoothly beforehand by showing full respect to each other's primary concerns. The core achievement of the meeting is that two leaders agreed on a principle of cooperation in order to guarantee the smooth and fast development of economic and trade cooperation between China and the US.
Third, another achievement of the meeting is in the construction of four dialogue mechanisms. Formerly established dialogue mechanisms have been effective in dealing with key topics for both sides. In this meeting, a high-level mechanism for dialogue and cooperation in diplomacy and security was built, which lifted the relationship of the two countries to a higher level. In the past, people concentrated more on the formation and function of economic dispute resolution mechanisms, considering problem-solving as the most important issue. That is a misunderstanding because security is where the real core interest lies between countries. If we develop the economy without considering security interests, benefits may be gained by a third party in the end. As a result, the dialogue mechanism in security can serve as a fruitful cooperation platform to jointly fight against terrorism, drugs and corruption and to discuss international affairs. The security threat faced by the US is no less than any other country and in some fields, the US even faces possibilities of sharp conflicts. By strengthening cooperation with China and other countries and resolving security issues, advancement and development goals can be achieved. Xi said at the Sino-US meetings that there are "a thousand reasons to make the China-US relationship work, and no reason to break it," and stressed that "a sound bilateral relationship will benefit not only the two countries and peoples, but also the world at large," according to the Xinhua News Agency.
I suggested last year that China could help Trump transform the US. Although Trump has the resolution to transform the US, he doesn't seem to have enough power to implement it. If the US could strengthen its cooperation with China at this stage, twice the result may be yielded with half the effort. One of China's successful experiences during reform and opening-up was making use of others' strength. Likewise, the US could realize its dream and shorten its path to the goal of being "great again" with the help of China. The Belt and Road initiative has provided the US with the best opportunity in terms of comprehensive cooperation in technology, infrastructure construction and finance and therefore will inspire the potential of US economic growth, which will be a tremendous elevation for the world economy.
The Sino-US relationship has evolved over the past 45 years and it is believed that the relationship has entered a mature phase. Although the world is not quite peaceful, China and the US will make special contributions to the shared future of mankind as long as leaders of the two nations can always take a broad and long-term view and have an open mind.
The author is a senior fellow with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China. firstname.lastname@example.org