Xi-Trump meet defies naysayers in West

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/9 18:33:39

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump met and exchanged views on bilateral ties and the North Korea nuclear issue on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on Saturday. "We had an excellent meeting on trade & North Korea," Trump tweeted.

Beijing and Washington saw friction on issues including Taiwan and the South China Sea ahead of the meeting, and there was speculation from Western public opinion that the China-US "honeymoon" had come to an end. But the Xi-Trump meeting repudiates such speculation, and seems to be pushing the Sino-US atmosphere back to the level of the Mar-a-Lago talks.

The Xi-Trump meeting this time has demonstrated certain signs of maturity in the Sino-US relationship. Indeed, there were negative elements in the last two weeks, but the Sino-US relationship has stood up to the frictions and remained constructive as a whole. This is vital to the stability of major power relations. In addition, despite divergences on Pyongyang's nuclear issue, the two sides are willing to continue to cooperate, and this is encouraging.

At the meeting, the two sides decided to hold the first round of a comprehensive economic dialogue on July 19. These high-level mechanisms will help put bilateral disputes under control and prevent them from escalating into serious crises.

Calling for a tougher stance on Beijing is always popular in the US for various reasons. Washington is either perfunctory over these voices or chiming in to get more bargaining chips to deal with China. This has made the bilateral atmosphere complicated and unpredictable.

The Sino-US relationship is determined by reality, rather than by tough rhetoric. Beijing is willing to develop stable ties with Washington, and meanwhile must stick to its bottom line on issues concerning its national interests. This has determined Beijing's attitude on matters that Washington is concerned about.

While the US' China policy, intertwined with different voices, is often unpredictable, China's US policy is all about candid wishes and the bottom line. Therefore, Washington will gradually realize that Beijing has little room to make concessions in the face of US pressure.

For instance, China has strictly implemented UN sanctions on North Korea, but will not impose additional sanctions on North Korea in fields concerning people's livelihood or humanitarianism. Beijing-Washington cooperation on Pyongyang's nuclear issue must respect China's attitude, and the US should adapt to this.

There are still forces in US strategic circles and the public calling for being tough on China. They like neither China nor Trump, and instigate Trump to counter China. They expect the Beijing-Washington relationship to see major problems.

The Trump administration has not been as tough on China as expected. This annoys those who wanted to see Trump display more of his personality in his ties with China.

The Sino-US relationship is in a reasonable zone, and this is why Trump is returning to Washington's previous China policy. Beijing and Washington should expand cooperation and put friction under control. This conforms to the national interests of both China and the US.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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