Xi-Trump meeting to bolster relations

By cao siqi Source:Global Times Published: 2017/4/1 0:08:39

Two leaders to set direction for future development of ties

China hopes the upcoming meeting between President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump will set the direction for the development of the bilateral relationship, a senior Chinese official said on Friday.

"It will be the first meeting between the heads of state of China and the US since the new US administration took office," Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang told a press briefing.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Thursday that Xi will arrive in the US on April 6 to meet with Trump at the US President's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

"As the international situation continues undergoing profound and complicated changes, the meeting will be of great significance to chart China-US relationship in a new era, advance the development of the bilateral ties in a stable way from a new starting point, and promote peace, stability and prosperity in Asia and the Pacific and the world at large," said Zheng.

"This meeting will be a chance for both sides to solve practical problems and disperse misunderstandings and divergences," Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Friday.

Common concerns

According to Zheng, Xi and Trump are likely to have an in-depth discussion on China-US ties and major international and regional affairs of common concern with a view to enhance mutual understanding and expand bilateral cooperation.

Zheng noted that the Chinese and US presidents have reached important consensus through phone conversations and letters over the past months, adding that the Chinese and US sides are making final preparations for the presidents' meeting to make it a complete success.

The White House said Thursday (US time) that President Trump looks forward to meeting with Xi to chart a way forward on the US-China relationship.

"The president looks forward to meeting with President Xi and exchanging views on each other's respective priorities, and to chart a way forward on a bilateral relationship between our two nations," White House spokesman Sean Spicer told a news briefing. They will discuss the issues of mutual concern, including North Korea, trade, and regional security, he added.

Asked about the US goal for the meeting, Spicer said this will be an opportunity for Trump "to develop a relationship in person with President Xi."

"The message delivered by the White House shows that the US has fully recognized the necessity of China's assistance in dealing with bilateral trade and international issues. It is internecine if the two countries fight against each other," Song Guoyou, a professor at Fudan University's Center for American Studies, told the Global Times on Friday. 

Trade issues

Speaking of the US trade deficit with China, Zheng explained that this was a result of the global distribution of industries and division of labor, as well as the two countries' different economic structures. "In Sino-US trade, although we are running surplus in goods trade, we are on the deficit side when it comes to trade in services," Zheng said.

Sino-US trade reached $519.6 billion in 2016, 207 times higher than the 1979 amount, when diplomatic relations began, Lu Kang, a foreign ministry spokesman said at a press briefing on Thursday.

Lu added that Chinese investments in the US helped create 2.6 million jobs in 2015, and that trade with China saves each US household an average of $850 a year.

"China does not seek a trading surplus, and it is not our intention to stimulate exports through competitive currency devaluation," Zheng said.

Zheng expressed hope that the US could relax its controls on high-tech exports, create a level-playing field and provide policy facilitation for Chinese companies investing in the US, , which could help address the trade deficit.

As the world's largest and second-largest economies, the two countries have great potential to expand trade and economic cooperation, and could properly manage trade frictions in line with the principle of mutual benefit and win-win outcome, he said.

Xinhua contributed to this story


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