President Xi Jinping said on Monday that “there are a lot of things” China and the United States need to, and can, cooperate on, in a phone call congratulating Donald Trump on his US presidential election victory.
“Facts have proved that cooperation is the only correct choice for China and the United States,” Xi told Trump, noting that the past 37 years of diplomatic relations have brought concrete benefits to the people of the two countries, as well as facilitating global peace and stability.
Since China and the US now have important opportunities and great potential for cooperation, Xi said the two countries should better coordinate in promoting the economic development of both countries and the world, and expand exchanges in all fields to bring bilateral ties forward.
“During the call, the leaders established a clear sense of mutual respect for one another,” a statement from Trump’s presidential transition office said. “President-elect Trump stated that he believes the two leaders will have one of the strongest relationships for both countries moving forward.”
The two leaders also agreed to keep in close contact and meet at an early date.
Tao Wenzhao, a researcher of Sino-US relations at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said mutual interests between the US and China will not be subject to US political changes. Both US parties subscribe to developing relations with Beijing.
Tao said it will take time to see how Trump’s China policy develops after he takes office, though the new administration “will not necessarily resort to a trade war with China”, despite his statements during the campaign and pressure from many US politicians for greater containment of China.
Tao said that is “because he is a smart businessman, and a trade war surely impacts both sides”.
Fu Mengzi, a Sino-US relations researcher at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said there should be a distinction between Trump’s statements during the campaign and his policies as president.
“He knows the importance of China-US relations. He will find some ‘China hands’ to draft his policies toward China,” he said.
At a daily news conference on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China has remained in close communication with the US side, including Trump’s team.
Geng also said that China expects to expand cooperation with the new US administration at all levels and in various fields, including infrastructure construction.
“The fundamentals of China-US relations will not change in the future, even though frictions may occur,” Fu said.
Tao said the Chinese government will continue to cooperate with the Obama administration, citing the 27th China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade coming up in Washington, DC.
By Zou Shuo