China-US ties called into question 100 days after Florida summit

World Today

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President XiUS President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, arrive for a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, Saturday, July 8, 2017. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)

The first meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping was marked by promises for future relations between the United States and China. One-hundred days after Mar-a-Lago, their partnership is being tested. Can China-U.S. bilateral relations get back on track following recent tension?

CGTN’s Jim Spellman reports.

It looked like smooth sailing for U.S.- China relations after President Donald Trump hosted President Xi Jinping at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate back in April. Plans for an expanded set of U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogues were laid out. Both sides agreed to a 100-day action plan to improve trade, and each made commitments to deepen ties between the two countries

Since the Florida meeting, however, several issues have tested the relationship. As the DPRK conducts missile launch after missile launch, Trump has tried to shift responsibility to China.

After Pyongyang fired an ICBM in early July, Trump tweeted “North Korea has just launched another missile! […] Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!”

This drew a rebuke from Beijing, while Beijing simultaneously opposed a $1.4 billion U.S. arms deal with the Taiwan region. This forced Washington to make reassurances.

Meanwhile, conflicts in the South China Sea continue to strain the relationship, after the U.S. sent a warship through Chinese claimed waters. Beijing maintains an optimistic, though realistic view of the relationship.

“China-U.S. relations have made great progress in recent days. But they have also been affected by some negative factors,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said.

“The two sides should stay committed to the general direction of China-U.S. relations and focus on cooperation, adhere to the principle of mutual respect and mutual benefit, handle our differences properly, in order to enable our relationship to achieve positive outcomes,” Shuang encouraged.

There have been some mutually beneficial trade deals recently including new rules to allow cooked chicken from China into the U.S. while China is now importing U.S. beef. The U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue is a chance for both sides to find more of those win-win opportunities.

Li Zhao on the future of the China-US relationship

For more on what lies ahead for Presidents Trump and Xi, CGTN’s Wang Guan spoke to Li Zhao. She’s the co-founder and president of the China Iowa Group, a consulting company that offers strategies for trade, sourcing, and market entry in China.