Trump visit to China offers significant opportunity to strengthen ties

World Today

CHINA-US-TRUMP-POLITICS-DIPLOMACYUS President Donald Trump (L) looks at First Lady Melania Trump (2nd L) next to China’s President Xi Jinping (2nd R) and his wife Peng Liyuan (R) as they tour the Conservation Scientific Laboratory of the Forbidden City in Beijing on November 8, 2017. US President Donald Trump toured the Forbidden City with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on November 8 as he began the crucial leg of an Asian tour intended to build a global front against North Korea’s nuclear threats. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Andy Wong

President Donald Trump’s three-day visit to Beijing is a significant opportunity for China and the United States to strengthen their ties according to analysts.

The two nations not only have world’s two largest economies, they are also each other’s top trade partners. Each has its own agenda, so the question is how they will cooperate better with each other in the future.

CGTN’s Nathan King reports.

The U.S. president’s three-day trip to China represents a significant opportunity for the two nations and their leaders to strengthen ties. At their Mar-a-Lago summit back in April, Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump fast-tracked economic negotiations. First, a 100-day plan of action which, among other things, allowed the importation of U.S. beef into China after a 14-year absence. It also allowed Chinese cooked chicken products to be imported into the U.S. for the first time.

Then in July, at their first comprehensive and economic dialogue, Chinese and U.S. officials reported progress on specifics. When it comes to the wider trade and economic relationship, the U.S. is asking for more.

“But this is only possible if there is a more fair and balanced economic relationship between the United States and China,” said Steven Munchin, U.S. Treasury Secretary. “This means providing access for American firms in China as we provide access for Chinese firms in the United States. It means addressing the imbalances caused by the Chinese intervention in its economy as well as addressing the impact of industrial, agricultural, technological and cyber policies,” he said.

The pace may not be what the U.S. wants, but China continues to open up. Since that dialogue in July, European airspace giant Airbus has officially opened a major facility in China and European investors have been investing in China’s rust belt.

“In general, the attitude to foreign companies here reported by our members is pretty good,” Harald Kumpfert, chairman of the EU Chamber of Commerce in China said. “So, the government has said already they spare no efforts in order to make it easier for foreign companies to promote their place. So, in general, the companies think they have a good treatment here.”

At the 19th party congress, President Xi recommitted China to further reform and open up. And on this state visit to China, President Donald Trump will be pressing his Chinese hosts on that commitment.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is on the trip accompanied by U.S. business executives who are eager to work with China on everything from cars to climate. The comprehensive and economic dialogue paved the way for potential agreements in areas ranging from natural gas to more U.S. access to financial services in China. In return, Beijing would like fewer restrictions on U.S. high-tech exports to China, including dual-use technologies with civilian and military applications.

The comprehensive economic dialogue, first held in Washington, raised the economic relationship between China and the U.S. to new levels. That hopefully will bear fruit for both this week in Beijing.