by Peter Mertz, Huang Heng
DENVER, the United States, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Beneath the gold-domed state capitol, Colorado Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper gave Republican President Donald Trump an American business salute, saying improved China-U.S. relations would benefit both countries.
"I suspect President Trump will work very hard building a positive relationship and I think he's going to look at China as an important ally and partner," Hickenlooper said.
"And if that's the case, I think good things can happen."
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, the two-term governor, who has a similar background to the U.S. president as a successful businessman, looked at Trump's potential success with China.
Hickenlooper was a successful businessman before suddenly turning his sights on politics, and was elected Denver mayor in 2003.
Just a few months ago, the Colorado politician of 14 years was considered a top pick to join Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton's administration as vice-president or secretary of agriculture.
In the interview, Hickenlooper was openly gracious toward Trump, and shared his optimism about Trump's international agenda, especially concerning China.
"President Trump wants to rethink our international strategies, and that's not necessarily a bad thing," the governor said, noting that early American pioneers were entrepreneurs, unafraid to take a chance, work hard, and saw into the future.
"President Trump keeps giving indications he wants to be more isolated and not be engaged in the world, and I'm not sure if that's really true," he said.
"I think he's first and foremost a businessman and deal maker, and I'm cautiously optimistic he will come to recognize that when countries trade with each other, it creates wealth. It's one of the basic principles of wealth creation," the governor told Xinhua.
"They (China and the United States) have a natural self-interest in maintaining a growing economy worldwide, recognizing each other's autonomy, and providing motivation and incentive for each side to do well," said Hickenlooper.
"I think if you look over the last 20 years, the two countries really have benefited - they've created a relationship where both sides have benefited," he said.
Hickenlooper recalled his experience in 2015 when he took a business delegation to China. He was stunned by the high-speed bullet trains and transportation systems in the biggest, newest cities on Earth.
"Cities like Shanghai match New York City, Paris, Melbourne, or any modern international city in terms of beauty and excitement," the governor said, adding that the two countries also have some places showing a very traditional way of life, "like old west ranching and farming."
"I think China and the United States have so much to share, and I would argue that Colorado has many of the same qualities that China has," Hickenlooper said.
In a direct reference to Trump's pledge to stop jobs from leaving the country, Hickenlooper said that the best way to deal with the problem is to train and retool American workers instead of trade wars with other countries.
"Obviously there've been winners and losers as there is in any changing and growing economy, and I think in the United States we have perhaps not retrained people who have lost their careers and professions to outsourcing or automation," said the governor.
"But we'll figure that out, and we'll be able to get people back into a growing economy," he said, saying more investment and tourists from China would be helpful toward that goal.