Spotlight: First Xi-Trump meeting vitally important on multiple layers

Source: Xinhua| 2017-03-31 15:58:15|Editor: ying
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by Xinhua writer Zhu Dongyang

BEIJING, March 31 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming trip of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the United States, where he will meet with his counterpart Donald Trump, would be of great significance to both nations, to the Asia-Pacific and to the globe as a whole, said experts from around the world.

At Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in the U.S. "Sunshine State" of Florida, Xi and Trump are expected to use the two-day gathering to get a better understanding of each other and exchange views on a trove of issues of mutual concern.


The meeting will enable Xi and Trump to communicate in a more direct and frank manner. International relations experts agree that a direct link at the top level based on reciprocal rapport is crucial, especially for the world's largest two economies.

"The meeting itself is a major success for both countries," said Stephen K. Sham, mayor of Alhambra City, California. "Trump's invitation to President Xi at the very outset of his presidency delivers quite a positive and reassuring message to the two concerning peoples."

Avory Goldstein, a politics professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said the Xi-Trump meeting is set to "lay out a general roadmap" for the constructive and cooperative ties between Beijing and Washington.

Goldstein noted that Trump, who has been in the White House for just two months, might not have a "comprehensive China strategy" in place. "Nevertheless, it's pretty clear picking up a fight with China would not be good for him and the United States," he said.

Trump, with a "transactional" view on international relations, is "by nature more likely to accept China's proposal for a relationship featuring non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation," said Ngeow Chow Bing, a researcher from University of Malaya.

"I think Trump will realize that fundamentally a stable and productive U.S.-China relationship is in the interests of Washington," he added.


Xi and Trump are also expected to soothe the nerves in the Asia-Pacific, where there have been mounting worries about a potential conflict between Beijing and Washington.

Both being major players in the region, the two countries share a moral obligation to steer away from the Thucydides trap. Treating each other as a strategic partner instead of a strategic rival is key to achieving that.

B.R. Deepak, professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University of India, said the presidential meeting "will provide an opportunity to talk out many differences and concerns, such as security in the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea."

"So the engagement of Xi and Trump in talking straight -- face to face -- is a starting point to find solutions to these problems," he noted.

Kerry Brown, a professor of Chinese studies at Britain's King's College, said although this meeting "will not clear all the ambiguities up" in the Asia-Pacific, "at least it starts to clear away some and clarifies where Xi and Trump agree and where they do not."

But first, Washington "should not try to keep China poor or prevent China from playing a bigger role in the region; but to figure out how to cooperate and manage difficult issues together," said Goldstein, the U.S. professor.


The Xi-Trump meeting is of vital significance to a world troubled by rising anti-globalization sentiments, raging populism, a weak recovery and lingering unconventional threats like refugees, terrorism and global warming.

There is no denying that the stability of China-U.S. relations has an increasing bearing for world peace and prosperity. To be specific, it is crucial for Europe to see Xi and Trump coordinate before this year's Group of 20 Summit on issues of global concern, said Britain's Brown.

As for Africa, Gerishon Ikiara, a lecturer of international economics at the University of Nairobi, said that the continent expects Xi and Trump to "agree on how to develop a common agenda and strategy to fight poverty in the underdeveloped countries."

In Latin America, Jose Luis Leon-Manriquez, a professor at Mexico's Metropolitan Autonomous University, noted that "with a positive scenario, the meeting could send a signal of conciliation to the world."

"I hope this meeting could make Trump's foreign policies increasingly oriented toward a realistic understanding of how the international relations operate today ... and give him very important indications as to where his foreign policies may lead," he said.

(Xinhua writers Yang Shilong, Zhou Xiaozheng, Liu Tong, Jin Zheng, Lu Duobao, Liang Xizhi, Yang Chunxue, Yuan Shuai, Hu Xiaoming, Lu Jiafei, Peter Park and Larry Neild contributed to the story.)

KEY WORDS: Xi Jinping