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Xi-Trump meeting puts China-U.S. ties back on right path, say experts

Xinhua Financein BEIJING
2018-12-03 10:37

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The meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in Buenos Aires on Saturday has succeeded in putting China-U.S. relations back on the right path, world experts and scholars have said.

"Historians of the future may well take note of today's dinner summit between President Xi and President Trump at the critical moment when China and the U.S. stepped back from the brink of confrontation and sought to forge a working partnership to benefit both countries and the world," Robert Kuhn, a leading China expert and chairman of the Kuhn Foundation, told Xinhua via email.

The resumption of talks between Xi and Trump was absolutely crucial and was a positive step and represented progress, said William Jones, Washington bureau chief of the U.S. publication Executive Intelligence Review.

"While all of the outstanding issues will not be resolved at one meeting, I think momentum can be restored by this meeting," he said.

"After this summit, perhaps we can see the 'light at the end of the tunnel,' even if we still have a way to go to get to that light," he said.

Darrell West, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said the meeting between Trump and Xi was important because personal conversations build relationships and help avoid misunderstandings.

Neither side has much to gain from confrontation and conflict, and the two countries have strong relationships in trade and commerce and it is important to continue that, West said.

The consensus reached by the two heads of state shows that the two sides are ready to compromise and find solutions to problems, said Alexei Maslov, head of the Asian Studies Department at the Russian Higher School of Economics, National Research University.

Shi Shiwei, a visiting professor at the Free University of Berlin, said the important consensus reached at the Xi-Trump meeting sets the tone for the following bilateral negotiations on trade and other issues and is conducive to positive bilateral trade interactions.

Berthold Kuhn, a China expert at the Free University of Berlin, said both China and the United States have made tremendous efforts to achieve such results, which is the first step for both sides to avoid a trade war.

Wang Jiangyu, associate professor at the Faculty of Law of the National University of Singapore, said the negotiations between China and the United States will be stronger and more pragmatic after the meeting and the two sides will show more sincerity and seriousness in future talks.

"The Xi-Trump meeting has gone off well. This is most commendable," Sourabh Gupta, a senior fellow at the Institute for China-America Studies in Washington, D.C., told Xinhua.

"China always stood ready for a fair, win-win approach to managing and resolving its trade, intellectual property rights and investment frictions with the U.S., and the meeting appears to confirm that it has put its money where its mouth is," he said.

"A freeze on new tariffs and an agreement to hold further talks, if confirmed, would be a positive step," said Henry Levine, a senior advisor of Albright Stonebridge Group.

Vasileios Trigkas, a scholar and research fellow at the Belt and Road Strategy Institute of Tsinghua University, said not to impose new tariffs is "a ceasefire which buys time for technical negotiations."

Gordon Hinkle, vice president of Global Operations at the California Center, has been following the news from Buenos Aires. After hearing the meeting had achieved positive results, he said "it is extremely encouraging."

"The California Center as well as numerous other U.S. businesses are anxious to see a deal cut soon between China and the U.S., so we can get back to unhindered, non-tariff burdened business with our numerous overseas partners and clients," he added.

Bloomberg News reported that "investors have been eager for signs of a progress toward keeping an already costly trade dispute from spiraling into a new and broader cold war."

"Both sides avoided the worst-case scenario," Bloomberg said.

As the international community is concerned about the escalation of the trade frictions, Jin Jianmin, a senior fellow at the Fujitsu Research Institute in Tokyo, said the international community and the markets will definitely respond positively to the attitudes of the two sides in solving their disputes through cooperation and consultations.

He hoped the two countries would put their words into action and set a good example for opening a new chapter for mutually beneficial cooperation in international economy and trade.

Japanese economist Hidetoshi Tashiro said the whole world is pleased with the positive results of the Xi-Trump meeting, which is of great significance to the world economy.

He said in today's interconnected world, it is very much possible that countries that try to give themselves an edge in trade by imposing tariffs will end up losing more.

Praising the Xi-Trump meeting as productive, Hee Ok Lee, a professor at South Korea's Sungkyunkwan University, said the two sides have avoided confrontations on the tariff issue, which has created a good start and favorable environment for resolving trade disputes.

Lee, who leads the Sungkyun Institute of China Studies, said the meeting is of great significance for not just the two countries, but the whole world as well.

He expected the two countries to increase communication and mutual trust in the future.

(Xinhua reporters Liu Chen, Liu Pinran, Xiong Maoling, Gao Pan in Washington, Yang Shilong, Liu Yanan in New York, Huang Heng, Gao Shan in Los Angeles, Luan Hai in Moscow, Liang Xizhi in London, Ren Ke in Madrid, Qiao Jihong in Hamburg, Yan Lei, Deng Min in Tokyo, Yan Ming in Seoul contributed to this story.)

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