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Commentary: As Trump takes office, cooperation best option for U.S.-China ties, global interests

By Zhu Dongyang (Xinhua)    14:24, January 21, 2017

BEIJING, Jan. 21 -- Donald Trump became the new U.S. president on Friday. He deserves to be congratulated for assuming such a critical office at such a critical moment.

The world expects him to deal with the U.S. and global challenges with discretion and wisdom, and give full play to China-U.S. cooperation to conquer the hardships.

As a renowned and savvy businessman, the new leader in Washington knows more than anyone else the merits of a sound China-U.S. partnership.

Therefore, he surely knows that investment from Chinese businesses benefits the U.S. economy and could help create more jobs for the country.

Jack Ma, China's billionaire founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, promised in his latest meeting with Trump that his company will create one million U.S. jobs by enabling small businesses and farmers to sell U.S. goods to China and Asian consumers on Alibaba's e-commerce platform.

On the diplomatic front, Beijing and Washington enjoy more room for cooperation than ever before.

In his upcoming challenge to help achieve Korean denuclearization, Trump cannot find a more committed and ready partner with enough influence and resources than China.

The two countries have also unprecedented opportunities to work together in dealing with non-conventional global security challenges, such as terrorism, global warming and cyber security.

Trump has raised eyebrows around the world recently with his tweets regarding the Chinese currency, Taiwan and the Korean Peninsula.

His intention to wheel and deal for better gains with these "bargaining chips" cannot be more pronounced, but he will soon realize that leaders of the two countries must use more mature and effective ways to communicate than trading barbs via Twitter.

Trump's team also needs time, like all of its predecessors, to figure out the complexity of China-U.S. relations. Zero-sum attempts between the world's largest two economies, if unchecked, will harm them and any global prospects for peace and prosperity.

Cooperation invites good faith, and provocation incites bad blood. For the two countries with more complex relations than any others due to their differences in social system and levels of development, rational leaders who prioritize common interests over conflicts of views, and trust building over nitpicking are a must.

But cooperation requires respect for each other's bottom line and prudence not to violate it.

China's resolve to safeguard its defining core interests in Taiwan and the South China Seaislands has always been strong.

Cooperation also demands reciprocal flexibility instead of a beggar-thy-neighbor mentality. Among all his alternatives, the least desirable for Trump is to act on his previous threats to slap punitive tariffs on his country's largest trading partner and label China a "currency manipulator" as protectionism only stirs up retaliation.

It is highly hoped that the Trump administration could take the interests of its country and the world as a whole into account, and start aiming for win-win cooperation with China as soon as possible.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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