The upcoming meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump will go well, former US Ambassador to China Stapleton Roy predicted on Friday ahead of Xi’s upcoming visit, adding that they will both try to work for positive outcomes rather than poor outcome.
He made the comments in an interview with the People’s Daily on the sidelines of a seminar organized by Washington-headquartered Center for Strategic and International Studies over the upcoming Xi-Trump meeting.
“I think both leaders recognize that they are dealing with probably the most important country from each side’s standpoint,” the diplomat explained.
“Therefore, if things go wrong, there can be very serious potential consequences,” he said, believing that both leaders have understood the importance of bilateral ties.
"We wouldn't be having this summit if the two sides didn't want it to go well. I don't see it that difficult to have it go reasonably well," Roy noted.
Roy believed Mar-a-Lago resort as an ideal venue for Xi’s meeting with Trump, saying that “I think the pattern that they have a more relax meeting, in which you touch a wide range of issues is much better than the one hour meetings”.
“It is very difficult to deal with difficult issues in a one-hour meeting,”the envoy explained.
The arrangement of a meeting between heads of state in such an early stage, according to the former ambassador, will provide chances for progress of bilateral ties.
A close and frequent contact between both top leaders will help the two nations bolster ties and manage disagreements, he said, adding that a series of important agendas will be discussed in this meeting.
Recalling his multiple meetings with Chinese leaders when working as US diplomat, he was impressed by the elaborate preparations for bilateral meetings of Chinese leaders and their good mastery of discussed topics.
Born in Nanjing, capital city of eastern-central coastal Jiangsu province, Roy spent most of his 40-plus-year diplomatic career in dealing with the US’ relations with China. He also witnessed big events including the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties.
After assuming the post of US Ambassador to China in 1990s, he became a direct witness of the vicissitudes and development of bilateral relationship.
Both countries have managed to settlethe complicated and thorny challenges they encountered through diplomatic approaches, the diplomat said.
“I think it is very important for them to discuss not only the issues we have common interests, but also the areas we have differences,” he said, adding that it needs to be done in a respectable fashion.
“You can actually make progress on difficult issues if you try to make progress rather than creating new obstacles,” the former ambassador stressed.
He also called on US enterprises to engage in projects related to China’s “Belt and Road” initiative, in a belief that it will benefit the US businesses.
“International trade always involves trade deficits and trade surpluses with other countries, and for variety of reasons. You have to look differently,” he said so when commenting on China-US economic and trade ties.
Roy at last suggested the US and China show respect to each other, expand shared interests, and manage disagreements.