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Op-Ed: Trump’s visit to China is a win for China and America

By Curtis Stone  (People's Daily Online)    10:58, November 17, 2017

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) holds a grand ceremony to welcome U.S. President Donald Trump at the square outside the east gate of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 9, 2017. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)

US President Donald Trump’s recently concluded visit to Asia has been hailed as a success by many on both sides of the Pacific for advancing China-US relations. Yet, despite the progress, some people continue to view the trip as a zero-sum game, arguing that “China won” or that Trump was “played like a fiddle.” For example, Susan Rice, who served as President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, penned an op-ed in The New York Times, saying Trump handed regional leadership to China “on a silver platter.” But the criticism ignores that win-win cooperation is the best path forward.

During his visit to China, Xi Jinping and Trump signed over $250 billion in trade and investment agreements. Air Products, a world-leading industrial glass company, signed an agreement for a $3.5 billion coal-to-syngas production facility to be built in Yulin City, Shaanxi Province, China. Other deals included a joint development agreement to advance the Alaska LNG project, involving total investment of up to $43 billion. According to the US Department of Commerce, the Alaska deal alone will create up to 12,000 American jobs, reduce the trade deficit with Asia by $10 billion annually, and provide China with clean, reliable, and affordable energy for generations. Both of the examples above will strengthen the relationship by creating jobs while reducing the trade imbalance between the two countries.

Trump’s focus on strengthening friendship and expanding areas of cooperation has helped put the two countries on a path toward a better future. A stronger relationship with China is crucial for managing the complex relationship over the long run and for building a new type of international relations centered on win-win cooperation. As China moves closer to center stage, China and the US will need to work together to advance peace, security, and prosperity all across the world. Trump took a step in this direction by stressing the importance of growing a stronger friendship with China in building a stronger America. “In the coming months and years, I look forward to building an even stronger relationship between our two countries,” Trump said.

China has been consistent in both words and actions about its commitment to working together with all countries to replace fear and competition with trust and cooperation. In the West, we tend to be hyper-critical of China’s rise, which, more often than not, is viewed through a lens of competition. If the rise of the West was brutal, so must be the rise of China—or so goes the logic. But this fear is unfounded. China has stressed on multiple occasions that it remains committed to peaceful development and will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion.

All of which brings us back to Trump’s trip to Asia. During his visit to China, Trump forged a stronger friendship with China and boosted cooperation between the two largest economies in the world. “I have developed a great relationship with World leaders like Xi Jinping, President of China,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Relationships are a good thing, not a bad thing.” In this sense, Trump’s visit to China can be chalked up as a win for China and America, as well as the international community.

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

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