By Brian Slack, media member All-NFL Network, based in Richmond, VA USA
China's President Xi Jinping and United States' President Donald Trump met earlier in April, negotiating on new trade and investment deals. It has been viewed to be one of the most important meetings between the two nations held together since the late-US President Richard Nixon's visit to China in 1971.
The meeting started a process that eased tensions and ignited a civil relationship between the two unlikely bed-fellows; a relationship that both sides have been maintained in a positive tone to this very day.
Although the negotiations were about trade, which has favored China by hundreds of billions of dollars of surplus in the past several decades, the two sides had addressed national security concerns as well. Other topics included the Korean Peninsula issue, territorial claims over the South China Sea, etc.
When you consider all the intangibles, both nations had everything to gain and everything to lose. In many ways, so did the rest of the world; directly and indirectly.
Negotiating with America's recently-elected president is more of a complete-180 from China's past dealings with Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama. President Trump's 'America First' approach may give some naysayers troubles, but his vast experience and knowledge of China's culture, traditions and rich, 5,000-year history will be advantageous to both Washington and Beijing.
Prior to his meeting with President Xi, Trump had already begun to lay out the groundwork well in advance of the trade meeting, by sending US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Beijing to meet with President Xi, who called for the two nations to enhance exchanges at all levels. Xi also stressed that the China-US relationship is important not only for the two countries, but also for the world. He called on the two countries to enhance strategic mutual trust and enhance understanding.
Tillerson said Trump "looks forward to enhancing better understanding......We know through further dialogue we will achieve great understanding that will strengthen ties between China and the United States, and set the tone for our future relationship of cooperation."
President Trump knows when to give and when to receive, which is the art of the deal. And this is also acclimated to his Chinese counterpart President Xi. And the positive and fruitful outcome of this meeting is the best proof. President Trump will be ready to roll up his sleeves and continue on with the bargaining process.
After the meeting, both sides have found a way to get things done, though neither walked away feeling 100% satisfied. Yet, through willingness to compromise each has got what they want enough to move things forward in a positive, productive and peaceful manner. Neither nation wants to engage in a trade war.
A strong relationship between China and the US makes for a safer, more stable world. Severed ties or even seriously compromised relations would only make this planet a far more dangerous place, spurring a legitimate threat to the whole human race.
Brian Slack, media member All-NFL Network, based in Richmond, VA
(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com)
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