Sino-US ties at ‘new his­toric start­ing point’

Trump says meet­ing with Xi was ‘ab­so­lutely ter­rific’, as they dis­cuss is­sues rang­ing from Korean Penin­sula to bi­lat­eral trade

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By AN BAIJIE and ZHANG YUNBI Con­tact the writ­ers at an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and his US coun­ter­part Don­ald Trump struck an up­beat, co­op­er­a­tive tone on Thurs­day on many key bi­lat­eral and re­gional is­sues, in­clud­ing the Korean Penin­sula and trade.

China con­tin­ued its “state visit-plus” re­cep­tion for the US leader on Thurs­day, with a lav­ish wel­com­ing cer­e­mony fea­tur­ing spe­cial ar­range­ments, in­clud­ing the per­for­mance of US mil­i­tary mu­sic and the par­tic­i­pa­tion of 10 US stu­dents in the wel­com­ing party, which nor­mally con­sists of Chi­nese stu­dents.

Tra­di­tional Chi­nese mu­si­cal in­stru­ments were on dis­play at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple, and live broad­casts were ar­ranged, a rare oc­cur­rence for a wel­com­ing cer­e­mony and talks.

A meet­ing be­tween the two lead­ers and their top ad­vis­ers ex­ceeded the orig­i­nally sched­uled one hour. Trump said that “our meet­ing this morn­ing in front of your rep­re­sen­ta­tives and our rep­re­sen­ta­tives was ex­cel­lent”.

Ad­dress­ing the me­dia, Xi said that he and Trump had achieved a new con­sen­sus, and their meet­ings had been con­struc­tive and yielded fruit­ful re­sults.

Xi af­firmed China’s com­mit­ment to re­form and open­ing-up, say­ing that China will in­crease com­mon in­ter­ests with other coun­tries and boost co­or­di­na­tion be­tween ma­jor coun­tries.

The two sides should re­solve prob­lems and con­tra­dic­tions in eco­nomic ties through jointly boost­ing the over­all scale of Sino-US eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion in a vi­sion­ary and con­struc­tive way, Xi said.

Sino-US re­la­tions are “at a new his­toric start­ing point”, and co­op­er­a­tion is “the only cor­rect choice” for the two coun­tries, Xi said in his open­ing re­marks at the ex­tended meet­ing.

China is will­ing to fo­cus on co­op­er­a­tion and con­trol dis­agree­ment with the US, to ben­e­fit the peo­ple of both sides as well as the whole world, he said.

Trump ex­pressed grat­i­tude for the warm re­cep­tion from the Chi­nese pres­i­dent, say­ing that his meet­ing with Xi on Wed­nes­day night was “ab­so­lutely ter­rific”.

“There can be no more im­por­tant sub­ject than China-US re­la­tions,” Trump said.

The US pres­i­dent also high­lighted his per­sonal friend­ship with Xi. It’s the third face-to-face meet­ing be­tween Xi and Trump fol­low­ing the first in April at the Mar-a-Lago re­sort in Florida and the sec­ond in Hamburg, Ger­many, dur­ing the G20 Sum­mit in July.

“My feel­ing to­ward you is an in­cred­i­bly warm one — as we said, there is great chem­istry,” Trump said.

On bi­lat­eral trade, Trump said the US “re­ally has to change its poli­cies be­cause they’ve got­ten so far be­hind on trade with China, and frankly, with many other coun­tries”.

Trump said he be­lieved that “there is a so­lu­tion” to the Korean Penin­sula nu­clear is­sue.

Zheng Zeguang, vice-for­eign min­is­ter, told re­porters on Thurs­day that China will sharply ease mar­ket ac­cess in fi­nan­cial sec­tors in­clud­ing bank­ing, se­cu­rity funds and in­sur­ance, and grad­u­ally cut taxes on im­ported cars, in line with its own timetable and road map.

The two sides agreed to con­tinue to fully im­ple­ment all of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions on the Korean Penin­sula nu­clear is­sue, main­tain pres­sure re­gard­ing the nu­clear ac­tiv­i­ties of the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of Korea, and pro­mote peace­ful res­o­lu­tion of the is­sue through di­a­logue and ne­go­ti­a­tion, he said.

The two coun­tries are ded­i­cated to main­tain­ing the global non­pro­lif­er­a­tion sys­tem and refuse to ac­knowl­edge the DPRK’s sta­tus as a nu­clear weapons-pos­sess­ing na­tion, Zheng said.

The two pres­i­dents high­lighted the im­por­tance of bi­lat­eral mil­i­tary ties, he said, adding that China wel­comes US Sec­re­tary of De­fense James Mat­tis to visit China in the first half of next year, and the US wel­comes a Chi­nese high-level mil­i­tary del­e­ga­tion to visit the US.

Dur­ing their talks, Xi elab­o­rated China’s prin­ci­ple and stance on the Tai­wan ques­tion, and Trump reaf­firmed that the US will con­tinue to ad­here to the one-China pol­icy, Zheng said.

There can be no more im­por­tant sub­ject than China-US re­la­tions.”

Don­ald Trump, pres­i­dent of the United States

XU JINGXING / CHINA DAILY

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump speak to re­porters at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Bei­jing on Thurs­day.

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