US President-elect receives call from Chinese counterpart
Chinese President Xi Jinping has reaffirmed the importance of relations with the United States in a phone conversation with President-elect Donald Trump, opening communication with a politician who had been strongly critical of China during his campaign.
State media reports said Xi congratulated Trump on his election in their talk yesterday and said cooperation was the “only correct choice” for China and the US, the world’s two biggest economies.
“At present, there is an important opportunity and huge potential in China-US cooperation,” Xi told Trump.
Trump had accused China of unfair trade practices and currency manipulation during the election campaign, threatening to slap a 45 per cent tariff on all Chinese imports.
Despite that, Chinese state media largely favoured Trump over his Democratic Party rival Hillary Clinton. She was disliked in Beijing over her promotion of the US “pivot” to Asia that is viewed by China’s leaders as an attempt to contain their country’s rise to global
Anti-Trump protests continued across America on Sunday. In Manhattan, people carried signs in English and Spanish saying things like “Hate won’t make us great” and chanted “We are here to stay”. Protests were also held in Los Angeles (pictured), San Francisco, Philadelphia and other cities.
Beijing’s rivalry with Washington largely boils down to economic issues, especially China’s $334 billion trade surplus with the US and accusations of unfair subsidies for exporters and the condoning of intellectual property theft.
The sides are also opposed over security in east Asia, particularly China’s assertion of its territorial claims in the South China Sea where it has been creating new islands atop atolls and
coral reefs. Beijing has also closely aligned its foreign policy with Russia, putting it at odds with the US over issues, including the civil war in Syria and the deployment of US anti-missile defences in South Korea.
Aside from his criticisms of Beijing, Trump had touted his business dealings with Chinese companies, although he is not known at present to have any major investments in the country.
Trump has also touted a more isolationist foreign policy that could benefit China by weakening US support for longtime Asian allies.