Chinese President Xi Jinping says Beijing is watching US politics “very closely” and hopes for “stable and sustained” progress in relations with the United States under the presidency of incoming Donald Trump.
Talking to former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger in Beijing on Friday, Xi said a “key moment” of political transition was underway in the US and that his government was closely watching post-election developments in the US.
Americans elected business tycoon Trump, who has never served in the government, in the presidential election on November 8.
“The presidential election has taken place in the United States and we are now in a key moment,” said President Xi. “We on the Chinese side are watching the situation very closely. Now it is the transition period.”
“Overall, we would like to see the China-US relationship move ahead in a stable and sustained manner,” he told Kissinger.
A regular visitor to China, Kissinger laid the groundwork for the normalization of diplomatic ties between Beijing and Washington in the 1970s.
Trump, on the other hand, has attacked China’s economic policies numerous times. During his election campaign, he vowed to take measures to reduce the large US goods trade deficit with Beijing, among other measures.
A few days after Trump’s victory, President Xi called to congratulate him and advised him to persue cooperation, which he said was “the only correct choice for China and the United States.” Trump and Xi reportedly agreed to maintain close communications with one another and meet up soon.
Relations between China and the US have generally been stable even if tacitly adversarial. The two remain divided in territorial disputes in the East and South China Sea, in which Washington has sided with Beijing’s rivals.
It remains unknown, however, what specific policies a President Trump will adopt. He has contradicted himself on matters of policy repeatedly on the campaign trail and afterwards.