Underlying hopes for Trump's visit to China

By Elenoire Laudieri Di Biase
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, November 8, 2017
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Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd right) and his wife Peng Liyuan (1st right), and US President Donald Trump (2nd left) and his wife Melania Trump pose for a photo in front of Taihedian, the Hall of Supreme Harmony, during their visit to the Palace Museum, or the Forbidden City, in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 8, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

President Donald Trump's visit to China, as part of his East-Asian tour, can be looked at as the central piece of a puzzle he is trying to solve to define a new strategy in this all-important area of the world.

The previous administration, led by President Barack Obama, adopted a foreign policy called "Pivot to Asia," now often being described as a failure for the tensions it created in the Asia-Pacific region, and its detrimental side effects in the Middle East.

The task ahead of President Trump is anything but simple. He virtually needs to construct an entirely new master plan for East Asia, with America's relationship with China as its imperative backbone.

It's not just a matter of ensuring regional security, which was the main issue he discussed during his visits to Japan and South Korea, nor of replacing the now-defunct Trans-Pacific Partnership with a series of bilateral trade deals.

For a successful outcome, Mr. Trump needs most of all to build a working, dependable and mutually beneficial relationship between Washington and Beijing.

Despite his contradictory snap statements on China ranging from glowing praise to sharp criticism, he can at least rely on the friendly rapport he was able to establish with China's President Xi Jinping at their meeting in Florida last April, and subsequently.

President Xi's leadership is stronger than ever after his visionary platform for China's mid- and long-term future was enthusiastically welcomed at the recent 19th CPC National Congress.

He has pledged China's active participation in global governance and working through international and multinational bodies to build a community of a shared future for humanity. He has also committed his country to a world of common security for all through joint efforts, leading to lasting peace through dialogue and consultation.

These far-sighted statements provide President Trump with a positive framework for his talks with President Xi this time. There are a number of crucial matters for the two leaders to discuss, such as revitalizing the global economy and achieving compatibility between China's and America's economic and geopolitical interests.

These are not easy goals to achieve; nonetheless, they are attainable with enough good will between the two sides.

The forthcoming meeting between the two leaders could open a new era not only in the relationship between two world powers, but also for the future of humanity.

A joint effort to curb nuclear proliferation in Northeast Asia and measures to promote a more balanced trade relationship would help to forge a climate of mutual trust and lay a foundation for constructive engagement and collaboration in the years to come.

Elenoire Laudieri Di Biase ( Twitter account: @ElaudierLaudier ), sinologist from the university of Ca' Foscari and Melbourne University, Australia, is an expert on international diplomacy and psychoanalysis. Senior analyst on China at the Nato Defense College Foundation.

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors only, not necessarily those of China.org.cn.

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