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Wang HuiYao

Making sense of Trump | China Daily
2016-11-16 11:47

Although he criticized China sharply during the recent election campaign in the United States, Donald Trump, the US president-elect, will likely maintain healthy China-US relations during his term of office.

An Gang, a reporter at the biweekly magazine World Affairs, says the Trump administration will not be too harsh on China in either economics or politics.

An presented his opinion at a recent seminar in Beijing on how the result of US presidential elections will affect future relations. The seminar was hosted by the Center for China & Globalization, an independent, nonprofit think tank based in Beijing that conducts research in social sciences including world affairs and globalization.

"I believe the G2 will see historic times with Trump on the stage," An said. G2, originally initiated in 2005 by Fred Bergsten, is a informal special relationship between China and the United States.

"Trump's ‘America first' foreign policy will drive him to shift his attention more from overseas to domestic affairs, leaving more space for China and the US to negotiate on Asian issues," An said.

Trump has virtually no experience in politics, and he seems to have little interest in the South China Sea issue, so he may either indulge the US military in this area or take a break, An said. "The fewer problems we have around us, the more comfort we will feel. And that will probably soothe tense nerves."

But this does not mean that the US will simply leave Asia to China "It is more likely that China and the US will work together to maintain balance in Asia," An said.

The experts believe that the Trump administration will focus more on China-US economic relations.

Zhou Xiaojing, a guest researcher at the center and former director of the State Council's Development Research Center, said China should make greater efforts to promote globalization, especially when the process encounters barriers in Western countries and the US lists China as a currency manipulator.

During the election campaign, Trump promised to give priority to solving domestic problems the Obama administration failed to address, such as promoting infrastructure construction.

"Now, China has money and is willing to help. So I guess he can't resist," An said. "This may be a chance for Chinese investment to get into the US market."

Trade is the area where China and the US share the most common ground. However, Trump has said he will slap a 45 percent import tax on Chinese goods, which will put more pressure on Chinese enterprises.

"But I don't think he can achieve this," An said. "The Congress may not allow him to do so." Wang Xin, vice-president of CCG, said that the international community, China included, needs to forget Trump's identity as a businessman and not try to forecast his actions based on previous speeches.

"After all, he is the president of United States," Wang said.

From China Daily, Nov. 15, 2016

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