China still holding wait-and-see attitude toward Trump: expert

Beijing is still holding a wait-and-see attitude toward Donald Trump, even though the US president has paid a visit to China as part of his first Asia trip as America's head of state, according to an expert.

In a recent interview with, Robert Sutter, professor of the practice of international affairs at the Elliott School of the George Washington University, said that Beijing's uncertainties about Trump stemmed from the fact that the American president has not taken shape a clear strategy toward China since his inauguration earlier this year.

Compared with his predecessor Barack Obama, who is considered as a US president making efforts to avoid big tensions between Washington and Beijing, Trump appears to be highly fugacious, as reflected in the fact that he challenged the one China principle and promoted arms sales to Taiwan after he failed to press China to do what he wanted in dealing with North Korea, while maintaining a good relationship with Xi Jinping, said Sutter.

Sutter attributed the relatively stable relationship between the US and China to the Chinese government which has made contact with the Trump administration in a tactful manner.

However, the American professor predicted that the bilateral relationship would continue to be on a good track in the short term due to the fact that Trump had a good interaction with Xi during his visit to Beijing earlier this month. During Trump's trip to the Chinese capital, massive trade deals were signed even though the two countries were still far from an agreement on the North Korean nuclear issue.

Sutter also commented on China's diplomatic strategy, saying that China needs to go a long way to realize his ambitious Chinese dream because its growing assertiveness in the territorial disputes, enhanced military buildup and close ties with Russia hit the nerve of the Western countries, with which Beijing still maintains a good trade relationship. What's more, the Belt and Road initiative, which Beijing wants to produce a win-win cooperation, also triggers fears that China is intended to enhance its political and economic influence worldwide through the initiative, according to Sutter.

The US still plays a big role in the Asia-Pacific region with strong commitments to the allies in the region, and Xi would find it hard to realize his diplomatic goals, said Sutter.

During his first Asia trip as American president, Trump also emphasized the Indo-Pacific concept, which is widely seen as a tool to contain China in the India Ocean, a key region covered by the Beijing-led Belt and Road initiative and where China has great economic interests.

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