Xi likely to put forward idea of great power relationship in meeting with Trump: expert

The first meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Mar-a-Largo retreat brings an opportunity for the two world leaders to know each other better and to discuss various thorny issues that concern the world's most important bilateral relationship, according to an expert.

Clayton Dube, director of the US-China Institute under the University of Southern California, said that President Xi will reiterate his proposal of building a new type of great power relationship when meeting with President Trump, as the American president also values the bilateral ties. But the key problem is whether Trump's definition about the new type of great power relationship is the same with Xi's, Dube said.

In Dube's opinion, from the perspective of the Chinese side, the new type of great power relationship means that the two countries do not do things that impair each other's core interests in the issues of the East and South China Seas and Taiwan.

But in fact, President Trump may have some different views on President Xi's proposal, because he wants to maintain the US' supremacy in Asia by deepening the alliance with the regional allies while seeking cooperation with China, Dube said, adding that the two leaders should clarify what they agree and disagree when talking about the issue of great power relationship.

In terms of the North Korean nuclear issue, the US wants China to put more pressure on North Korea, otherwise it will take necessary action. However, China insists that it has done a lot in solving the North Korean issue. Dube described the situation as "very dangerous", saying that the US sees North Korea as a big threat, compared with China which regards it as only an awkward problem. What China is worried about is the disagreements between the two countries on the solution to the North Korean issue will intensify regional tensions, the expert noted.

Dube hoped that President Trump and President Xi could put their focus on opening up more sectors for bilateral investment and strengthening cooperation on infrastructure construction at the meeting, even though it is unrealistic that the two leaders can reach a consensus on the issues of the East and South China Seas and Taiwan.

As a businessman, President Trump clearly knows how important the American business interests are in China. In light of it, Dube said that President Trump will soon realize it is not easy to solve the two countries' trade problems quickly.

Dube also hailed the Chinese government's efforts in cooperating with President Trump's daughter Ivanka, who has a strong interest in China and the US-China relationship. He said that the Chinese government is striving to use such cooperation to affect President Trump.

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