Xi, Trump likely to ease trade tensions during G20 summit

Photo: CNN

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump will meet each other during the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina, barring an unexpected event.

It is expected that the pair will discuss a series of topics ranging from North Korean nuclear issue to common concerns of the two powers.

At this juncture, media and individuals are predicting whether Xi and Trump will strike a ceasefire agreement to end the ongoing trade fight.

I think it is very likely that they will suspend disputes, at least to some extent, because doing so will generate much interest for the two economic giants.

Recently, the US stock market fell sharply, which could increase Trump's enthusiasm to cool the tensions instead of slapping more tariffs.

Meanwhile, Xi is believed to be eager to repair the relationship with the US in face of continued slowdown of the Chinese economy.

Since taking office in 2017, the Trump administration has been pursuing the policy of pushback rather than containment in handling Sino-US relations.

The administration is fully aware that it is impossible to contain China, a country with global influence, so it targets Beijing's security, economic, and human rights issues.

It could be felt in a tough speech made by US Vice President Mike Pence at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Papua New Guinea in early November.

To highlight the US' significant position in Pacific-Asia, Pence said his country is a major infrastructure construction investor in the region and plays a role in promoting bilateral trade agreements.

He also attacked the Belt and Road Initiative, a development strategy adopted by the Chinese government involving infrastructure development and investments in countries in Europe, Asia and Africa, by saying that the US will not offer a "constricting belt" or a "one-way road".

"The United States offers a better option," added Pence.

The Trump administration sent mixed messages in terms of its policies toward China, because it is attempting to pursue cooperation, especially in economic and security fields, with its allies as well as partners.

For instance, the US, along with the European Union (EU) and Japan, is exploring new methods, including stopping mandatory technology transfer, hitting theft of intellectual properties and promoting the World Trade Organization reform, to fight against China.

Washington also signals a clear-cut message to countries in Pacific-Asia - be our friends or be our rivals, which has triggered widespread dissatisfaction.

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