BEIJING – China’s President Xi Jinping appeared cautious while speaking of the ongoing trade dispute with the United States, in contrast to the enthusiasm expressed by his American counterpart Donald Trump, following a bilateral phone call.
Xi said that the first phase of the agreement, reached last week, would be based on the principle of equality and mutual respect in an extremely complicated international environment, state-owned Xinhua News Agency reported on Saturday.
He believed that this first phase of the agreement would benefit China and the US, as well as contribute to the peace and prosperity of the world.
However, the state outlet – unlike Trump – did not allude to Xi’s explicit statements about a possible resolution to the trade war between the world’s two largest economies, which has been ongoing since March 2018.
Xi was more broad and vague in this regard, linking possible progress in talks to respect for national dignity and its sovereignty, among other things, at a time when Washington has passed laws against the situations in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, much to Beijing’s ire.
As long as both sides maintain economic and trade cooperation that gives mutual benefits and respects national dignity, sovereignty, and upholds the main interests of both sides, the two countries will overcome difficulties and improve their economic relations, Xi said.
Trump, on the other hand, was more upbeat following his talks with Xi.
“Had a very good talk with President Xi of China concerning our giant Trade Deal. China has already started large scale purchases of agricultural product & more. Formal signing being arranged,” Trump tweeted.
“Also talked about North Korea, where we are working with China, & Hong Kong (progress!),” he added.
Relations between the two global powers have sharply deteriorated since the US started the trade war over, among other issues, trade imbalance, the theft of intellectual property and the forced transfer of technology.
Clashes between Washington and Beijing have not just been limited to the commercial sphere, but also in technology and global influence.
Moreover, trade tensions between the world’s two largest economic powers go beyond bilateral relations and have profound global consequences.
The International Monetary Fund, in its latest forecasts in October, downgraded global growth projections for the year to 3 percent, 0.2 percent less than that in July, weighed down by doubts about a possible resolution of the trade dispute.