The agreement reached between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart, Donald Trump, at the 14th G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, is in line with the best expectations of international public opinion. Given the fact that the Sino-US trade talks have run hot and cold in the past, opinions are divided over whether the new round of trade talks will successfully do the job.
The agreement has broken the deadlock between China and the US. However, Beijing and Washington still face the arduous task of implementing the consensus reached between the two presidents while overcoming differences during the negotiations.
During the meeting, Xi and Trump clinched a deal to restart economic and trade consultations between their countries on the basis of equality and mutual respect. The US side also agreed that it will not add new tariffs on imports from China. These deals add new possibilities to end the year-long trade dispute between the world's two largest economies that has been deadlocked since May.
It is not a big surprise for Xi and Trump to reach such an agreement. The outcome is logical and guided by the principles of trade and economy. It is also in accord with the general expectations of the international community. Such a result is undoubtedly in the interests of both the Chinese and US societies as it frees people in both countries from the fear of an escalating trade war.
None of the business communities or general public in China and the US want a trade war against each other. In the US, the initiator of the trade war, the call to end the dispute is gaining more and more support. To sum up from all perspectives, the result of the meeting complies with the real expectations and desires of both societies.
Nevertheless, China-US trade tensions have not been completely settled. There is no winner in this current dispute. Public opinion in both countries will likely be critical of an "incomplete victory" against the other. It is a situation similar to the ice-breaking movement made by China and the US to solve trade issues last December. The US media has a tradition of thriving on criticism. In that case, some US media are expected to argue that Washington has made too many concessions to China. The Democrats will also take it as an opportunity to mount pressure on the US government. These uncertainties come from the US and are its own internal concerns.
The situation after resuming economic and trade consultations between the two countries is even more critical. It is worth noting that the Trump administration has repeatedly contradicted itself in the past. The complexity of the power structure of the US government, a divergence of opinion within the administration's team and the need to win the 2020 presidential election are foreseeable reasons for its reneging. Not only has China been on the alert for such changes, but also the international community has learned from the US' historically ambivalent attitude. It will take a while to see what the Trump administration will do this time.
As for China, it is important to keep a clear mind and strong determination in this situation. As it turns out, China's perseverance in the fight against the trade bullying policy of the past few months has played an important role in reaching a positive result with the US side at the Osaka summit. China is willing to work with the US to find solutions. However, it's getting more and more clear that China is not afraid of a trade war and will not be beaten by one. A strong image is essential for China to reach an equal and mutually respectful agreement in discussions with the US.
China is committed to a peaceful development policy. China has not been involved in any war, nor severe conflicts with other countries in the past 30 years. As a result, some people doubted the possibility of China standing firm and staying strong when confronted with strategic challenges. Now, they have a clear answer from China's performance during this dispute. China is under the strong leadership of the CPC central committee and the Chinese government has the courage to take responsibility and make decisive decisions. Chinese society has actively responded to the government's call, and the whole nation has shared the ups and downs of a difficult situation. Cohesion has been the collective belief of the Chinese public. External threats will not force their way into Chinese society.
China has no intention of benefiting from defeating other countries. China sincerely hopes that all parties will enjoy a win-win situation through interaction and cooperation. Diplomatic interactions between China and the US over the past few decades have served as a multiplier effect to boost their national interests. A trade war on a large scale is out of the expectations of both the Chinese government and Chinese public. There is no doubt that China is willing to push forward China-US economic and trade cooperation to keep pace with the times and bring the interests of both sides in line with each other. China has no strategic resistance to such cooperation.
However, the duress of unilateralism does nothing to help solve the problems between China and the US but rather it causes severe unrest and damage to both sides and the rest of the world. If China and the US can meet each other halfway and reach consensus on key issues, then the two sides will find a solution to the trade dispute that is acceptable to both countries and beneficial to the world.
After a lot of fine tuning, Chinese society has grown mature enough to deal with any profound changes there might be in the China-US relationship. Chinese people are well-prepared for any possible uncertainty in future trade talks. The path of China's development will not always be smooth and that is accepted by the Chinese public. Chinese people will not be surprised by any potential turmoil in China-US economic and trade relations, and they know China will handle it accordingly.
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