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China-US relations

China looks to forging effective partnership with Trump administration, says ambassador

Cui Tiankai points to mutual benefits from Sino-US relationship

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 November, 2016, 6:41pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 November, 2016, 11:17pm

Beijing called on the incoming administration in the United States to forge an ­effective partnership in China amid uncertainty over relations between the two nations after the US presidential election.

Cui Tiankai, China’s ambassador to Washington, said in an interview with CNN on the weekend that China expected a smooth transition of power in the US following Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the US presidential election last week.

Trump made tough comments about China during his election campaign, vowing to label Beijing a currency manipulator and impose tariffs on Chinese products.

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After his victory, Trump’s advisers said the US would boost the capacity of its military and continue its Asia-Pacific pivot, but added that the US would not put all its eggs in one basket.

Observers said it remained to be seen whether the US would focus less on the Asia-Pacific – which has become a source of friction between Beijing and Washington – and whether China would benefit strategically if the US retreated from the region.

Cui was positive about Sino-US relations in the interview, saying the two nations had benefited from their growing ties and cooperation in recent years, ranging from trade and investment to energy to counterterrorism.

“I’m confident this will continue,” he said, adding that Beijing wants Washington to continue its role in the Asia-Pacific.

“I think it will serve everybody’s interests if we can continue to go forward on this track. China is ready and willing to work with any other partners for the continued stability and prosperity in the region, and we certainly see the US as an important partner.”

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Cui said international relations should not be governed by a “zero sum” mindset, and that different nations should accommodate the interests of others.

He said China did not want a trade war with any country, and called on both China and the US to play by the World Trade Organisation’s rules.

“As far as the economic relationship is concerned, I think it’s a mutually beneficial one,” he said.

President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to Trump on Wednesday, and said he hoped to work with the president-elect to further develop Sino-US relations.

“Climate change is a global challenge, and all countries should work together to respond to it,” Cui said.