11/09/2017, 09.21

Tenderness and a deluge of economic contracts between the two 'emperors' Trump and Xi Jinping

Wang Zhicheng

Past criticisms almost forgotten. Trump appreciates Beijing's commitment on North Korea and criticizes previous US administrations for the imbalance in trade. Contracts signed for over US $ 250 billion. The exclusive visit and Beijing Opera performance in the Imperial Palace. And even the (usually forbidden) use of Twitter.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - At a joint press conference, this evening, the presidents of the two world superpowers revealed greater mutual understanding and collaboration on political and economic issues than in the past.

US President Donald Trump praised his counterpart Xi Jinping for his efforts in trying to defuse the nuclear threat of North Korea. In the past Trump had strongly criticized Beijing's immobility towards Pyongyang.

Similarly, in the past Trump had flagged China as a "currency manipulator" and responsible for the loss of millions of jobs among Americans.

Yesterday, at a meeting with international businessmen in China, Trump said it was not China's fault if there was an imbalance in trade between the two countries (a US trade deficit of $ 347bn over Beijing) instead laying the blame on previous US administrations. And today, both leaders have announced that they have signed trade agreements for over 250 billion US dollars.

Instead Xi Jinping stated that "China is willing to work together with the United States to respect each other, stick to mutual benefit and reciprocity, focus on cooperation, and manage and control differences."

Trump, accompanied by his wife Melania, was welcomed in an "imperial" manner. The Chinese ambassador to the United States had promised a "state visit-plus" and that's how it happened. Yesterday afternoon, Trump and Melania, along with Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, were given an exclusive tour - the site was closed to other tourists – of the Imperial Palace. The two couples were also treated to a performance of the Beijing Opera show in Changyinge Hall, which served as an exclusive imperial theatre. In the evening they attended a gala dinner in the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square.

Trump was even able to tweet from his account, considering that Twitter is banned in China.

The volume of signed trade agreements is among the most prolific in the history of US-China relations, tending to lessen the imbalance in the trade balance.

In the long list that embraces various business sectors, there is a 43 billion deal with China Petroleum for natural gas exploration in Alaska, subsidized by Chinese state banks.

Another long-term agreement for natural gas supply has been signed with China National Petroleum. Telephone companies Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo signed yet another contract to buy products from Qualcomm, a chip maker for mobile phones.

The China Silk Road Fund, linked to the Bank of China, which promotes the Belt and Road Initiative, opens up a joint venture fund with the United States; China Investment Corp. will open a mutual fund with Goldman Sachs; China will buy airplanes from Boeing and import cars from Tesla.

However, human rights and respect for international rules for a greater opening up of the Chinese market to foreign investment, especially in the field of credit cards and energy, appear to have been relegated to the margins.

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