Chinese media largely positive about Trump's visit to country

Chinese media were mostly positive about US President Donald Trump's visit to Beijing this week, saying his and Chinese President Xi Jinping's constructive approach to handling bilateral relations made for smoother ties ahead.
Chinese media were mostly positive about US President Donald Trump's visit to Beijing this week, saying his and Chinese President Xi Jinping's constructive approach to handling bilateral relations made for smoother ties ahead. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Chinese media were mostly positive about US President Donald Trump's visit to Beijing this week, saying his and Chinese President Xi Jinping's constructive approach to handling bilateral relations made for smoother ties ahead.

Mr Trump's three-day visit, which ended yesterday, had infused some warmth into the difficult relationship between the world's two most powerful nations.

China gave its important visitor not just a red carpet welcome, which included tea at the Forbidden City, but also more than US$250 billion (S$340 billion) in commercial deals that Mr Trump said was a "very, very good start" towards reducing the massive trade deficit the US has with China. The deficit hit US$347 billion last year.

China Daily, in an editorial, said "the most important takeaway" from the leaders' talks in Beijing was the "constructive approach" they had taken towards differences between the two countries.

It added: "Such precious progress in trying to find common ground, along with the Chinese commitment to establish a constructive 'new-type of relationship' with the US... will go a long way to anchoring the all-important, yet sometimes volatile, Sino-US relationship."

In particular, it noted, the two leaders expressed willingness to work with, instead of against, each other on issues such as trade and the North Korea nuclear programme, which Mr Trump had highlighted before his trip to China.

He had called the trade deficit "embarrassing", and asked Beijing to do more to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programmes that were threatening the peace in the North-east Asian region.

The nationalistic tabloid, the Global Times, was more measured in its assessment.

"From the Mar-a-Lago summit to the Forbidden City visit, Sino-US ties are becoming more mature," it said. The leaders first met at Mr Trump's resort in Florida in April.

It added in its editorial that if the "cooperative spirit... is spread to all fields of Beijing-Washington exchanges, no problem will pose a fundamental challenge to bilateral relations".

But it also said China was not to blame for the deficit, and "the US should appreciate China's efforts to reduce the trade deficit by buying more American products".

On North Korea, it said China had tried its utmost, even at the sacrifice of its ties with the North. Mr Trump "can't demand more".

Many media outlets focused on the economic relationship.

The Beijing News, noting the record-breaking total size of the commercial deals signed, said the deepening of trade and economic ties will ensure the stable de-velopment of the overall China-US relationship.

The New York Times reported that Mr Trump has acquired a legion of admirers in China who "hail him as a straight-talking politician and business mogul with a knack for deal-making".

Still, as the China Daily acknowledged, "the differences that have been pestering bilateral ties have not instantly disappeared".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2017, with the headline 'Chinese media largely positive about Trump's visit to country'. Print Edition | Subscribe