Sina
Edition: CHINA ASIA USA EUROPE AFRICA
Home > Nation
Thursday, February 9, 2017, 18:11

Trump sends Xi good wishes

By Zhang Yunbi in Beijing and Zhao Huanxin in Washington

Letter calling for 'constructive' ties offers positive signal, analysts say

US President Donald Trump's letter to President Xi Jinping is a goodwill gesture that will ease efforts to find more common ground between the two countries and lower the risk of clashes in the Western Pacific, analysts said.

The White House said on Wednesday that Trump had written to Xi wishing the "Chinese people a happy Lantern Festival and a prosperous Year of the Rooster".

Trump also thanked Xi for a congratulatory letter on his election to the presidency and expressed his hopes of developing "a constructive relationship that benefits both the United States and China".

It has been a tradition in recent decades for US presidents to send greetings for the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Lantern Festival, which falls on Saturday this year, is celebrated by Chinese on the 15th day of the first month of the lunar year, and many regard it as the final day of the annual Spring Festival.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang confirmed on Thursday that Beijing had received the letter and the good wishes extended by Trump.

Lu said Beijing is ready to expand cooperation and manage differences with Washington, and cooperation is "the only right choice" for both countries.

After assuming office, Trump said China and Japan were currency manipulators.

Beijing and Washington have traded barbs recently over sensitive topics, such as the Diaoyu Islands issue.

The US secretaries of state and defense assured Japan in recent days that the Diaoyu Islands fall within the scope of a US-Japan military treaty.

Su Xiaohui, a researcher of international strategy at the China Institute of International Studies, said Trump wrote the letter to "display more goodwill to Beijing and to convince people that he cares more about how China feels".

"The letter could be taken as a signal that Trump is shifting his role from a business tycoon to a state leader who takes a comprehensive view of international relations and tackles them in a win-win manner," Su said.

Xi had sent a congratulatory telegram to Trump on his election victory last year.

Earlier this month, Trump's daughter Ivanka visited the Chinese embassy in Washington for the first time with her 5-year-old daughter, Arabella Rose Kushner, to participate in the embassy's Chinese Spring Festival celebration.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg quoted an unnamed White House official who said Ivanka Trump's public meeting came after behind-the-scenes meetings between Ambassador Cui Tiankai and Jared Kushner, her husband and a presidential adviser.

Kushner and Cui have had an extensive, ongoing dialogue that has been positive, the report said.

Yuan Zheng, a senior researcher on US foreign policy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, noted that Trump has recently drawn fire because of domestic issues such as immigration and has aroused hostility overseas.

Writing to Xi and pledging constructive ties with Beijing shows that stabilizing US-China ties is "of greater significance" for Trump, Yuan said.

Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said that "what China hopes to see is the soft landing of the two-way ties, and even further development at the new starting point".

Latest News