By Chris Mazzacane, International News Writer
On February 10, after nearly one month in office, US President Donald Trump called Chinese President Xi Jinping for an extensive conversation regarding topics of mutual interest to the world’s two largest economies.
Experts are hopeful that this call signals a thawing of tensions that have developed between the countries following Trump’s victory.
During his campaign, Trump repeatedly stated that he would take a hard line approach to relations with China especially when it comes to trade. An already anxious Beijing was caught off guard when, immediately following his victory, Trump accepted a congratulatory phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
China’s relationship with Taiwan has been contentious for decades.
The small island is democratically ruled and considers itself a sovereign nation, but the Chinese government asserts control over it and ultimately considers it a breakaway province under its One China policy.
The United States affirmed its support of the One China policy through former President Barack Obama’s administration. Jinping’s administration was unsure whether Trump’s administration would continue this policy.
Predictably, the One China policy was a primary topic of conversation and Trump ultimately affirmed the United States’ commitment to the status quo at the request of Jinping. Advisors in both camps are hopeful that the two nations will continue to move forward diplomatically and cooperate with each other.
According to reports from Xinhua, China’s official news agency, the presidents “agreed to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in trade and economy, investment as well as international affairs.”
Additionally, following the conversation, it was made clear that both administrations are hopeful that a face to face meeting will be held in the near future.
President Trump, a leader whose first month in office has been relatively chaotic, has little foreign policy experience.
With many worried about the changing nature of the relationship between China and the United States, this phone call marks an important step in the continuing relations between the two countries under Trump’s administration.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, February 21st print edition.
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