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People’s Daily: Will the United States Be Tougher on China?

Following the U.S. presidential election, People’s Daily interviewed several Chinese experts to discuss the prospect of China-U.S. relations under the Trump administration. Below is an excerpt from the report:

Yuan Zheng, director of the Foreign Affairs Department of the U.S. Institute at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said, “This election exposed the United States’ anti-globalization and protectionist tendencies and made trade a more likely area of friction between China and the U.S.” “The new president may make tough gestures in some areas of trade, such as requiring China to abide by international rules and resorting more to WTO arbitrations.”

Liu Xuesheng, executive vice president of the Center for China-U.S. Relations at the China Institute of International Studies said, “Of course, this does not mean that the U.S. policy toward China will be ‘overly aggressive.'” “Trump is a businessman. He will deal with foreign affairs with the mentality and philosophy of a businessman, as he repeatedly said as the campaign progressed. He believes that the United States has been in a position of disadvantage in the process of dealing with China, so there will be a series of negotiation mechanisms between China and the U.S.”

“Trump may have his own powerful personal style, but the main theme of China-U.S. relations will not be easy to change.”

Yuan Zheng said, “Trade is more prone to friction, but it is also easy to control.” “There is more than US$500 billion in trade between China and the United States each year. Such economic relations not only benefit the two sides; they are also good for the global economy. Using the words of many U.S. experts, since 2008, the two sides have not had much of a choice: only cooperation to ensure a ‘win-win situation.’”

Yuan Zheng continued, “The U.S. policy toward China depends on China’s position in the international system and the U.S.’s reliance on China.” “After all, if China is becoming more influential, then the United States will need to be cautious about what it wants [from China].”

Source: People’s Daily, November 10, 2016