Xi Jinping: My Friend Donald Trump…

“I cannot imagine a complete separation between China and the US. This is not a scenrio that I would like to see and I don’t think our American friends want to see it, and my friend Trump wouldn’t want to see it either.” It is a small fleeting sign, made by Xi Jinping, yet it is more than significant, because never before has he called the American President “a friend.”

A singular opening, made by Xi, at the St. Petersburg’s Economic Forum, in which he took part sitting next to his best friend, Vladimir Putin. The details are reported by the Hong Kong South China Morning Post.

During his speech Xi said that ties between the two countries are so strong, the commercial exchanges so intense, that a detachment between the two seems impossible. And then came the above surprise comment.

It should be noted that it was on this same day which Trump stated that the increase of tariffs on Chinese products, which he had announced a few days ago, would be postponed.

The US president had declared that he would increase tariffs up to a total of $325 billion, however yesterday he specified that the final decision on the subject will only come after the G20 summit, which will take place in June in Osaka (Bloomberg).

It should be remembered that last May Trump had announced that he wished to meet both Xi and Putin in Osaka. However, while the Kremlin has replied with a communication stating that the meeting could take place, (Tass), Beijing has yet to give an answer.

It seems obvious that Trump has deferred the decision on new tariffs in order to facilitate the meeting with Xi

For Xi, it would be somewhat difficult to accept the invitation if the current economic war on the Washington-Beijing axis continues to rage on, all the more as it has sparked off intense Chinese nationalism.

A summit where Xi shakes the hand of Donald Trump, the man behind the current US “bullying” – as the Chinese press has defined it – could appear as a sign of weakness which Xi cannot afford: he would risk alarming those throughout the world who have envisaged the mighty Chinese development as an opportunity for investment.

From this stems an opportunity for Trump. Xi’s surprise remark yesterday appears like an initial reply. It is more than encouraging.

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