China Tells Trump That Ties With U.S. Are ‘Too Big to Fail’

  • Communist Party’s top newspaper emphasizes mutual benefits
  • Editorial characterized first Xi-Trump exchange as productive

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The China-U.S. relationship is “too big to fail” and President-elect Donald Trump shares an obligation to make sure ties between the world’s two largest economies improve and never worsen, the Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper said.

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The party’s flagship newspaper said in an editorial Tuesday that the importance of China’s relationship with the U.S. was self-evident and any breakdown in ties could result in global “disaster.” The piece reiterated President Xi Jinping’s message in a post-election telephone call with Trump last week that cooperation was the only correct choice for managing ties.

“It’s not hard to predict that a cooperative China-U.S. relationship will bring huge benefits across the globe,” the paper said. “However, if the two nations became entangled in friction, and even in confrontations, it will be a disaster to the two countries and the world.”

The editorial represented China’s latest effort to shore up ties with its largest trading partner in the wake of the surprise election win by Trump, who frequently accused the country during his campaign of victimizing the U.S. The billionaire real estate developer has promised to label China a currency manipulator, bring trade complaints against the nation, and impose tariffs if it doesn’t halt what he sees as unfair trading practices.

The editorial stressed common interests and noted the similarity between Trump’s promise to “make America great again” and Xi’s own “Chinese dream” slogan, which calls for a “great renaissance of the Chinese nation.” The paper said that agreements with the Obama administration had increased investment and “laid the foundation for future China-U.S. relations,” without mentioning the climate change deal Trump has vowed to tear up.

The paper characterized the first exchange between Xi and Trump as productive. “The two leaders had a good chat, a positive atmosphere and reached important consensus,” the paper said, adding that the conversation provided ties with a “key theme and direction.”

Xi said ahead of a meeting with outgoing President Barack Obama in Lima, Peru, over the weekend that China and the U.S. were at a “juncture point.” Obama had said he expected to discuss areas of disagreement at the pair’s ninth encounter, including on human rights and the “creation of a more level playing field for our businesses to compete.”

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— With assistance by Miao Han

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