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China, US Attempt to Overcome Differences | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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US President Donald Trump welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago state in Palm Beach, Florida, US. (Reuters)

Washington – China-US relations have witnessed “remarkable” progress since the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to US President Donald Trump in Florida.

Several stances have reflected this “unexpected” approach during the past days: China abstaining from voting on the UN resolution draft that denounces the Syrian regime chemical attack and Trump hailing his Chinese counterpart and affirming that Beijing will exert “tremendous” efforts to help Washington in resolving the issue with North Korea.

Observers see that China’s abstaining from voting in favor of the draft – presented by Washington, London and Paris – and breaking the rule of joining the Russian veto at the UN Security Council to denounce the Syrian regime represented a slap to relations with Russia.

It seems that the US-Sino ties are being cemented at the expense of Moscow. Trump’s statement on Wednesday was evident proof of that.

“We had a very good bonding. I think we had a very good chemistry together. I think he wants to help us with North Korea,” Trump said in a Wednesday press conference.

Trump asserted that China took a big step after banning coal imports from North Korea. He also avoided criticizing China earlier for not putting pressure on North Korea, considering it an uneasy matter.

In another surprising stance towards China, the US president also refused to accuse Beijing of manipulating the currency.

Steven Weber, an international relations specialist from the University of California, Berkeley, said Trump’s volte-face towards China suggested pragmatism was kicking in.

“He’s obviously capable of understanding the numbers of a big real estate deal and so he is obviously capable of understanding projections about the number of jobs that would be lost in a significant trade spat,” Weber added.