SHANGHAI — Chinese President Xi Jinping has set the tone for the world’s most populous country’s official government and media reaction to the election of Donald Trump by urging continued cooperation between two major economic powers.
“I place great importance on the China-U.S. relationship, and look forward to working with you to uphold the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation,” Xi reportedly said, though it wasn’t specified how his message was delivered.
China’s most high-profile experts in Sino-U.S. relations quoted in China’s state media were universally in step with President Xi’s sentiments.
Jia Qingguo, dean of Peking University’s Faculty of International Relations, summed up the future of bilateral relations by saying: “As two big countries, the best choice for handling relations between China and the U.S. must be cooperation rather than confrontation.”
An editorial in Communist Party mouthpiece The People’s Daily on Thursday said Trump’s election was a reaction to his campaign against a corrupt status quo. “Trump’s win reflects the American public’s dissatisfaction with the current social situation, their desire to have a revolutionary change,” it said.
However, the paper added that a Trump presidency also brings uncertainty to America’s future policy direction.
The idea of Trump’s election as a catalyst for “revolution” in the U.S. political system was popular both with newspaper editorials and online comments from Chinese netizens, with many drawing parallels between the current state of dissatisfaction in the U.S. and conditions in China prior to Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, launched 50 years ago.
“Some people say that this is a ‘political rebellion,’ a U.S Cultural Revolution. Although these claims are exaggerated, they do depict the current political state of the U.S.,” the state-run English-language newspaper Global Times said in an unusually sober editorial published on their site late Wednesday.
“The election resulted in an unprecedented split in U.S. society. Many of those who did not vote for Trump were ‘hated’ from the depths of people’s hearts. This kind of ‘hate’ was rare in U.S. election history until now,” it noted.