Feb. 9 (UPI) — China is responding positively to a recent letter U.S. President Donald Trump delivered to President Xi Jinping wishing the Chinese people a prosperous Lunar New Year of the Rooster.
Beijing’s foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Thursday that the Chinese government “holds in high esteem the celebratory message President Trump sent to Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Chinese people.”
Lu also said China “attaches extreme importance on U.S.-China relations.”
“As President Xi said, the two countries have a special and important responsibility to maintain world peace and stability, and promote world development and prosperity.” Lu said. “The United States and China have broadly shared interests, and cooperation is the only right choice.”
The spokesman also called for policy based on the principle of mutual respect and cooperation.
The White House confirmed Trump sent the letter, and that in his message the president stated he hoped for a beneficial and constructive relationship, in cooperation with the Chinese leader.
Even China’s blunt state tabloid approved the letter from Trump.
“The New Year greetings arrived late, but it conveyed a sign of goodwill to China,” the Global Times editorial read. “Through his late New Year’s greetings, President Trump satisfied the expectations of the Chinese people.”
Beijing has been carefully monitoring Trump’s campaign speeches and his frequent criticism of international trade deals.
The government is likely to continue to propose continued support of free trade despite the rise in protectionist rhetoric in the United States and Europe.
Xi is to host a gathering of world leaders at its One Belt, One Road initiative meeting in Beijing in May, but it is not clear whether Trump would be in attendance at the summit that will focus on connectivity among China, Russia, and other neighbors.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to be in attendance, and a Chinese invitation to Trump is under consideration, according to Yonhap.