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The Sino-American Employment Challenge

HONG KONG – Donald Trump’s rise to power in the United States involved more than a little China-bashing. Yet, with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Trump’s Florida estate earlier this month, it seems that the status quo in the bilateral relationship – crucial for global trade, growth, and stability – will be maintained. That could be very good news for Chinese and US workers alike.

At the summit, Xi reiterated China’s commitment to maintaining a positive relationship with the US. “We have a thousand reasons to get China-US relations right,” he said, “and not one reason to spoil” them. Trump, for his part, accepted Xi’s invitation to visit China soon.

On trade, Trump and Xi agreed to a 100-day plan for discussions on reducing the US trade deficit with China. Moreover, the US accepted China’s proposal to revamp the framework for bilateral engagement by creating the US-China Comprehensive Dialogue, consisting of four sub-dialogues: diplomacy and security, economic issues, law enforcement and cybersecurity, and social and cultural affairs.

The understanding between Xi and Trump reflected a sober acknowledgement of the domestic and international risks their countries face. Both seemed to recognize that a stable US-China relationship is necessary to enable them to focus on their respective challenges.