Despite a rocky December, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi remains optimistic about China-US relations, stating that one individual will not be able to impede bilateral ties. We wonder who he could mean by that?
“Of course, going forward China-US relations will face new complexities and uncertain factors,” Wang said during an exclusive interview with People’s Daily looking back over the year that was.
“But ‘thick mountains could not stop the river from flowing into the sea,'” he said, quoting from an oft-cited ancient Chinese poem, according to Reuters.
“Only if China and the United States respect each and give consideration to other’s core interests and key concerns can there be long-term, stable cooperation, and effect win-win mutual benefit,” Wang continued.
“This is a historical trend that can’t be altered by an individual’s will, and is the correct direction for the development of China-U.S. ties.”
While he didn’t actually say his name, we think it’s safe to assume that Wang was referring to US President-elect Donald Trump’s will. Since his stunning electoral college victory in November, Trump has already willed his way into an impressive number of international incidents.
Earlier this month, he shattered over 35 years of US foreign policy protocol by speaking with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen over the phone. Later, he doubled down, going on a China-bashing Twitter rant. Then, he gave the middle finger to diplomatic tradition yet again by publicly questioning why the US should continue to adhere to the “one China” policy at all, in an apparent move directed at gaining leverage for better trade deals.
Nationalistic Party tabloid the Global Times aside, China has mostly responded with restraint to Trump’s provocations, though they did decide to randomly snatch an US Navy drone out of the South China Sea last week. That was weird.
It’s impossible to know what next year holds in store for US-China relations. Though we would probably refrain from taking a boat ride on that river Wang was talking about earlier.