By July 16, the 100th day after the presidents' first meeting, both countries will take concrete steps to alter and increase trade. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross hailed the deal, telling reporters, "This is more than has been done in the whole history of US-China relations on trade." Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao reciprocated the positive message stating, "We believe that Sino-U.S. economic cooperation is the trend of the times... We will continue to move forward," The trade agreements did not address areas such as steel, aluminum or auto parts.
Meanwhile, a critical figure in the bilateral relationship, Qian Qichen, passed away of illness at the age of 89. The former foreign minister, vice premier, and respected diplomat was in charge of carrying out Deng Xiaoping's and Jiang Zemin's pragmatic foreign policies, navigating a series of hot-button issues including the return of Hong Kong and Macau from colonial rule.
China plays hosts to 1,200 guests for an international forum in Beijing May 14-15 featuring its three-year-old "One Belt, One Road" economic growth plan of infrastructure building. Soon after the announcement of a US-China trade deal, the U.S. also announced it would send a delegation led by a top White House adviser to the 'Belt and Road' summit in Beijing.
China-US Focus contributor and former vice foreign minister He Yafei argued in an interview for the U.S. endorsement of and participation in OBOR. Focus contributors Paul Sedille and Vasilis Trigkas comment that it is possible to understand China's BRI as part of a formative "Silk Road system," which is symbiotic to the U.S.-shaped Bretton Woods.
In the meantime, official Chinese media outlets are spinning out OBOR campaign videos and articles, including bedtime stories by China Daily and this Xinhua video (link in Chinese) citing ancient Chinese poems and matching sand painting images.
Prepared by China-US Focus editorial teams in Hong Kong and New York, this weekly newsletter offers you snap shots of latest trends and developments emerging from China every week, while adding a dose of historical perspective.