Contact called essential at critically important stage of relationship
President Xi Jinping said he is willing to keep in close touch with his United States counterpart, Donald Trump, via various means as the relationship between Beijing and Washington is at a critically important stage.
He made the remark in a message delivered by Vice-Premier Liu He during Liu's meeting with Trump on Thursday after the latest round of China-US trade talks in Washington.
Xi said the economic teams from both sides have conducted intensive negotiations and achieved positive progress in accord with the consensus that he and Trump reached when they met in Argentina in December.
The two sides should continue to meet each other halfway and step up consultations in the spirit of mutual respect and win-win cooperation, he said.
An early deal beneficial to both China and the US will send a positive signal to their people and the international community, promote the sound development of bilateral ties and provide impetus to the steady growth of the global economy, Xi said.
The president also extended to Trump, US first lady Melania Trump and their family greetings from himself and his wife, Peng Liyuan, as the Chinese Lunar New Year approaches.
The US president, expressing his appreciation for Xi's message, asked Liu to convey cordial greetings to Xi and his wife from him and his wife, and extended best wishes to the Chinese people for Spring Festival.
Trump said the current round of trade talks had made "tremendous" progress and he expected the two sides to reach a great deal as early as possible, according to a statement from the Chinese delegation.
Such a deal is of great significance for both countries and the world, he said.
Trump also said he cherishes his good relations with Xi and looks forward to meeting with him at an early date to witness the historic moment when the US and China reach an agreement on their economic and trade issues, the statement said.
Earlier on Thursday, Trump tweeted, "China's representatives and I are trying to do a complete deal, leaving NOTHING unresolved on the table. All of the many problems are being discussed and will be hopefully resolved."
"No final deal will be made until my friend President Xi and I meet in the near future to discuss and agree on some of the long-standing and more difficult points," he wrote on his Twitter account.
"We haven't set up a meeting yet," Trump told reporters, according to a White House transcript. "I think we're working on seeing where everybody is, and then we'll meet to discuss some final issues." Trump added that "both countries would like to see a positive result".
"Head-of-state diplomacy between China and the US plays a vital role in the bilateral relationship," said Ruan Zongze, executive vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, adding that more communication between the two leaders is essential.
Interaction between Xi and Trump will help manage and control existing difficulties, Ruan said.
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