"Optimistic" about Bilateral Relationship: U.S. Senator Daines



"Optimistic" about Bilateral Relationship: U.S. Senator Daines


IN April this year, days after President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump met at Mar-a-Lago, Florida, U.S. Senator Steve Daines led a U.S. Congressional delegation visit to Beijing and held discussions on bilateral trade with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and talked about legislative organizational exchange with Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress.


Having spent six years working in Guangzhou, a southern Chinese city, from 1992, Senator Daines is a keen China watcher and an active advocator of stronger bilateral relations. China Today interviewed Senator Daines via email about his opinions and observation on China's latest development, the milestone 19th CPC National Congress, U.S.-China relations, as well as hotspot international issues.


China Today: What is your takeaway/opinion about the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China that just concluded? How do you see U.S.-China relations?

Daines: The 19th CPC National Congress certainly cemented Xi Jinping's significant impact on China, as evidenced by the Party constitution having been amended to enshrine his name and his guiding thoughts. On U.S.-China relations, I am optimistic that the relationship will improve as our countries continue to focus on deepening our people-to-people interactions. During my recent congressional delegations I led to China, I've heard from many American companies about the increasing uncertainty related to doing business in China. For China to continue to grow economic opportunities with U.S. businesses, it will be particularly important that its regulations and requirements are transparent, fair, and rules-based.


China Today: What are your thoughts about China's development and where do you see China in the next five or 10 years?


Daines: China's development in recent decades truly is impressive. It has contributed to the global economy and helped raise living standards of the Chinese people. It is difficult to say where China will be five or 10 years from now, though I am optimistic about China's economic future. I trust that China's leaders will work thoughtfully in charting China's development path forward.


China Today: President Xi Jinping has proposed the notion of "building a community of shared future for mankind". How do you interpret it? What role will the U.S. play in this?


Daines: I interpret President Xi's statement as a signal of China's increased self-confidence on the international stage and an increased willingness to shoulder the burden in addressing common problems. For example, North Korea's nuclear and missile programs remain a key area where the United States is seeking Chinese cooperation in order to avoid a conflict that could easily kill millions of innocent people. North Korea aside, there are other issues that China is involved in that are beneficial to the international community. For example, over the years, China has stepped up its role in international peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief activities. On the role of the United States, I believe that will largely depending on where its goals align with China's goals – which is why it is important for our two countries to have constant dialogue at all levels. Currently, I would like to see China step up efforts against the production of illicit drugs, especially fentanyl that killed about 20,000 Americans last year.