China boasts the 'best' relationship with Trump's US, says former PBOC member

'So far, Sino-US relationship has been the best'

China has maintained a cool head regarding President Donald Trump's "America First" policies, according to a former People's Bank of China member.

"China tries to watch what kind of policies President Trump can implement, rather than what he promised," Li Daokui, a former academic member of the Monetary Policy Committee for the PBoC, told CNBC Saturday at the China Development Forum.

In the meantime, Beijing has effectively used both informal and formal channels to communicate with the White House, added Li, who is currently the Mansfield Freeman Chair Professor at Tsinghua University.

"People used to worry a lot, a few months ago, two months ago, even one month ago about what Trump would do to the relationship. But so far, the Sino-U.S. relation has been the best, I think even better, perhaps, than the U.S.-Australian relationship," the former central banker said, adding that indications suggested Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Florida will be an "informal conversation" held "between friends."

Li Daokui, former committee member on the People’s Bank of China.
Barry Huang | CNBC

Trump has plans to host Xi at a two-day summit in Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort next month, according to several media reports.

"The most important objective is to build chemistry, to meet the person, shake hands…rather than going through the various kinds of channels like tweets, the internet or the media," Li said of the meeting between the two leaders.

During his presidential campaign, Trump had repeatedly said he would declared China a currency manipulator for artificially weakening the yuan against dollar.

Li told CNBC that China would likely protest such a pronouncement, but it would not overreact.

It would be crucial to "have private communication with the State Department, with the Treasury and with the White House to try and work out what the U.S. side wants, and what China can do," he said.

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