China is calling for constructive dialogue and negotiations ahead of the President Donald Trump's visit to Beijing next week as the world's second-largest economy balances practical diplomacy with its own growing assertiveness.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying demonstrated that balancing act when she addressed a question about the trade relationship with the U.S. on Thursday.
"With deepening and fast growing economic and trade cooperation, it is inevitable that certain differences and frictions may arise between China and the U.S. But we should be aware that this doesn't make [up] the mainstream of China-U.S. economic and trade relations," said Hua.
"We indeed hope that the U.S. will work with China for [shared goals, and] properly handle the relevant differences through dialogue and negotiation in a constructive way so as to ensure the steady and healthy development of China-U.S. economic and trade relations," Hua added, according to an official transcript.
After all, as the world's largest economies, the U.S. and China are "highly dependent" on each other, so "it's safe to say that we will swim or sink together," Hua said.
The official views were echoed by the state press which are painting a hopeful and positive picture of Trump's first presidential visit to Asia, where he will be meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing next week.
Leading English paper China Daily on Friday said Trump needs to reassure his hosts that the U.S. will make a "constructive contribution to regional issues."
"Much of the speculation ahead of Trump's visit to Asia, which began on Friday, stems from the conflicting messages that have previously been given by his administration," the editorial said. "A clear, consistent and positive message showing a willingness to cooperate and contribute constructively to resolving regional issues would go a long way toward making his trip a success."