Opinion: Xi, Trump phone call conveys positive signs, but uncertainty remains
Updated 16:36, 02-Jan-2019
CGTN's Yang Chuchu
Editor's note: The article is based on an interview with Einar Tangen, a current affairs commentator. The article reflects the expert's opinion, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump held a telephone conversation on Saturday, with both agreeing to make progress on the bilateral trade dispute.
"Just had a long and very good call with President Xi of China. Deal is moving along very well. If made, it will be very comprehensive, covering all subjects, areas and points of dispute. Big progress being made," Trump said on Twitter after this talk.
Xi, on his part, said both he and Trump made efforts to push stable progress of China-U.S. relations, and bilateral ties are now in a vital stage.
When talking about the reasons for Trump's phone call with Xi, Einar Tangen, a current affairs commentator, said: "I think Donald Trump is under a lot of pressure politically and economically at home and possible other areas of his personal life."
Since Xi and Trump agreed to a 90-day truce on the sidelines of the G20 summit meeting in Argentina on December 1, there has been some alleviation to the trade dispute, with both sides agreeing to suspend extra tariffs on each other. And it's confirmed that China and the U.S. trade representatives are planning to meet in January for talks. U.S. trade representative Robert E. Lighthizer, considered a China hawk, will not be leading the U.S. delegation in January. 
However, Tangen argues there's still uncertainty that remains between the two countries. There are structural issues and differences between the U.S. and China's political and economic system that will affect the trade dispute. 
"But if they can bring things to a point where they will not shoot at each other with these tariffs, that will be a great relief to the world economy which is now threatening to go into recession. This could be the only thing that could bring it back from the presence," he added.
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