Cui Tiankai, China’'s Ambassador to the US. Photo: AFP
The US State Department has summoned Cui Tiankai, China's ambassador to the US. Photo: Chris Kleponis / AFP

The successful April summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump was a defining point in Sino-US relations and the two leaders have stayed in contact ever since, China’s ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai said in a speech on Thursday.

“The outcome of the Mar-a-Lago summit defines the future direction of the China-US relationship,” Cui said.

The ambassador made the comments at an annual awards dinner hosted by the Committee of 100, a national organization of prominent Chinese Americans, in Washington, DC.

Cui was upbeat about the results of the Mar-a-Lago summit going forward.

“Through their meeting, the two presidents made their connection at the highest level,” Cui said. “The two leaders got to know each other and developed an effective working relationship and personal friendship.

“They have kept in touch since then through phone calls and correspondence and will meet again in Germany at the G20 meeting in July.”

Cui said the successful completion of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on May 14-15 was another major diplomatic milestone with more than 130 countries attending the two-day meeting.

He said China’s blueprint to develop a multi-nation economic zone that connects China with Central Asia and Europe was critical to the future of globalization, and likened it to the success of the Xi-Trump summit.

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan for dinner at the start of their summit at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. April 6, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan for dinner. Photo: Reuters/Carlos Barria

He said the two diplomatic events were key because they promoted “connectivity” in a world threatened by “widespread poverty, digital gaps, environmental degradation, rising extremist ideologies and other global challenges.”

Using traditional Chinese medicine as a metaphor, Cui noted the ancient belief that the root cause of disease in the human body is when a precious substance called “chi” is disrupted and cannot move freely. “When chi moves freely, discomfort and illness will go away,” Cui said.

Cui said this was a metaphor for today and why the Xi-Trump summit and Belt and Road forum were sources of connectivity that could restore balance to a troubled world.

“To continue the progress of our civilization and to move forward together as a community, we must fix these problems … The chi lies in connectivity, just as blood vessels bring life to the body. If we want to bring prosperity to every corner of the world, we need connectivity,” Cui said. “Uncoordinated policies and unconnected infrastructures have kept us apart.”

“The Belt and Road initiative is just the right tool to connect peoples and cultures … to enable the unimpeded flow of capital, technology, information, products and personnel in the world,” Cui added.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and other leaders arrive for a family photo during the Belt and Road Forum at meeting's venue on Yanqi Lake just outside Beijing, China, May 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Chinese President Xi Jinping and other leaders arrive for a family photo during the Belt and Road Forum at Yanqi Lake just outside Beijing. Photo: Reuters/Damir Sagolj

“China is ready to work with all parties, including particularly the United States to translate these ideas into reality,” Cui said, alluding to the Belt and Road project.

Asked by Asia Times what Beijing thought of North Korea’s latest missile test, Cui would only say: “The Chinese government’s position has been very consistent on this matter. China favors six-nation talks and diplomacy that will promote peace and stability” on the Korean Peninsula.

The six countries he refers to are China, the US, Japan, South Korea, Russia and North Korea.

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