Chinese President Xi Jinping, who celebrated his birthday on Friday. Photo: Xinhua
Chinese President Xi Jinping, who celebrated his birthday on Friday. Photo: Xinhua

World peace is often what people hope for as a birthday wish, and two of the most powerful men in the world have just celebrated their birthdays, one day apart. But whatever wishes they made on their special days remains a secret.

Friday was Chinese President Xi Jinping’s 65th birthday, officially making him a senior citizen in China. On Thursday United States President Donald Trump celebrated his 72nd birthday.

Trump sent his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Beijing to convey birthday greetings to Xi, who responded by saying xie xie, or thank you, adding that he hoped Washington wanted “a lasting and stable peace regime” in the region after the resolution of a “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.”

This week Trump met North Korea Kim Jong-un in an historic meeting which Trump described as a new chapter in international relations.

The following day Bloomberg ran a story headlined “China gets everything it wanted from Trump’s meeting with Kim,” which said Xi was the biggest winner in the Trump-Kim summit. The Wall Street Journal also ran a headline that said: “The unexpected winner from the Trump-Kim Summit: China.”

In recent years, Beijing has spent large amounts of money promoting lines like “China is the biggest winner (virtually in all global issues).” But now, the mainland Chinese media has said little, simply because Trump is unpredictable.

The only present Xi has received from the US so far was an agreement that has allowed ZTE Corp, a Chinese handset maker, to resume normal operations from this week. But this, too, is still being contested by lawmakers in the US.

President Xi told Pompeo that China and America have extensive common interests and shoulder important responsibilities in safeguarding world peace and stability and promoting global development and prosperity.

He stressed the importance of correctly viewing each other’s strategic intentions, respecting and taking care of each other’s core interests and major concerns and urged the two countries to strengthen high-level exchanges and institutional dialogue while expanding cooperation in various areas.

As for birthday wishes, some inspiration may be found in the horoscope as both men are Geminis. The latest prediction reads: “Early this morning, there is a good opportunity to understand better what it is you need to build more security and confidence into your life.

“However, those insights could easily be shaken. Perhaps after you get this understanding, you then struggle to act on them in a way that resonates with you.

“Don’t stress if that is the case. Mull things over in your mind if you need, and learn to make better choices or put boundaries in place that can support your best interests.”

Meanwhile, the rest of the world hopes the two men who have celebrated their birthdays become world peacemakers.

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