A former official in the Trump administration has said that China can weather the storm brought by the trade war with the United States but might have to “keep steady, keep their heads down and wait” for change in the White House.
Susan Thornton, former acting assistant secretary of state to US President Donald Trump, told a gathering in Shanghai on Wednesday that she hoped a trade deal between the US and China could be concluded by next month.
But the reality was that it would “take a while” for China and the US to talk about cooperation again, Thornton, who in 20 years rose to become the US State Department’s chief negotiator for East Asia and Pacific affairs, told the South China Morning Post.
“I want to be optimistic,” said Thornton, whose 27-year career in Washington ended in July. “I tell all our foreign counterparts they should keep steady, keep their heads down and wait. [They should] try to not let anything change dramatically.”
“If this sceptical attitude towards talking diplomacy continues in this administration, you might have to wait till another administration,” Thornton said at an event held by National Committee of US-China relations and Shanghai’s American Chamber.