The appointment of Rex Tillerson as US Secretary of State makes it possible to hope that Washington’s relations with Moscow and Beijing will gradually improve, said experts interviewed by TASS who took part in the conference of the Valdai International Discussion Club held in Singapore.


Rex Tillerson


Zhao Huasheng, the Director of the Center for Russia and Central Asia Studies, noted that “the advent of a pragmatic person, a businessman, offers certain hope that the Russian-US relations will improve, considering his previous experience (as ExxonMobil CEO – TASS).” The professor noted that the recent appointment of Terry Branstad as the next US Ambassador to China “also inspires hope that it will be easier to work with partners.” According to the expert, Branstad “has good relations with China and is personally acquainted with Chinese President Xi Jinping.”


He added that Russia and China are “among the key states in Washington’s foreign policy.”


Meanwhile, Andrei Bystritski, Chairman of the Board at the Foundation for the Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club, described Tillerson as “a serious and serious-minded entrepreneur with extensive experience.” According to Bystritsky, “one could hope that the Russian-US relations will improve.” He noted that “there are grounds for optimism regarding the US-Chinese ties, even though there are fears that the future administration will pursue a tougher policy towards Beijing compared with its predecessors.”