Few would disagree that China and the United States, the world’s top two economies, could greatly benefit both themselves and the world at large by steering the bilateral relationship to the right course.
On Saturday, senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi held a phone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, saying that the Chinese government implements a stable and consistent policy toward the United States, and urging the U.S. side to work with China to uphold the spirit of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, so as to push forward the healthy and stable development of bilateral relations.
In 1971, Dr. Henry Kissinger made his secret trip to China and began the great process of ending the estrangement and resuming the engagement between the two countries. Since then, China-U.S. relations have maintained steady development momentum as a whole and have become one of the most important relationships in the world.
However, over the past several years, some U.S. politicians have withdrawn into Cold-War thinking and adopted a completely wrong policy toward China. They have dragged the bilateral relationship down to its lowest ebb by smearing China’s anti-epidemic efforts, interfering in China’s internal affairs and sanctioning Chinese hi-tech companies. These actions have not just seriously harmed the interests of the two peoples, but also caused severe disruptions to the world.
History has proven that the shared interests between the two sides far outweigh the differences. In this highly connected and interdependent world, it is imperative for the world’s top two economies to step up cooperation, and more efforts are urgently needed for the United States to rebuild a strategic framework for the healthy and stable development of relations with China.
Priority should be given to enhancing mutual respect between the two sides. In the spirit of seeking common ground while reserving differences, it is hoped that China and the United States can respect each other’s social systems and development paths, take care of each other’s core interests and major concerns, and adhere to the international norms of non-interference in internal affairs. China hopes to have practical cooperation with the United States, but it will never make concessions on issues related to its sovereignty, security and development interests.
Candid and constructive dialogue is needed to better understand each side’s strategic intentions and rebuild mutual strategic trust. Instead of regarding China as a threat, the U.S. side should view China’s development with a positive and constructive attitude, realizing the fact that China adheres to the path of peaceful development and hopes to achieve common development with all countries in the world, including the United States. Only by abandoning ideological prejudice and zero-sum game thinking and adopting a rational policy toward China, can bilateral relations grow steadily.
In Kissinger’s book “On China,” the former U.S. secretary of state wrote, “what a culmination if, forty years later, the United States and China could merge their efforts not to shake the world, but to build it.”
Now China-U.S. relations are standing at a critical point, and it is time for the United States to follow this advice, work with China to enhance cooperation in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, restoring the global economy and tackling climate change, and foster bright prospects for the two peoples and the world at large.