Relations between the world’s two superpowers, China and America, have been frosty in recent years. The ongoing trade war between the two nations that started with US President Donald Trump’s tenure has escalated into diplomatic tensions, a situation that has threatened to develop into a full-blown cold war.
But China is striving hard to ensure that the two maintain cordial relations for the sake of world peace and development. Leading these efforts on behalf of China’s President Xi Jinping is Wang Yi, the country’s Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China.
Yi notes that it is unfortunate that the spat between China and the US is happening at an inopportune moment when new coronavirus pandemic is still raging around the world, threatening the lives of people in all countries as the world economy falls into a deep recession.
“What is more alarming is that Sino-US relations, one of the most important bilateral relations in the world, are also facing the most serious challenge since the establishment of diplomatic relations,” laments Yi, adding that whether the giant ship of Sino-US relations, which has been sailing for more than 40 years, can continue to maintain the correct course is not only closely linked to the interests of the two peoples, but also related to the common future of the world and mankind.
But how can Sino-US relations be put out of chaos, get back on track, and truly achieve long-term, healthy and stable development? Yi offers some free advice based on three points.
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First, China and the US should not seek to transform each other, but should jointly explore ways of peaceful coexistence of different systems and civilisations.
The path taken by each country is based on its own cultural tradition and historical accumulation. The road of socialism with Chinese characteristics that China adheres to meets China's national conditions and is the choice of the Chinese people themselves. Practice has proven that this road not only freed 1.4 billion Chinese people from poverty and backwardness but also allowed the Chinese nation to once again make a major contribution to the cause of human progress.
In recent years, there has been an argument that the success of China's road will impact and threaten the West. This statement is neither true nor we agree. Because China bred in 5,000 years of civilization has never had the genes for aggression and expansion, we do not copy foreign models, nor export Chinese models, and never ask other countries to copy Chinese practices.
Second, China’s US policy has not changed, and the former is still willing to develop Sino-US relations in good faith and sincerity. China's policy toward the United States maintains a high degree of stability and continuity and is willing to build a Sino-US relationship based on coordination, cooperation, and stability without conflict or confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation with the U.S.
To achieve this goal, Yi says China and the U.S. should meet each other halfway, each need to respect international law and international rules, and need to conduct equal dialogue and consultation. The U.S. should not expect that on the one hand, the world is frantically chasing and intercepting China, spreading rumors and slandering China without a bottom line, and recklessly interfering in China’s internal affairs, while on the other hand, it requires China to give it understanding and support in bilateral and global affairs.
China, as an independent country, has the right to safeguard its own sovereignty, security and development interests, the right to defend the fruits of the Chinese people’s hard work, and the right to reject any bullying and injustice against China.
The third is the need to take a correct view of the historical experience of the development of Sino-U.S. relations and stick to the road of dialogue and cooperation. China and the U.S. were allies fighting side by side during World War II. In the 1970s, the two sides reopened the door to the establishment of diplomatic relations while respecting each other's different systems.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations 40 years ago, China and the U.S. have given full play to their complementary advantages and have formed a mutually integrated community of interests. China's success has benefited from its open cooperation with countries around the world.
From dealing with regional hotspot issues to counter-terrorism and non-proliferation, from responding to the international financial crisis to disease prevention and control, China-U.S. cooperation has accomplished many major events that benefit both parties and the world.
President Xi has repeatedly emphasized the need to improve Sino-U.S. relations. As long as both sides have the positive will to improve and develop their relations, they can push themselves out of the predicament and get back on track. Towards this end, China offers a few pertinent proposals.
One is to activate and open all channels of dialogue. The current US policy toward China is based on strategic misjudgments lacking factual basis, full of emotional catharsis and McCarthy's paranoia. The U.S.'s unprovoked suspicion of China has reached the point where every Chinese investment has a political purpose, every overseas student has a background of spying, and every cooperation initiative has its own purpose.
The various issues between China and the United States are intertwined and complicated. The two sides can sit down and work through the issues together to form three lists: The first is a list of cooperation, which lists what China and the U.S. need and can cooperate in bilateral and global affairs. The second is the dialogue list, which lists the issues that the two sides are expected to seek to solve through dialogue despite their differences, and incorporate them into the existing dialogue mechanism.
The third is the control list, which identifies a few difficult problems that are difficult to reach an agreement, puts them aside and manages them in the spirit of seeking common ground while reserving differences, so as to minimize the impact and damage to the relationship between the two countries.
The third is to focus on and launch anti-epidemic cooperation. Nothing is more precious than life, nothing is more urgent than saving people. In the current epidemic, cooperation comes first. China is always willing to share prevention and control information and anti-epidemic experience with the U.S., and conduct more extensive and in-depth exchanges in areas such as diagnosis and treatment plans, vaccine research and development, and even economic recovery.
There is an old Chinese saying that "the power of action leads to better knowledge, and the deepest knowledge leads to greater action". As a vital set of bilateral relations in the world, China-U.S. relations need to send more positive messages and release more positive energy.