Chinese ambassador says China, US 'still in the same boat'

Xinhua
Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai has said that China and the United States are "still in the same boat" despite multiple challenges.
Xinhua

Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai has said that China and the United States are "still in the same boat" despite multiple challenges.

Cui made the remarks on Wednesday at the 8th US-China Civil Dialogue hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a US think tank.

The theme of this year's dialogue is "Navigating Through the Uncertainties in US-China Relations."

Same boat

Saying that the two nations are still faced with "fierce wind and huge waves," Cui said that "I believe we are still in the same boat. We still live in this small global village, this planet of ours, unless someday we find a way to send people onto Mars."

"The common challenge is to navigate this boat through the uncertainties or uncharted waters, for the benefits of both our countries, and for the entire world," he said.

"Hopefully dialogues like what we have today will help the two governments to develop policies that are pragmatic, constructive, and beneficial for both countries," the Chinese envoy said.

"For those arguments that we are in different boats, should ride in different boats, or even have a head-on collision, they are not supported by facts. It does not serve the good of anyone," he said.

"Unfortunately, there are those who are trying to rock the boat. For instance, they are painting a distorted picture of our economic and trade relations. Some of them have even gone further by playing fire on issues of Taiwan and others that concern China's territorial integrity. These are very dangerous developments. We have to be very careful about it," Cui added.

Mutually beneficial

There are also those in the United States who believe that over the years in China-US economic and trade relations, Washington has got all losses while China got all gains, Cui said.

This is, once again, not in line with realities, he said. "Our economic and trade relations are interdependent and mutually beneficial."

"We should not focus so much on the trade deficit, because there are a lot of structural reasons behind this deficit. Moreover, trade deficit does not mean all losses to the country that has deficit. And surplus does not mean all gains to the country that has surplus," he explained.

Over the last 20 years, there are groups of people in both nations whose lives are not better off, he said.

"But this is not an issue of foreign trade, but rather an issue of domestic economic and social policy, including the distribution of wealth," he said. "How can we take care of these vulnerable groups? It will not help anybody to put the blame on other countries or on foreign trade."

Not for dominance

For those who said the two nations should not be in the same boat, because as China develops, it will try to challenge the US position and dominance in the world, Cui said this is a wrong interpretation.

Some are worried about what China is saying, such as China entering a new era of development, Cui said.

"There are many misunderstandings and misinterpretations about China's goals and intentions. What we mean by this new era is that China has entered a new stage of development, with the major challenge being to meet the people's ever-growing needs for a better life and address unbalanced and inadequate development."

"Of course, China will have to develop itself in an open environment. We cannot close our door," he said.

"But this new era is mainly for China's own development, not for global dominance," he added.


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