Reset China-US relations through dialogue, respect despite differences
It takes vision, courage and wisdom to restore normalcy to one of the world's most important bilateral relations which now stand at a key moment.
Just like any bilateral relationship between countries, it is natural for China and the United States to have some differences. The best solution for both sides is to take a rational, positive and constructive approach, focusing on cooperation and managing differences to promote the healthy and stable development of bilateral relations. By cooperating with each other, China and the United States can accomplish many great things that benefit both countries and the world at large.
Senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi on Saturday held a phone conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, during which both said bilateral relations are very important to the two countries and the world, and they are willing to develop stable and constructive bilateral relations.
Dialogues are necessary. But whether China-US relations could return on track hinges on whether the new US administration would respect the red lines in bilateral relations.
The development of China-US relations has brought great benefits to the people of the two countries and also promoted world peace and prosperity. However, the last four years have seen too much anti-China rhetoric and even hatred from certain US politicians.
People like Mike Pompeo, who used to be America's top diplomat, have failed to show any zeal in helping solve the world's real problems. On the contrary, he along with other political arsonists in Washington, staged one political farce after another on the world stage and dug as many holes as possible for future China-US relations.
As the new year has begun and a new US administration has been sworn in, it is imperative to steer China-US ties back to the right course. The United States should work with China to uphold the spirit of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, focus on cooperation and manage differences, so as to push forward the healthy and stable development of bilateral relations.
China's policy toward the United States has always maintained a high degree of stability and continuity.
The common interests of China and the United States far outweigh the differences. But it has to be noted that there are certain red lines in bilateral relations. The Taiwan question, the most important and sensitive core issue in China-US relations, bears on China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. As Blinken reiterated, the US side will continue to pursue the one-China policy and abide by the three China-US joint communiques, and this policy stance has not changed.
Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet-related affairs are also China's internal affairs and allow no interference by external forces. Any attempts to slander and smear China are doomed to fail.
Also, China is committed to the path of peaceful development and a win-win strategy of opening-up. It has stated repeatedly that it has no intention to challenge the post-war order or to replace the United States. What China keeps challenging is itself. It follows the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the realization of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. China's prosperity will only bring more opportunities to the world.
As two major countries, China and the United States share broad common interests and shoulder important responsibilities for world peace and development. They enjoyed successful cooperation in the past including anti-terrorism cooperation, tackling the global financial crisis in 2008, combating Ebola in 2014, and collaborating on the Paris Agreement in 2016.
Now they should seize fresh opportunities to cooperate in fields such as the battle against climate change, COVID-19 response and economic recovery.
Such cooperation can start from interaction as the two sides did on Saturday when the phone call was made. The growth of China-US relations is the result of decades of commitment and dedication by Chinese and Americans from all sectors. Strategic miscalculation and doubts can be drastically reduced when the two sides sit down and engage in a comprehensive, frank and in-depth dialogue to make their respective strategic intentions clear and rebuild mutual trust.
As William Shakespeare put it: "It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves." China and the United States can work together to improve their relations. There is no predestined fate for the world. The future of China-US relations and the future of the world depend on what vision they embrace and what choices they make today.