Cooperation a shared aspiration of Chinese, American people

"China-US relations should not be a zero-sum game where one side out-competes or thrives at the expense of the other," said Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"China-US relations should not be a zero-sum game where one side out-competes or thrives at the expense of the other. The successes of China and the United States are opportunities, not challenges, for each other," said Chinese President Xi Jinping during his meeting with US President Joe Biden in Bali, Indonesia on November 14, 2022.

A year later, regular direct passenger flights between the two countries increased again starting from Thursday, reflecting growing mutually beneficial cooperation between the two sides.

Experts from the US business community agree that competition is by no means the mainstream of the China-US relationship as both Chinese and American people aspire to win-win cooperation.

Expectations for high-level dialogue

More than 200 US exhibitors from agricultural, semiconductors, medical devices, new energy vehicles, cosmetics, and other sectors attended the just-concluded China International Import Expo (CIIE), marking the largest US presence in the history of the annual event.

Voicing their expectations for the upcoming meeting between Xi and Biden in San Francisco, they hoped that the summit will provide more certainty for bilateral economic and trade relations and the recovery of the world economy.

Eric Zheng, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, said that he expects the leaders' meeting to promote the steady development of bilateral relations.

The zero-sum approach should be avoided when dealing with China-US relations, Zheng said, adding that peaceful coexistence is the only way to promote common prosperity and lays a foundation for the happiness of the two peoples.

Statistics from both sides show that bilateral trade reached a record high in 2022 with strong resilience, which fully demonstrates the fact that the economic structures of China and the United States are highly complementary and economic cooperation and trade exchanges are mutually beneficial.

"China is a very good customer. They know how the trade works. I think US companies like to do business with their Chinese counterparts," said Jim Sutter, CEO of the US Soybean Export Council.

In 2022, the trade volume of agricultural products between China and the United States exceeded 50 billion US dollars, and the export of agricultural products from the United States to China reached a record 42 billion dollars.

"China is a good market for US agricultural products. It's our top market. We think it can be even better. We see great growth potential here," said Jason Hafemeister, acting deputy undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs at the US Department of Agriculture.

Addressing a recent think tank forum in Beijing, US political scientist Joseph Nye said it is "misleading" to say that China and the United States are entering a new Cold War, as the two countries have great economic, social and ecological interdependence.

Energetic Chinese economy

China maintains that the common interests of the two countries far outweigh their differences, and the respective success of China and the United States is an opportunity, rather than a challenge, to each other, Xi said while meeting with the bipartisan delegation of the US Senate led by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on October 9.

At present, the global economy is facing an increase of destabilizing and unpredictable factors. In the face of a complex external environment, the Chinese economy has withstood pressure, injecting certainty into global development.

Signing deals worth 4 million dollars in the first few days of the CIIE, US trading company Anderson Northwest's business continues to expand in China.

China's market is stable, which provides a large room for cooperation, said Mike Anderson, president of Anderson Northwest. "Partnering with Chinese enterprises reduces potential risks we may face amid global uncertainties."

Anderson Northwest's story exemplifies how US businesses were seizing opportunities at the CIIE, in stark contrast to the clamor for so-called "decoupling" or "de-risking" from China made by some US politicians.

Heads of leading US companies have visited China intensively, demonstrating with concrete actions their confidence in China's business environment.

"It is really not wise to consider wholesale decoupling (with China), for which we will pay a very high economic price over time," said Craig Allen, president of the US-China Business Council, adding that enhanced China-US cooperation benefits people of both sides.

The current global industrial chain and supply chain are facing new changes and challenges, and it is necessary to find new ways to strengthen mutual trust, said Lyle Watters, vice president of Ford Motor Company.

Face-to-face communication can enhance mutual trust and help everyone find cooperation opportunities together, Watters said.

Build bridges between two peoples

The two economies are deeply integrated, and both face new tasks in development, Xi said during his meeting with Biden in Bali, adding that it is in our mutual interest to benefit from each other's development.

The world is big enough for the two countries to develop themselves and prosper together, said the Chinese leader.

Many enterprises that participated in the CIIE in Shanghai are going to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit in San Francisco. The two coastal cities are sister cities. In 2005, Gavin Newsom, then San Francisco's mayor, paid his first visit to China, marking the 25th anniversary of the sister-city relationship between the two cities.

In October, Xi met with Newsom, who is now governor of the US state of California, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

No other bilateral relationship is more important than the one between the United States and China, and the US-China relationship is vital to the future of the United States and bears on the well-being of its people, Newsom said, adding that California is willing to be China's long-term, stable and strong partner.

As China and the United States seek cooperation, bridges should be built between the two peoples, not walls, said Howard Schultz, co-founder of the Schultz Family Foundation and former chairman of Starbucks.

During a visit to the United States in 2015, Xi shared his stories of Liangjiahe with the audience at a grand dinner held in the city of Seattle.

Liangjiahe is a village in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, where Xi had lived and worked for about seven years as an "educated youth" starting in 1969.

The stories deeply impressed Schultz, who wrote a letter to Xi in 2020. In his letter, Schultz congratulated China on the near completion of the plan to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects, which was fully achieved in 2021, and expressed his respect for the Chinese people and Chinese culture.

In his reply, Xi said China's embarking upon the new journey to fully build a modern socialist country will provide broader space for enterprises from across the world, including Starbucks and other American companies, to develop in China.

Xi said he hopes that the coffee company will make active efforts to promote China-US economic and trade cooperation as well as the two countries' relations.

"Cooperation between the US and China will strengthen both countries and benefit the world," said Jeffrey Sachs, economics professor and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. "It is correct and indeed possible."

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