Foreign Minister Wang Yi answers questions on China’s foreign policy and foreign relations at a news conference for the fifth session of the 12th National People’s Congress in Beijing, capital of China, March 8, 2017.[Photo/Xinhua]
China and the United States should make concerted efforts to maintain the steady and healthy development of their relations in the face of new challenges, observers have said.
Speaking to reporters on March 8 during a news conference on the sidelines of China’s ongoing annual parliamentary session, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the China-US relationship is transitioning steadily and developing in a positive direction through intense communication and joint efforts of both sides.
“As long as we act on the consensus reached between our presidents, follow the principle of no conflicts and no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, there is no reason why China and the United States cannot become excellent partners,” he added.
Observers believe that achieving the smooth transition of bilateral ties and ensuring the healthy development of China-US relations are not only in the fundamental interests of both peoples, but also exerting a positive effect on the promotion of world peace, stability and development.
China-US relations are facing new challenges as populism in the West is picking up, the anti-globalization trend is surging, the international forces are taking on new faces, and the international order is restructuring. Inside the United States, anti-globalization and isolationism are also on the rise.
US President Donald Trump’s administration sticks to the “America First” principle, meaning putting the US interests in the first place and trying to use “Americanism” to replace globalism, Zuo Xiying, researcher at the National Development and Strategic Research Institute of Renmin University of China, told Xinhua.
Zuo believes that Trump would steer further away from the diplomatic heritage left by his predecessor, Barack Obama, and adjust the security strategy for the Asia-Pacific and probably for China as well, which could bring new challenges to bilateral ties.
On the economic front, Trump has advocated to impose 45 percent tariffs on Chinese products and promised to label China as “exchange rate manipulator.” In a recent interview with Reuters, he still called China a “grand champion” of currency manipulation.
Furthermore, Trump claimed in his first address to Congress on Feb 28 that the United States has “lost 60,000 factories” since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
Analysts thus voiced concern that Washington’s trade friction with China and other countries may significantly exacerbate.
Since establishing diplomatic ties in 1979, China and the United States have gone through its share of ups and downs, growing into one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world. What’s more, such an engagement has proved capable of navigating rough waters and keeping moving forward.
It is also noticeable that mutual interests, rather than conflicts, have always been the mainstream in China-US ties, with economic and trade cooperation serving as an important element.
The news conference on Mach 8, Wang said China and the United States have a growing set of common interests.
“So we should pool our efforts to enlarge our shared interests, rather than building one’s success at the expense of the other, because it is just not possible,” said the foreign minister.
Observers noted that to achieve win-win results, China and the United States should focus on cooperation, which requires the two sides to care about each other’s core interest.
The future of China-US ties is much relying on their mutual efforts made at both strategic and tactical levels, Liang Yabin, senior researcher of Pangoal Institution, told Xinhua.
As the world is now in a nuclear era and no one can get an absolute advantage, China and the United States should realize that maintaining a strategic balance is the only reasonable choice for them, he said, adding that therefore the two countries need to work together to enhance their cooperation and continue to boost globalization.
Meanwhile, the two countries have unprecedented opportunities to work together in dealing with non-conventional global security challenges, such as terrorism, climate change and cross-border crimes.
Tactically, China and the United States should build up institutionalized channels to consult their disagreements and remove any doubt the two sides have about each other, said Liang.
Dialogue is the best way to enhance mutual trust, which will also help facilitate smooth communication and clear up any misunderstanding, he noted.
“GROW TOGETHER, WORK TOGETHER”
The United States is currently the largest developed country, whereas China stands as the largest developing one, with the two being the top two economies of the world.
The two countries are both permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and key players which are influential in transforming the system and order on a global scale.
The new US government has also realized that the evolvement of its relations with China will have a direct impact on the global situation, especially that in the Asia-Pacific region.
During the State Department’s first press briefing on March 7 since Trump took office in January, acting spokesman Mark Toner said relations with China is vital for the United States and the US government is intent in pursuing a more constructive relationship with China.
“We’re going to look for areas that we can expand our cooperation,” he said. “I think we want to build on our relationship with China.”
In the eyes of Ruan Zongze, vice president of the China Institute of International Studies, the Beijing-Washington relationship is not a small boat, but a huge ship that will not become wrecked easily.
Since 1979, the two countries’ relations have sustained an overall upward development, notwithstanding some setbacks.
In the process of reform, opening-up and integration into the rest of the world, China has lifted hundreds of millions of its citizens out of poverty, and embarked on the modernization drive. Meanwhile, the American people have also benefited from the healthy development of the bilateral ties.
Both China and the United States have made great contributions to world peace and stability, making peace and development more outstanding themes of the times and win-win cooperation a historical tendency.
Jim Rogers, a renowned American investor and financial commentator, said that if China and the United States “go their separate ways,” it will be no good for the two countries and the whole world.
“China and the US are the two largest economies in the world. It would be wonderful if they continue to trade together in many ways,” he said. “They should both grow together, work together.”