Commentary: China, US should make a larger cake of common interests
By Su Ge
The China-US ties have grown into the most important and complicated bilateral relationship in today’s world. Given the current complex international arena and rising challenges, it is more necessary and urgent for both nations to beef up collaboration.
Since Donald Trump took office as US President, both countries have maintained close contacts on issues of common concern.
In a phone conversation with Trump on February 10, Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed that China is ready to, together with the US, seek healthy, stable development of and fruitful outcomes from bilateral relations by intensifying communication and cooperation, in a bid to benefit the people of both countries and the whole world.
Stressing US government’s adherence to the one-China policy, Trump agreed that the US and China, as cooperation partners, could push bilateral ties to a historic new high with concerted efforts.
The interactions and reassurance of Chinese and US top leaders released a positive signal for progress of bilateral relationship.
The architecture of today’s world is going through the most complicated adjustment since the end of the Cold War. The rapid development of emerging economies and developing nations has endowed them with increasing global influence.
As a result of such power shift in world stage, the less confident and anxious Western countries have brought more uncertainties to international relations.
China, thanks to its growing national strength and all-dimensional diplomacy, has exhibited more confidence in the path, theory, system and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It also played an increasing weight in shaping its ties with the US.
The whereabouts of China-US ties not only has a bearing on the two countries, but the world at large. Their cooperation and common development will not only benefit their own peoples, but facilitate stability, peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and the whole globe.
It is objective to say that there are divergences between China and the US, but it has to be pointed out that they are now facing increasingly more common interest.
Both sides should launch dialogues, show their hand and make cooperation in a frank fashion, so that their ties could move ahead along a path without hidden obstacles.
There are indeed some grounds China and the US are competing and gaming, but neither of them wants conflicts and confrontation. Looking into the future, both sides need to, first of all, expand their interest and focus on collaboration.
Both as permanent members of the UN Security Council, the two countries shoulder significant and unique responsibilities for regional and world peace, security and prosperity.
When coming to the Asia-Pacific region, they should make constructive contribution to regional peace, stability and prosperity.
“The vast Pacific Ocean is big enough to accommodate both China and the US”. Both countries share extensive common interest, and their economic and trade ties serve as the “ballast stone” of the overall relationship.
China and the US need to make a larger cake of common interests and reinforce pragmatic cooperation in employment, investment and infrastructure.
With different national conditions, the two powers should also seek common grounds while shelving differences based on mutual respect.
A key precondition for sound and stable bilateral relationship is their respect to each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, chosen political system and development path as well as core interests and major concerns, while another foundation is that each country should never impose its own willingness or model onto the other side.
China, who has been pursuing peaceful development, will by no means pose threats to the US. It is hoped that the US could seek cooperation opportunities with China by viewing China’s changes in a right way, abandoning the zero-sum games and Cold War mindset and bracing for China’s progress and success with an inclusive attitude.
Wise people will seek common interests, while the unwise will focus only on differences.
In light of their difference in development stages, social systems, cultures and economic interest, there must be some misunderstanding and disagreements between China and the US. But it is more important for the two nations to bear a far-sighted and long-term vision in mind and never shake the foundation for a stable relationship because of individual incidents.
They should deal with disagreements and sensitive issues in a constructive and appropriate manner without damaging each other’s core interest. China and the US, in essence, can secure mutual benefit and win-win outcomes from their relations.
As Xi once said, “The facts prove that cooperation is the only correct choice for China and the US”, their cooperation will play an irreplaceable part in addressing all world challenges.
The principle China upholds in developing its ties with the US, namely non-confrontation, no conflict, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation, not only confirms to the fundamental interest of both countries, but keeps abreast with the epochal trend themed with peace, development and progress.
(The author is President of Beijing-based China Institute of International Studies)