Exchanges Foster Better Sino-US Ties – China Daily

BEIJING, China Apr 4 – Diplomacy and exchanges — official, semi-official and nongovernmental — at various levels have been blossoming between China and the United States in recent times, with more delegations of US officials, students and business leaders expected to arrive in China later this month.

Analysts said the current improvement in ties is hard-won, and Washington needs to further correct its perception of China and replace its coercion policy against China with win-win cooperation.

While meeting with representatives from the US business, strategic and academic communities in Beijing on March 27, President Xi Jinping said, “The history of China-US relations is one of friendly exchanges between the two peoples.”

On the same day, Vice-Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu talked by phone with Kurt Campbell, US deputy secretary of state, in which the two discussed bilateral ties and global and regional issues of common concern.

Meanwhile, media in the US cited unnamed officials as saying that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen plans to visit China this month.

London Breed, mayor of San Francisco, is also expected to travel to China later this month in what her office described as a “monumental opportunity” to bolster diplomatic and cultural relations with the country.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Monday that “China supports and encourages more mutual visits and exchanges between Chinese and American people from all sectors to expand common understanding and mutual trust, overcome distractions, deepen cooperation, and bring more tangible benefits to the two peoples”.

Over the past few months, government departments and working teams from both countries have kept up communications and made progress in a number of areas such as politics, diplomacy, the economy, trade and finance, law enforcement and anti-drug initiatives, climate change and cultural exchanges.

A number of US students have visited China lately as part of the five-year-long exchange plan proposed by Xi to invite 50,000 young people from the US to visit China.

Graham Allison, the founding dean of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, attended the group meeting with Xi at the Great Hall of the People last week in Beijing.

Interpreting the Chinese philosophy of “I am in you and you are in me” at another dialogue in Beijing, Allison used the phrase “my survival depends on your survival” as he called the two nations “inseparable conjoined twins”.

Allison coined the term Thucydides Trap to describe an apparent tendency toward war when an emerging power threatens to displace an existing great power.

However, he said he now believes that the trap is not inevitable because of more frequent contacts with and growing understanding of Chinese culture in recent years.

After the meeting with President Xi, Allison told reporters that the idea of building a new type of relations between major countries, as proposed by Xi, is a positive solution to avoid the Thucydides Trap, and it shows great leadership.

Su Xiaohui, deputy director of the Department of American Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, said the recent slew of interactions between China and the US reflect the fact that “the improving momentum of the ties is continuing”.

“Behind the China trip made by so many corporate executives from the US is their idea that the two countries have reached consensus on stabilizing ties and are embarking on cooperation in specific areas,” she said.

All these interactions “also illustrate the unpopularity of seeking economic decoupling and disrupting production and supply chains”, she added.

Ban Ki-moon, former United Nations secretary-general and chairman of the Boao Forum for Asia, recently expressed the hope that China-US ties could be kept afloat.

“When the relationship between the United States and China — the No 1 and No 2 countries in the world — is not so smooth at this time, I sincerely hope that the two leaders, whoever may be elected the next (US) president in November, will work very closely,” he told Chinese media in an interview.

Source: China Daily

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