Dialogue is good, great good

15:08, November 17, 2009      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

US President Barack Obama began a dialogue with students in Shanghai as soon as he set on Chinese soil. This is a good thing. Dialogue is good, for it can bring very great benefits.

When China is in a new era of rising or developing steadily, the US head of state comes to visit the country with a desire to get to know and learn from it, try to further strengthen bilateral ties, especially bilateral cooperation in the area of economic coordination and equitable growth, promote Sino-U.S. defense and regional security dialogue, step up mutual strategic trust and make joint efforts to alleviate some differences emerged in the course of bilateral cooperation, including problems existing in the realm of economic and trade balanced growth. All this should deserve affirmation.

Regular Sino-U.S. communication, the understanding of each other's interests and ideas accurately and consultations held according to the principle of meeting each other's needs and mutual understanding and mutual accommodation are, after all, conducive to the fundamental interests of both nations.

This most top-level visit and summit need to be institutionalized and be a regular form. At the same time, exchanges and dialogues between the two great nations at various levels, whether they are lateral or cross-cutting, should be done by government and private sectors simultaneously to form a cohesive force, so that the historical trend with a win-win result in bilateral cooperation would move forward smoothly.

While in Shanghai, President Barack Obama had an active, lively dialogue with the Shanghai municipal government and people as an indication of his attention to this east China economic and cultural center. As the nation's vital coastal city, Shanghai has contributed greatly to the normal growth of Sino-U.S. relations. Obama met face-to-face here with Chinese youth gathered in a town meeting hall, listen attentively to questions raised by them and netizens, setting forth a new model to advance the government's public relations and opening up a new page in the annals of Sino-U.S. exchanges.

President Obama reviewed longstanding Sino-US ties for more than two centuries, congratulated China on its feats in its reform and opening-up, raise high expectations on the future growth of bilateral ties and gave an affirmation to the role of youth in bilateral exchange. We appreciate what President Obama said while highlighting China's achievements. He told Chinese youth in Shanghai that U.S. neither took China for a "threat" nor sought to "contain" it. "One country's success does not come at the expense of another," noting that the U.S. and China are not "predestined adversaries" while the U.S. successful experience is not necessarily the experience other countries must learn from. The point of this rational thinking reflects and epitomizes his wisdom as the leader of the United States.

Obviously, there are still a lot of differences between China and the U.S. and students in Shanghai raised some crucial questions, which show their awareness of structural, strategic and other-type contradictions in the relations between China and the U.S. when Chinese youth of this generation is working vigorously in support for the development of bilateral relations. People are convinced that President Obama would have a still better and clearer understanding of intelligent Chinese youth and netizens through his engagement with them.

In building and developing Sino-U.S. ties, there is a need for an extensive exchange of views between the present and future leaders as well as people of the two nations in a more paralleled and cross-cut manner. We sincerely hope Obama would score a greater success during his visit in Beijing. And we all hope he would avail himself of chances to hear more opinions from the general public, so China and the United States would understand and respect each other and work together to safeguard world peace and stability.

By People's Daily Online and contributed by Shen Dingli, the executive dean of prestigious Fudan University's Institute of International Studies and director of the Center for American Studies

  • Do you have anything to say?
Special Coverage
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
Most Popular
Hot Forum Dicussion