Another essential step forward for Sino-US ties

14:48, November 18, 2009      

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The two heads of state had cordial handshakes again in Beijing on Nov. 17. During a joint press conference held with visiting US President Barack Obama in downtown Beijing at noon Tuesday, President Hu Jintao said both President Obama and he himself gave a positive appraisal of the progress in Sino-US relations since the new U.S. administration took office in January 2009.

President Hu also said at the press conference that they agreed to improve dialogue, communication and cooperation from a strategic and farsighted perspective and make joint efforts in building a positive, cooperative and comprehensive Sino-U.S. relationship for the 21st century, so as to promote global peace, stability and prosperity.

Since assuming its presidency, the Obama administration has opened up a good start in dealing with the issue of Sino-U.S. relations and achieved a smooth transition in its first year in office, and the political mutual trust between China and the United States has continuously strengthened. President Obama's current visit is one of the most important results, namely, the readiness of both sides to regard the Sino-US relations from a strategic height and long-term perspective, which will help upgrade the relationship to a higher level.

The Sino-U.S. Joint Statement issued on Nov. 17 gives gull expressions to this outcome. Whether it is to go on promoting Sino-U.S. strategic economic dialogue mechanism, or to enhance the level and frequency of contacts between the armies; whether it is to cope with global economic and financial situation, or to tackle a number of regional and global hot issues, the present Sino-U.S. relations somewhat differ with the bilateral ties of the past in term of their breath or depth.

This development trend of Sino-U.S. relations has enable both sides to stand higher and see farther when making decisions relating to bilateral ties. At the same time, only by standing higher and seeing farther, can a full understanding or awareness of the immediate practical importance and historical significance of the Sino-U.S. relations can be obtained and, on this basis, proceed to dispose of problems existing in their bilateral relations well.

To stand high, it is to have a global vision. The global setup in recent years is amid the evolution process of shifting to a multi-polar from a uni-polar and new challenges have been emerging in quick succession. Although issues dealt with in the current talks between the Chinese and American leaders belong to the category of bilateral issues, there are also global issues, and even some bilateral issues often get mixed up with global issues. Furthermore, the special international status of the two nations has determined that they have to beef up their coordination in relation to the vital issue of global stability and prosperity, which is conducive to the world peace, stability and prosperity.

In the course of global response to global financial crisis in the past year, the international community has seen clearly that Sino-U.S. cooperation has exceeded the scope of bilateral ties. Coordination between the two big nations within the framework of G20 has played a crucial role in global response to financial crisis. Meanwhile, a multilateral cooperation platform, while providing both China and the United States more cooperation opportunities and space, has also vested more responsibilities in Sino-U.S. cooperation.

To see farther ahead, it is to require a great outlook on history and to have eyes set on future. China's peaceful rise is, as a matter of fact, a big event of vital importance for humanity in the 21st century. The past history has proven that the rise of a big nation can hardly co-exist peacefully with a power that has led the way. So, to judge in line with an Western outlook on history, the rise of a major power could mean war or conflict.

Time has changed, however. Sino-US relations can be developed like it is today, with a vivid indication that common interests are far greater than differences. Provided the two sides respect and accommodate each other's cored interests and major concerns, they can stabilize and advance their bilateral ties steadily and smoothly through dialogue, communication and cooperation. This is a great practice test in view of the history of humanity with respect to different civilizations and relations between big nations with entirely different social systems.

Nevertheless, there could be still ups and downs and even more contradictions in Sino-U.S. relations, and so more modulations or break-in are needed. Therefore, the advancement of Sino-US ties calls for painstaking efforts of one or two generations and even several generations. What can be affirmed, however, is that China and the United States are fully able to create a brand-new model of mutual respect and mutual trust as long as both of them can stand higher and see farther.

By People's Daily Online and its author is PD desk editor Ding Gang
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