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Washington needs to take concrete steps to promote China-U.S. ties

By Liu Chang (Xinhua)

14:41, September 04, 2012

BEIJING, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Though U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the Asia-Pacific is big enough to hold both China and the United States, Washington still need to take concrete actions to improve its ties with China.

For quite a while, the U.S. government has repeatedly made welcoming remarks on China's rise, but at the same time it has shown little respect for China's sovereign rights in the area.

The United States has promised a "neutral" stand in the disputes between Beijing and Tokyo over China's Diaoyu Islands, yet it constantly proclaims that the isles are covered by a security treaty Washington signed with Tokyo in 1951.

Moreover, Washington has been trying to work with a number of Southeast Asian nations to force China into a multinational solution to territorial rows in the South China Sea, despite China's strong and perennial opposition.

Additionally, even though the previous U.S. government vowed to gradually wind down and finally end its arms sales to Taiwan in a communique with China signed in 1982, U.S. presidents seemed to show no intention of honoring that particular commitment and continued to ship weapons to an area that is inalienable part of China.

Such examples could well go on and on, and they have already effectively downgraded Washington's international credibility and undermined mutual trust between the world's top two economies.

Actually, these outwardly self-contradictory policies are indeed a vivid and veritable reflection of the complicated calculations by U.S. decision makers.

On the one hand, they hope to tap into China's huge markets for profits and chase Beijing's foreign exchange reserves of more than 3 trillion U.S. dollars for cheap borrowing to sustain its own economic development. On the other hand, they fear that a rising China might ultimately challenge its leadership in the Asia-Pacific region and across the world.

The U.S. politicians, who preposterously fancy they could do gold-digging in China and rein in China's rise simultaneously, should remember the old saying that no one can have his cake and eat it too.

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