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Kerry's visit fresh opportunity to hone U.S.-China cooperation

By Wu Xia (Xinhua)

10:40, April 14, 2013

BEIJING, April 13 (Xinhua) -- With John Kerry in Beijing for the first time as U.S. secretary of state, China and the United States now have a fresh opportunity to improve their cooperation, especially against the backdrop of recent tensions in Eastern Asia.

Besides getting to know new faces in the Chinese leadership headed by President Xi Jinping, Kerry was also expected to use his visit to acquire first-hand information for fine-tuning U.S. policy toward China during the second Obama administration.

Given China's spectacular economic growth and long-standing commitment to peace, Kerry can be assured of gaining the United States maximum advantage by seeking cooperation, instead of competition, with the world's second-largest economy.

Healthy collaboration with China will offer the United States, first and foremost, sizable economic interests and more jobs, a key benefit of successful diplomacy, as Kerry stressed in his first major speech since taking office.

The Vietnam War veteran also spoke about the ambiguous impact of Washington' excessive military ramp-up outside the U.S. borders. As Kerry noted in his confirmation hearing, the United States now has more military bases and forces in the Asia-Pacific than any other country in the world -- enough to put countries in the region on guard.

Worse still, the Korean Peninsula seems to be sliding into military conflict. While accusing Pyongyang of reckless provocation and intolerable disregard of international wishes, Washington itself has also been fanning the flames.

It keeps sending more fighters, bombers and missile-defense ships to the waters of East Asia and carrying out massive military drills with Asian allies in a dramatic display of preemptive power.

In addition, the U.S. "pivot to Asia" could breed mistrust, misunderstandings and misjudgments in the region that would eventually lead to wider unrest. As Kerry pointed out, "Every action has its reaction."

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