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A forward thrust in Sino-US relations

(People's Daily Online)

14:02, June 08, 2013

Chinese President Xi Jinping (1st R) meets with U.S. President Barack Obama (1st L) at the Annenberg Retreat, California, the United States, June 7, 2013. Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart, Barack Obama, met Friday to exchange views on major issues of common concern. (Xinhua/Lan Hongguang)

Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Obama are meeting in California. This is a high-level Sino-US exchange initiative.

The two heads of state will have frank and in-depth exchanges on a series of major issues, with the core issue being the question of how to build new relationships among the major powers. It is expected that the results will represent a positive move in Sino-US relations.  

In building a new-model Sino-US relationship, we need to learn the lessons of history. A brief look at the history of international relations tells us that when great powers collide, conflict and confrontation are never likely to be far off. Two world wars in the 20th century engulfed mankind in horror. Today, any military conflict between great powers would bring devastation beyond that which either party could bear. We must not repeat the mistakes of history.

Looking back over the history of Sino-US relations, as early as 40 years ago we had already begun the exploration of a path that would take us beyond the confines of traditional great power relationships. Since first opening a door to diplomatic contact, U.S. and Chinese leaders have been unrelenting in their efforts to stabilize and move forward their bilateral relations. If China and the United States want to find an unprecedented and inspiring road to a new great-power relationship, both sides need to enhance mutual trust, manage differences, promote cooperation, and strengthen the peaceful pursuit of win-win solutions to replace confrontation and conflict.

To build a new-model Sino-US relationship we must start from a realistic perspective. Nations in today's world share a common destiny, and this means that all are increasingly interdependent. As the world's largest developing country and the world's largest developed country, China and the United States should respect historical trends, treat each other as sources of opportunity rather than of threats - treat each other as partners rather than rivals - and actively expand the common interests of both countries, for the benefit of both countries and for the rest of the world.

For both countries, stability and prosperity are inseparable and interdependence is higher than ever. Currently bilateral trade amounts to almost 500 billion US dollars, and each of the two countries is the second largest trading partner of the other. China has been the US's fastest-growing major export market for 10 consecutive years. Between the two countries there are more than 90 inter-governmental exchange mechanisms, encouraging coordination and cooperation on many international and regional issues.

Read the Chinese version: 引领中美关系向前迈进
Author: Zhong Sheng
Source:People's Daily

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