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Commentary: Shanghai Communique is forever cornerstone of Sino-U.S. relations

By Sun Ding (Xinhua)    17:51, February 28, 2015

BEIJING, Feb. 28 -- A historic joint communique released by China and the United States exactly 43 years ago constitutes a cornerstone of and remains forever critical to the China-U.S relationship, one of the most important, dynamic and promising links in today's world.

In the Shanghai Communique, a major achievement of then U.S. President Richard Nixon's ice-breaking visit to China, the U.S. side acknowledges that there is only one China and that Taiwan is a part of China.

This acknowledgement paved the way for the official establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States at the ambassadorial-level on Jan. 1, 1979.

In this epoch-making political document, the two sides also state that neither should seek hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region and each is opposed to efforts by any other country or group of countries to establish such hegemony.

Though times have changed significantly, the great significance of the document remains.

Firstly, one of the reasons why the region of Taiwan Straits has enjoyed relative tranquility lies in the fact that all the U.S. presidents since the publication of the communique have by and large committed themselves to the "one-China" principle.

To maintain stability in the region where it has huge stake, the United States is obliged to continue upholding the "one-China" principle and making clear and firm opposition to any attempts to separate Taiwan from China.

Secondly, history has proved that seeking hegemonism would result in nothing but confrontations and wars.

To learn from historical lessons and avoid clashes between big countries, neither the United States nor China should embark on hegemonic ventures as they stated in 1972. Instead, they should further nurture bilateral cooperation on an equal footing and out of mutual benefit.

Recently, Washington has launched a high-profile policy of "rebalancing to Asia" to boost its presence and engagement in the dynamic continent by shifting priorities and resources toward this other side of the Pacific Ocean.

If, as some pundits noted, Washington aims to reaffirm its dominant or even hegemonic role with this strategy, it is natural for people to worry about its negative impact on the Asian-Pacific region.

More than four decades ago, the leaders of China and the United States, the two ideologically-divergent countries, pushed for and made it in normalizing bilateral diplomatic ties, proving that with grand political foresight and the wisdom to put common interests above disagreements, no ideological divide is unsurpassable.

The world today is a much different place, in which China and the United States have already become economically interwoven and interdependent.

Leaders of both sides should continue to carry forward the spirit of the Shanghai Communique and jointly contribute to a new type of major-country relations that will benefit the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yuan Can,Bianji)

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