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China and US should rebuild consensus: Fu Ying (2)

(People's Daily Online)    10:11, May 11, 2016

Fu Ying (L) answers questions from Stanford University professor Thomas Fingar and audiences on May 10, 2016. (People's Daily Online/Gong Xin)

The Chinese academic world is relatively more positive about the relationship. 

China opened its door to the world at the same pace it opened up to the US, and its policy objective for relationship with the US is in line with that of its general foreign policy, which is to constantly improve its international environment and raise the living standards of its population. It involves no desire to export values or seek world power. China has achieved its purposes and we believe the US has also gained tremendously from its relationship with China. 

Secondly, the Chinese economy is undergoing difficult restructuring. China-US economic relationship has come to a higher level, and Chinese businesses have become interested in entering the US market. But they are often constrained by the lack of political confidence. China is going to host the G20 summit this September, which is hoped to open new opportunities for the two countries to work for balanced global growth.

Thirdly, the Chinese academics tend to look at changes in China-US relations from the perspective of international order. Many see the status of the relationship no longer as a weaker vis-a-vis the stronger. Nevertheless, they do not see the relationship as between two strong powers either. 

In the past 30 years, we had friendly moments, but never very close; we had problems, but the tie was strong enough to avoid derailing. Now we at a high level and if work together we are capable of making a difference in the world, but if we fight, we will bring disaster onto the world.

What's the challenge facing China?

The challenge for China is probably two-fold: one is how to work with the US within the existing order framework and not fall into the traditional trap of power collision, or the Thucydides Trap, and the other is how to adapt to and participate in the adjustment in the international order.

But the message from the US is confusing, reflected in its reluctance to acknowledge China’s effort to help improve the existing order by providing new public goods like the AIIB and the Belt and Road Initiative. Such remarks like: China should not be allowed to make the 21st century rules are inevitably affecting the assessment by people in China of their external environment, their future role and the relationship. 

So the question is: would the US policy towards China give way to anxiety and orient towards forestalling imminent conflict? And would it lead to reckless urge to throw down the gauntlet, and stimulate spiraling tense atmosphere? 

Recent tension in the South China Sea is a good reflection of the risks involved. The concern is that the US’s open involvement in the disputes and its imagined contention with China may sow the seeds of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Reading what is said on the US media about the South China Sea, one has the impression that the discourse is far from having solid factual ground and basic understanding of the Chinese perspective. Take for example: it is China who is trying to make new claims and coerce the neighbors. The shortage of information about the Chinese view is also to blame. 


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

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