Commentary: Working together to steer China-U.S. relations forward

(Xinhua) 10:38, January 06, 2024

BEIJING, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- The year 2024 marks the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and the United States. It is time for both sides to take stock and use the experience gained to further the steady development of the most important bilateral relationship.

Over the past 45 years, the China-U.S. relationship has gone through ups and downs and moved forward on the whole. History has already proven and will continue to prove that mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation are the right way for China and the United States to get along.

The most fundamental reason why China and the United States were able to break the ice and establish diplomatic relations is that both sides adhered to the principle of mutual respect and seeking common ground while shelving differences.

Today, the two countries still differ in many aspects, but it does not hinder both sides from seeking common ground while respecting differences to develop bilateral relations. There is no necessity or possibility for both sides to change each other. Instead, they should respect each other's social system and development path, core interests and major concerns, and the right to development.

History has proven time and again that cooperation benefits both China and the United States, while confrontation hurts both. Bilateral trade surged from less than 2.5 billion U.S. dollars in 1979 to close to 760 billion dollars in 2022; two-way investment increased from almost zero to over 260 billion dollars; and 284 pairs of sister provinces, states and cities were set up. The two countries have also carried out cooperation on various international and regional hotspots and global issues.

Allowing competition or zero-sum game to define bilateral relations will only lead to high tension and ultimately damage the interests of the two countries and the world as a whole. China and the United States have had differences in the past and present, and there will continue to be differences in the future. The key is to manage them in a constructive way.

At the summit meeting in San Francisco, President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden reached over 20 deliverables in such areas as political affairs and foreign policy, trade and finance, people-to-people exchange, global governance, and military and security. They fostered a future-oriented San Francisco vision, which points the way forward for bilateral relations.

China and the United States, as the largest developing country and developed country respectively, should draw wisdom and strength from history and implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state to promote the stable, sound and sustainable development of China-U.S. relations.

(Web editor: Zhao Tong, Kou Jie)


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