Cooperation is the only correct choice for China and the US

cropped-puzzle-pieces-91kbThe first question raised by a US reporter at a press conference following the annual session of China’s national legislature was about the possibility of high-level talks between China and the US and China’s confidence in bilateral ties.

This, along with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s China visit in mid-March, has the world anticipating a possible face-to-face meeting between both heads of state.

During a recent phone conversation with US president Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to work together to push China-US relations to greater heights from a new starting point.

Both Trump and senior officials from the new US administration have made a clear-cut promise to continuously adhere to the one-China policy, which forms the political foundation of China-US relations. With this right political foundation in place, China believes there are bright prospects for bilateral cooperation.

However, some short-sighted people in the international arena are focusing on sticking points between China and the US, such as jobs, exchange rates, regional security and other temporary challenges, yet are turning a blind eye to their common achievements.

A choice between confrontation and cooperation is not a difficult one since the latter can only expand the common interests of China and the US

Data shows that in 2016, trade and mutual investment between the two countries created up to 1 million jobs in the US.

When commenting on China-US economic ties on the sidelines of the two sessions, a NPC(National People’s Congress)deputy from a foreign trade company told Chinese Premier Li Keqiang that although China runs a surplus in trade with the US, for his company, over 90% of the profits goes to US firms, and the profit margin of his business is a mere 2 to 3 percent.

Vague statements from the US in recent years have triggered concerns of a possible trade war. However, foreign-funded companies, particularly US firms, would only bear the brunt of such a move.

China considers negotiations and dialogues the right approaches to any differences.

“For those differences that cannot be resolved, for the time being, they can be shelved and we may continue to focus on expanding common interests, which I believe is a wise choice.” Li Keqiang added that “as we do so, the differences will account for a lesser and lesser proportion in overall China-US relations.”

Furthermore, despite the uncertainties that lay ahead for China-US relations, history has, to some extent, points in a positive direction for the world’s top two economies.

Statistics show that the China-US trade totaled at $659.3 billion in 2015, while Chinese companies invested a record high of $45.6 billion in the US last year.

In addition, about 14,000 people traveled between China and the US each day, with flights every 17 minutes. China and the US share more than 40 pairs of sister provinces and states and more than 200 sister cities.

More than 100 bilateral mechanisms have been set up to coordinate policies and pragmatic cooperation.

“Facts have proven that cooperation is the only correct choice for China and the US. At present, China-US cooperation enjoys important opportunities and tremendous potential,” Xi said when he held telephone talks with Trump soon after he was elected.

During the 8th round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogues and the 7th Round of China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange hosted by Beijing last year, both sides carried out candid and in-depth communication on major agendas which included bilateral, regional and global issues, reaching 278 cooperation outcomes. Undoubtedly, these outcomes were reached because both countries share converging interests and a willingness to cooperate.

The whole world is now guessing whether the US will maintain such momentum with China in the Trump era, and how it will define their relationship.

China’s position may provide an answer. “There is no such thing as the so-called Thucydides trap in the world. But should major countries time and again make the mistakes of strategic miscalculation, they might create such traps for themselves,” a number of Chinese officials have told media.

History has proven that the US will benefit from a prosperous China, and vice versa. Both countries are now witnessing unprecedented integrated interests and interdependence.

Closer China-US cooperation will be a keystone of global stability and propeller of world peace, while an inharmonious relationship could mean disaster for both sides and the world.

“Keep in mind that if China and America are in conflict, then the whole world will be divided,” former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger warned recently.

There are many things in which China and the US can and should cooperate. Both sides will be encouraged to further cooperate with each future success.

Currently, China is striving for its “two centenary goals” and the “Chinese Dream” to rejuvenate the whole nation. In the meantime, Americans are seeking to create more jobs and improve infrastructure.

Sharing so many interests in their development strategies, both nations can realize their plans through practical cooperation.

As the biggest developing country and the biggest developed country respectively, China and the US are duty bound to cooperate on Asia-Pacific affairs and global agendas. The top two economies shoulder an obligation to boost regional growth and address the urgent and long-term challenges facing mankind.

Thanks to unremitting efforts and strategic communication between successive leaders, China and the US have been bolstering their cooperation and dealing with divergences in a constructive manner.

Their important experience is that both countries should cope with all the bumps and challenges they encounter through cooperation rather than conflict or confrontation, respect each other’s core concerns and never threaten each other’s core interests.

Both nations should join efforts to abandon the “zero-sum” games and Cold War mentality and pursue a win-win outcome.

The Pacific Ocean should be a stage for inclusive cooperation, not an arena for competition. China and the US should follow the principle of no conflict or confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation. Only cooperation can maximize their common interests.

Obviously, cooperation between Chinese and US leaders across the Pacific Ocean is an encouraging signal for the both nations, the region and the globe at large. It is widely expected that their wise choices will open up new horizons and build a more robust and mature China-US relationship, and then put the minds of the peoples of both countries and the whole world at ease.

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