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Sunday, 9 June 2013

New China-US relationship can avoid past traps

President Xi Jinping of China and President Obama took a walk Saturday on the grounds of the Sunnylands estate in California. 

At the informal meeting between the heads of China and the US on Friday, Xi Jinping expressed China's confidence that the two nations can avoid repeating history of conflicts between two powers; while Barack Obama welcomed China's peaceful rise.

This may be the most exciting statement between an existing power and a rising power. As Chinese, we can feel that the Chinese leader was speaking from the nation's heart, though we do not know if Obama was just trying to assure his guest, or expressing the real feelings of Americans.

This is a reflection of long-term strategic distrust between the two countries. We often doubt whether the real intentions of the US are not as friendly as its leader has stated. On the other hand, the Americans may not really believe what China has declared.

Relations between China and the US are more complicated than ever. There are numerous cases of frictions between the two countries in various areas, which have heavily influenced public opinions on both sides.

China cares about individual issues as much as the US. But it baffles us when the US raises many issues, such as cyber security, to a height closely related to strategic relations between the two countries. Is it a hoax to threaten China, or is it because the US believes each of the issues is more important than anything else?

The US leadership style has changed as each opposing political party takes charge. It appears urgent for each president to solve a particular issue. They have to make sure the handling of the Sino-US relationship is practical and yields tangible results as soon as possible.

It's unfair to think that China does not want to solve concrete issues. But what the US has demanded is often impossible for China to comply with.

Some of the demands are too selfish, which may require China to compromise its national interests while the US refuses to concede an inch. Other issues, such as intellectual property rights, may simply be too complicated to immediately solve.

The new relationship between the two powers will be based on a restructuring of the two countries' strategic thoughts as well as approaches in particular issues. It is not going to be easy for either leader to avoid misinterpreting the other side's intentions.

The new ties will require greater tolerance of each other. China and the US must realize that even a husband and wife can not avoid quarrels and have to tolerate each other.

Although the Sino-US relationship will see ups and downs, we know it would be even more difficult to deal with a major setback, as that would be against this historic momentum - Global Times

Related post:
Xi-Obama summit aims to boost ties, aspirations between China and USA

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