All these issues need a constructive role from China for their smooth settlement. To what extent China can share such diplomatic and economic woes of the US will be taken as a touchstone of long-term Sino-US relationship.
Preoccupied with such concerns, the new US administration will possibly urge China to send troops and donate to Afghanistan, and play a crucial role in the Pakistani issue. However, asking for China's larger cooperation on these issues does not mean the US will stop criticizing the former on sensitive issues such as Sudan, Zimbabwe, and Myanmar.
The Tibet issue and the Taiwan question still remain intractable for the bilateral ties. The Democratic Party has long shown a particular interest in the Tibet issue. As early as in 1997, the then Clinton administration appointed the country's first special Tibet coordinator. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has also given consistent support to the Dalai Lama. Also, several of Obama's Asian affairs consultants have set up good private ties with the Dalai Lama clique.
These have sowed the seeds for renewed tension between the two countries. The Taiwan question has posed a decreasing risk to bilateral ties. However, Washington's unwavering arms sales to Taiwan and its support of a larger role for the island in international affairs still pose enough uncertainty to complicate the ties.
The new US administration will not soften its long-held tough stance toward China on human rights and ideological issues. With the mission of reestablishing the US hegemonic position and regaining its tainted international image, Obama will remain unwavering in safeguarding the US political system, its development model and values.
China and the US should make joint efforts to prevent potential problems from hijacking bilateral ties. Both sides should strengthen financial cooperation to remove the issues that hamper a smooth Sino-US economic and trade cooperation.
China should continue to take workable measures to stabilize its domestic financial market, maintain economic growth and promote the change of its economic development model. Also, it is of vital importance for the nation to strengthen constructive cooperation and coordination with the world's largest economy in order to rebuild the international financial system.
For the US' part, it should keep reason and patience on China's exchange rate and bilateral trade imbalance and be open-minded about its high-tech export to China.
Also, the two countries should continue strengthening cooperation for the sake of a stable global and regional situation. China will continue to be committed to its cooperation with the US on the Korean and Iran nuclear issues and on anti-terrorism strategies. It will play a constructive role in easing regional situations ranging from Afghanistan to Pakistan and Myanmar. The US should look upon China's relations with relevant nations in responsible and positive ways.
On the Tibet issue and the Taiwan question, the US should avoid intervention in China's internal affairs.
The author, Yuan Peng, is director of the Institute of American Studies with the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations
(China Daily January 21, 2009)