As President Obama's China trip unfolds, the world is witnessing a good period in China-US relations. Instead of discussing topics upon which the two countries disagree, as many new US administrations have done, the Obama administration and China have worked toward developing a positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship in the past few months.
Although this is his first trip to China, President Obama has already met President Hu Jintao three times. Their talks focus on issues where the U.S. and China can find agreements. These issues include climate change, China's help in the global economic crisis, and security issues such as denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
In the past, bringing up foreign policy conflicts cultivated nervousness for both countries, just like China was a target in the presidential campaign. Unlike his predecessors, Obama successfully opened his relations with China through understanding China. This positive opening will foster habits of cooperation and will also help to relieve conflict when it happens.
Cooperation habits between China and the U.S. have been cultivated in the past few years on issues regarding counter terrorism, urgent security and non-traditional security (i.e. energy, climate change). The world has been experiencing an economic crisis since Obama took office. Economic challenges, together with challenges in other areas, should awaken the United States and other big powers and let them know cooperation is more important than competition.
China and the United States should celebrate this good opening of bilateral relations and work to foster more habits of cooperation in the future.