Cooperation still drives China-US relations: diplomat

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In spite of many challenges and uncertainties in the current relationship between China and the United States, China still believes that a wide range of common interests will drive them out of track leading to confrontation, Chinese Consul General in Los Angeles Zhang Ping said Wednesday.

"Confrontation leads us to nowhere and it should not be the option. Thucydides Trap is not and should not be our destined future," Zhang spoke at opening ceremony of the 2019 China-California Business Forum.

"Cooperation is the only right option," Zhang told more than 500 entrepreneurs and officials from China and the U.S. state of California.

While China stands firm to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests in dealing with the current trade friction, it also remains committed to solving the disputes through negotiation and consultation based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits, he said.

The interwoven ties and intertwined interests between China and the United States determine that the two economics can not be decoupled or completely isolated from each other, Zhang said.

"Trade war inflicts harms to both sides," the diplomat stressed.

Zhang also noted that sub-national cooperation is one of the important foundations to support China-U.S. relations. China is California's largest trading partner and contributes the biggest amount of Chinese investment, tourists and students among all the states of the United States.

"To develop further China-California cooperation, we need to further strengthen the role of the existing intergovernmental mechanisms to provide a more effective platform for business communities to engage in cooperation," Zhang suggested.

"We need to explore more opportunities to unleash the potentials for cooperation in different areas where we have respective strength and advantages," he added.

The two countries also need to promote more dialogues and mutual learning between different cultures and civilizations by encouraging more people-to-people exchanges, the diplomat said.

"We believe that with our joint efforts and unwavering commitments, we will be able to find ways to overcome the current difficulties and bring China-U.S. relations back to a normal and healthy track," Zhang said.

The annual forum is a signature event within the framework of the China Provinces and U.S. California Joint Working Group on Trade and Investment Cooperation.

More than 70 companies from eight Chinese provincial regions participated in the forum, which features topics including clean energy, cross-border e-commerce, investment, manufacturing and innovation.

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