Cooperation essential for future China-US relations

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 7, 2012
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China's attention to the U.S. presidential election shows how intertwined the two major countries have become.

No U.S. president can avoid relations with China in the next four years, as bilateral trade is likely to top 500 billion U.S. dollars this year and nearly 10,000 people travel between the two countries each day.

Generally speaking, China-U.S. relations have made steady progress over the past four years.

Through their common understanding on building a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit, the two countries have defined each other's role and their relationship in a clearer and more positive way.

Dialogues between the two countries are smoother and more effective. Chinese and U.S. heads of state have held 12 meetings over the past four years, and at least 90 dialogue mechanisms operate between the two governments, including 18 that have been established since 2008.

The two countries work together in many aspects besides trade, including science, energy, culture and international affairs.

However, disputes between the world's largest developed and developing countries are apparent and there is always a risk of confrontation.

China seeks to develop and engage with the international community in a peaceful way. It wants to build a new type of relationship -- one defined by mutual benefit and cooperation -- with major countries.

Whereas, there remains the antiquated attitude in which an emerging player is considered as a threat to established ones and should be suppressed. This mindset has led to much unrest and even world wars in the past, but has yet to be abandoned.

If the United States does not change its traditionally hegemonic ways of thinking, there will be more and more conflicts as China continues to develop and protect its own interests.

Moreover, China-U.S. relations are responsive to complications stemming from domestic political issues. Judging from how U.S. presidential candidates spoke about China in the lead up to Election Day and, in fact, how other politicians have spoken about China in a number of other campaigns, it appears that China has become an easy target and a scapegoat for those looking to avoid taking responsibility for domestic issues in the U.S.

It is essential for the two countries to think positively. They should endeavor to prevent domestic politics from harming bilateral ties as well as develop effective dispute management mechanisms.

Though they exist, differences should not dominate China-U.S. relations.

China has many urgent domestic problems that need tended to, such as improving people's livelihood and carrying out reforms in many sectors. It can not bear the costs of full confrontation with the outside world.

The U.S. needs China, as well, not just in terms of economic development but also in other sectors. The global financial crisis revealed how globalization has made countries so interdependent that no single country can survive in a bubble.

China and the U.S. have to work together for the sake of future world stability.

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