By Zhong Sheng
History is created by the people, and the China-US relationship is also jointly built by the Chinese and American peoples. The friendship between the two countries carries incalculable efforts made by the two peoples over the past decades, and will never be broken by the political manipulation of certain US politicians.
To develop China-US relations, the fundamental interests of the two peoples must be safeguarded. However, some US politicians, out of political prejudices and the pursuit for private interests, are fanning the so-called “China threat” and abusing “national security” to hinder the normal exchanges between China and the US and unilaterally make troubles and conflicts.
Especially after the COVID-19 outbreak, they made use of the panic and fear of the US public, misguided the latter with political virus, and even shut the window for communication between Chinese and Americans, just to cover their failure of pandemic response and domestic governance. It has damaged both the normal development of China-US relations and non-governmental exchanges.
There’s an old Chinese saying that a man cannot cure a fatal wound at all with the little advantage he’s got by cheating, and what he gains is far less than what he loses. We must see that the extreme anti-China forces of the US, deceiving the public and manipulating public opinions, run totally against the fundamental interests of the two peoples. Their attempts to escalate disputes between China and the US and divert public attention of the American people will not work.
Even at the time when the Chinese and Americans had very limited communication, the then US Ambassador to China Anson Burlingame appointed by former US President Abraham Lincoln was able to feel the harmony engraved in the Chinese culture, saying China came with no threat, but with a belief that “Don’t do unto others what you don’t want others do unto you”, a Confucian philosophy that has been passed on for over 2,300 years.
Today we are living in an era of globalization, in which more and more Americans have felt the Chinese vision for peaceful development. The US politicians who want to misguide the US public with lies might get temporary gains, but they will eventually lose.
At present, the US ranks the first in the world in terms of COVID-19 infections and deaths. According to statistics released by the country, its GDP shrank at an annual rate of 31.7 percent during the April-June quarter, the sharpest quarterly decline since 1940s. Over 14 million U.S. citizens applied for unemployment relief. By the end of July, about 12.1 percent of US adults reported that their households sometimes or often experienced food insufficiency in the previous week. Unquestionably, what the U.S. public really need now are practical measures to save lives, revive economy and recover employment. Just as Joseph Nye, a professor at Harvard University stressed, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, China and the US need to cooperate, rather than certain US politicians trying to influence the public and preaching a new type of Cold-War-like relation with China.
State-to-state relations are underpinned by people-to-people relations. They need support from the people and eventually serve the people. The Chinese and Americans are always friendly to each other, and have never ceased the steps to seek exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation. History has already proved that, the handshake which came across the vast Pacific Ocean between former U.S. President Richard Nixon and late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, the trans-Pacific cooperation, as well as all other China-US exchanges, all conformed to the aspiration of and benefited the Chinese and American peoples.
The US government refused to recognize the People’s Republic of China when the latter was just founded, which set China-US relations in long-term confrontation. Thanks to the efforts made by the leaders of the two countries, they employed “Ping-Pong Diplomacy” with remarkable political wisdom, and China-US relations embarked on a new path ever since. The annual personnel exchanges between the two countries surged from thousands of person-times to over 5 million person-times; the two countries’ bilateral trade grew over 250 times; and two-way investment expanded from almost zero to nearly $240 billion. China-US relations have become one of the most deeply interwoven relationships in the world with broadest cooperation areas and most extensive common interests.
No country is able to advance alone in the era of economic globalization. The sudden COVID-19 outbreak once again reminds the world that to cope with global challenges, China and the US are teammates rather than components.
Not long ago, 1.2 million masks arrived in Boston from China’s Shenzhen under the support of multiple parties. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said on social media that it was an example of how collaboration and partnership can lead to real solutions during these challenging times.
From the blood chits that witnessed China-US friendship in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, to the medical materials commuting between China and the US during COVID-19, and from the Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to the major earthquake happening in China’s Wenchuan in 2008, both history and facts prove that as long as the Chinese and American peoples support each other, they can overcome challenges and bring benefits to the two countries and the world.
To safeguard and stabilize China-US relations conforms to the aspiration of the people and the trend of times. The attempts of extreme anti-China forces in the US to deceive the public, abduct the fundamental interests of the two peoples, and hinder China-US relations will finally end up in vain.