Former Vice Premier of China Deng Xiaoping shakes hands with then U.S. President Jimmy Carter at the White House, Jan. 30, 1979. File photo
By Zhong Sheng
Out of the pursuit for private gains, some U.S. politicians are arbitrarily distorting and reinvent the development of China-U.S. relations in the past 40 years, pretending the U.S. as a party that’s been deceived. They maligned China’s normal exchanges with the U.S. as an attempt to undermine U.S. interests in hope of replacing the latter’s position, which is extremely ridiculous.
To look at history in a fair manner and have a correct view of the hard-won experiences and results of the China-U.S. ties will help generate a clearer picture of the two countries’ exchanges, avoid prejudices and misjudges, and guide China-U.S. relations to develop along the right track.
To pursue mutual respect and seek common ground while reserving differences is what should be done in international exchanges, which is perfectly explained by the extraordinary icebreaking of China-U.S. relations, from the “ping-pong diplomacy” to the handshake across the vast Pacific Ocean between former U.S. President Richard Nixon and late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai.
China and the U.S. differ in political systems, which is why the three China-U.S. joint communiqués stress that the two sides shall always adhere to mutual respect, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, and treat each other equally.
To have a correct understanding of the strategic intent, and respect and take care of each other’s core interests and major concerns is an important foundation for the healthy and stable development of China-U.S. relations.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once said that neither China nor America completely agrees with each other’s goals or believes they share completely same interests. However, the two sides were both trying to locate complementary interests, he said, adding that they should keep making such attempts for their people and the welfare of the world.
To jointly explore a way of co-existence among different systems and civilizations is an unavoidable issue for reaching long-term healthy and stable China-U.S. relations.
Cooperation is the only right thing to do for China and the U.S. Both sides should well grasp the direction for the development of China-U.S. relations in the spirit of being responsible for history and future generations. They should view bilateral relations from a long-term and strategic perspective and expand cooperation fields, so as to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.
China pays high attention to the China-U.S. relationship based on coordination, cooperation and stability, maintaining a highly stable and consistent policy toward the US. It is obvious to all that the frequent exchanges between the two sides in politics, economy, education, science and technology, culture, sports, tourism and law enforcement have made them a share community with integrated and interwoven interests. The two countries have carried out remarkable exchanges and cooperation in hotspot issues, global financial security, anti-terrorism, nonproliferation, climate change and peace keeping. Their cooperation not only brings huge benefits for their own people, but makes important contribution to the peace, stability and prosperity of the world.
International relations needs support of the people and finally serve the people. The Rose Garden bordering the West Wing of the White House witnessed a historic moment on Jan. 30, 1979, when then Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping shook hands with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
Over the past 40 years, numerous Chinese and Americans have been working hard to build a friendly bridge between the two countries. The two sides have established 50 pairs of sister states/provinces and 227 pairs of sister cities, and over 5.3 million people traveled between the two countries in 2017. There a huge number of “kind angels” from the two countries. Mutual respect and friendly cooperation are a mainstream voice between them, and China-U.S. cooperation enjoys prosperous development based on the profound friendship between the two peoples.
History mirrors the future. It’s natural for China and the U.S. to have disputes and contradictions, as they differ in social systems, histories and cultures and current national conditions. At present, some U.S. politicians, out of ideological prejudices, are doing everything to make China an opponent and even an enemy, trying to contain China’s development and obstruct the exchanges between China and the U.S., which has posed the most severe challenge for the relationship since they established diplomatic ties. Under such circumstances, the two countries should learn lessons from the history, understand the law of history and grasp the trend of history, so as to find a key to the problem and a right direction for the future.
History proves that the two sides will always find a solution through equal dialogues and friendly consultation as long as they adhere to equality and mutual respect. Reviewing the turbulences in China-U.S. relations, American observers once warned that it might be difficult to reach consensus, but to provoke confrontation would definitely lead to failure.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell once emphasized the need for mutual respect rather than threats, and of avoiding an escalation that would lead to a crisis. Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett believes that the core trend of China-U.S. relations in the next 50 years is to enhance interaction, and the best way to treat differences for the two sides is to build a bridge rather than setting blocks.
There’s no doubt that communication is the only thing that stops lies, and dialogues the only way to avoid misjudges. Slandering others doesn’t proves one’s innocence, and blame games won’t help solve problems. As long as China and the U.S. can put the problems on the table, and properly handle disputes through dialogues, there’s an opportunity to bring their relations back to the right track.
The future development of China-U.S. relations depends on the understanding and grasp of historical experiences, as well as today’s choice and action. To avoid strategic misjudges, the two sides must respect both history and the present, and conform to the common expectation of the two peoples and those from the rest of the world.
China is always open for dialogues. The U.S. should go with the general trend of history with consideration for the peaceful development of the world, meet China half way, and jointly charter the course for China-U.S. relations.
Former Vice Premier of China Deng Xiaoping and then U.S. President Jimmy Carter take a walk on the South Lawn at the White House, Jan. 30, 1979. File photo