BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said on Wednesday the trend toward China-U.S. cooperation is unstoppable.
Le made the remarks at a video dialogue on China-U.S. relations co-hosted by the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs and the Asia Society.
In the face of a pandemic never seen before and constantly emerging new threats and challenges, the world is looking to China and the United States to provide answers to these crises through close cooperation and active interaction, while the U.S. side is getting more and more obsessed with "strategic competition," "decoupling" and a "new cold war" with China, worsening the whole situation even further, Le said.
"China-U.S. relations cannot return to its past, but its achievements in the old days should not be dismissed," Le said, stressing that the relationship has delivered enormous, tangible benefits to both peoples and played a critical role in tackling global challenges and promoting peace and development in the Asia-Pacific and beyond.
Competition between the two countries should not be a "zero-sum game" and it is dangerous for the U.S. side to leverage so-called "proportional costs" to attack China, Le said.
"The real enemy of the United States is not China. It is the invisible virus and growing non-traditional security threats," said the vice foreign minister.
Saying decoupling benefits no one and globalization is the order of life in today's world, Le noted that during the pandemic, China has once again become the largest trading partner of the United States, and the U.S. businesses are still most interested in the huge market of China.
Neither China nor the United States can mold the other in one's own image, and China-U.S. relations should not be driven by ideologies, Le said, "No attempt to sever the close ties between the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people will ever succeed."
He reiterated that, China, all along following the principle of non-interference in others' internal affairs, has no intention to meddle with U.S. elections.
Forming an anti-China bloc is to divide the global village and runs completely counter to the trend of the times. China pursues friendship with all countries around the world and will not be isolated, Le said.
"It is impossible to exclude a market of 1.4 billion people," he added.
As a force for stability in a volatile world, China brings certainty to a rapidly-changing world and positive energy to global governance, its assistance and support to other countries serves no selfish interests and has no strings attached, Le said.
"China is by no means seeking geopolitical influence or predominance, rather," said the vice foreign minister, adding what China hopes to do is to provide more public goods to the international community in a time of crisis and step up to its responsibility as a major country.
Regarding the Hong Kong affairs, Le reiterated that China firmly opposes the groundless U.S. accusations and so-called sanctions against China for the legislation safeguarding national security in Hong Kong.
"Clearly, national security legislation is a way of exercising sovereignty and is a common international practice," he said.
Saying the legislation is designed to hold accountable a very small number of criminals who put national security in serious jeopardy, he noted that it does not affect Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy, the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents, or the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors in Hong Kong.
"I am fully confident that the national security law will only bring about a more stable, prosperous and attractive Hong Kong," Le stressed.
The two countries must manage differences through dialogue and cooperation, and seek to accommodate each other's core interests and concerns, he said, "Between China and the United States, two major countries with special global responsibilities, the more difficulties and tensions there are, the more imperative it is to talk to each other and build trust."
Noting that megaphone diplomacy does not solve problems, and may even turn a small issue into a crisis, Le said the existing communication and dialogue mechanisms should not be abandoned and new ways and channels of dialogue are also needed.
"We should cooperate wherever and whenever possible, and manage, to the best of our ability, differences that persist," Le said, adding there also need to be mechanisms in place for early warning, emergency response and consultations if problems occur to ensure the relationship does not derail or spin out of control.
Saying he is optimistic about the future of China-U.S. relations, Le stressed although the relationship is overcast by dark clouds, the sky will not fall, and the sun will eventually shine again. "Likewise, nothing can stop the general trend of China-U.S. cooperation forever."
China, he said, remaining committed to the principle of no-conflict and no-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, stands ready to work with the United States to advance bilateral ties based on coordination, cooperation and stability.
"I believe that the two peoples have the will and wisdom to find the way for the two major countries with different social systems and cultural backgrounds to live together on this planet in peace, and to cooperate with each other for win-win results," he said.