Commentary: Xi's speech in Seattle charts course for China-U.S. relations

2015-09-25 08:06

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Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech on China-U.S. relations in Seattle has charted the course for relations between the two countries, as he pointed out that the key to promoting bilateral relations is to jointly build a new type of major-country relationship between China and the United States.

At a welcoming dinner hosted by local governments and friendly organizations in the United States, Xi emphasized the importance of China-U.S. ties and shared his view on the future of the relationship. On the one hand, the Chinese leader has demonstrated his frank and genuine attitude towards China-U.S. ties by facing up to such hot-button issues as cyber security and the South China Sea, which have strained bilateral ties for a while.

On the other hand, he shared his thoughts and wisdom on how to improve the China-U.S. relationship and ensure it stays on the right track. Xi said that the two nations need to better understand each other's "strategic intentions" and called for a "new model of major country relationship," one with win-win cooperation at its core as well as more understanding and less suspicion. Xi said that only by replacing confrontation and domination with win-win cooperation and a readiness to build partnerships can the two countries "jointly open up a new vista of common development and shared security," not only for China and the United States, but also for other countries in the world.

As part of his suggestions on building a new model of major-country relationship between China and the United States, Xi also proposed that the two countries unswervingly boost win-win cooperation and extensively foster friendship between the two peoples. "We want to see more understanding and trust, less estrangement and suspicion, in order to forestall misunderstanding and miscalculation," the president said. "There is no such thing as the so-called Thucydides' trap in the world.

But should major countries time and again make the mistake of strategic miscalculation, they might create such traps for themselves," he said. In the past few years, ties between China and the United States have experienced ups and downs, with the two nations holding different views on some world issues. To properly and effectively manage the differences between the two countries, the president proposed that the two sides respect each other, seek common ground while reserving differences, take a constructive approach to enhance understanding and expand consensus, and spare no efforts to turn differences into areas of cooperation.

It is a shared view that the China-U.S. relationship, one between the world's two largest economies, is the most important bilateral relationship as its influence extends beyond these two countries and to many major issues around the globe. "If China and the United States cooperate well, they can become a bedrock of global stability and a booster of world peace," he said. "Should they enter into conflict or confrontation, it would lead to disaster for both countries and the world at large."

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