Building greater trust

Updated: 2013-07-12 07:25

(China Daily)

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The dialogue mechanisms between China and the United States came into being because of three basic truths. First, there are substantial differences as well as common grounds between them. Second, the two parties have to deal with each other, like it or not. And third, there is a shared belief that the cost of outright confrontation would be unaffordable.

With that in mind, the two countries have no choice but to try their best to narrow differences and strive to create and sustain a constructive atmosphere conducive to future consultations.

Finding ways to address the issues between them in a more harmonious way is an indispensable step if the two countries are to build a more stable and serious relationship.

The China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue has over the years helped pave the way for meaningful explorations in this regard. Since the two countries decided to hold their highest-level talks on strategic and economic issues on an annual basis in 2009, each year it has yielded positive outcomes in a wide range of fields, and there are high hopes that the outcomes from this year's S&ED will be equally impressive.

But as well as such tangible results, it is heartening to observe that officials from both countries have become increasingly keen on building up trust, which is the necessary foundation for the two countries to forge a more cooperative partnership.

With participants at this year's S&ED highlighting the importance of cooperation, both Beijing and Washington should make concrete efforts to consolidate the trust-building process, which would help lift their interaction to an even higher level, as well as anchor their security concerns in a more positive environment.

In recent years there has been growing mistrust between them in the security and strategic realms. In fact, both countries have been grappling with the difficulty of understanding the intentions of the other, and seeking to head off the dire consequences of any misjudgment.

But as their core interests become increasingly interwoven, neither country can afford to see the trust deficit keep growing. Beijing and Washington should face up to their differences squarely, and they should also look beyond their disputes and seek more common ground, so as to make sure bilateral interaction always advances in the right direction.

(China Daily USA 07/12/2013 page15)