Cui: China poses no threat to US
Updated: 2014-06-13 11:22
By Chen Weihua in Washington (China Daily USA)
Ambassador says misconceptions hurt relationship
Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai dismissed concern that a rising China will pose a threat to the US.
Noting that a lack of understanding and misunderstanding between the two nations may prompt some to suspect China's strategic intention, Cui said China's grand strategy is open and transparent.
"It is to achieve the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and to build a strong, democratic, civilized and harmonious country," he said. "It is not to seek global dominance, let alone challenge or replace any other nation."
Cui's remarks were made on Wednesday evening at a reception at the US Congress to mark the 35th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the People's Republic of China and the US. Organized by the US-Asia Institute, and the US-China working groups of US Senate and House of Representatives, the event drew 150 guests, including many lawmakers, Congressional staff, think-tank pundits and business leaders.
Cui said that strategy used in the Cold War era cannot solve today's problems.
"Any attempt to establish confrontational military alliance will result in lose-lose outcome," he said, adding that a strategy of betting on both sides won't be helpful either.
China has been wary of the US attempt to strengthen its alliance and military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, in particular with Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam, which have maritime territorial disputes with China.
Cui said statesmen in China and the US started the journey to build a new type of relationship three and four decades ago, by promoting the common interests of the two nations while constructively dealing with their differences.
"History shows that they made the right choice and laid a solid foundation for the bilateral relationship," Cui said. "If they could understand the historic trend at the height of the Cold War, yet today's generation cannot see the reality of the 21st century and miss the historic opportunity, it will be truly regrettable."
Cui, a former vice-foreign minister, described as "remarkable" the progress made in the bilateral relationship in the more than 40 years since President Richard Nixon's first trip to China in 1972. He credited it to efforts by Chinese leaders and eight US presidents from both the Democratic and Republic parties.
While bilateral trade hit $500 billion in 2013, the relationship has expanded in every dimension. Exchanges between the two countries have increased dramatically, with close to 10,000 people traveling between them every day. And Chinese students in US colleges and universities numbered 230,000 a year ago, the largest group among international students.
Cui said that China and the US have maintained close cooperation on regional and global issues. Chinese military vessels are en route to participate for the first time in the Rim of Pacific naval exercise off Hawaii.
The two countries will also kick off the 6th session of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) in Beijing next month to discuss a wide range of cooperation and differences.
Cui said China's development and China-US cooperation have not only brought tangible benefits to the peoples of the two countries, but also contributed greatly to the peace and prosperity to the Asia-Pacific region and the world.
"Today, China-US relations have again entered a critical juncture. The Chinese government has made a decision for comprehensive and deepened reform. Meanwhile, President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama made a decision to make concerted efforts in building a new type of major country relationship.
"This isn't coincidence. It is because leaders of both nations have realized that the challenges in the 21st century are global and cannot be addressed by any one nation alone," Cui said.
He said that he believes China and the US, as the largest developing nation and the largest developed nation, share huge common interests and shoulder great common responsibility for the world.
"(They) could first set up a partnership based on mutual respect and win-win cooperation," Cui said.
China-US relations have suffered a setback in the last few months over issues of cyber security and the maritime territorial disputes in the South and East China seas.
Paul Haenle, director of the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center based in Beijing, said that despite the differences and tensions between China and the US, it's important for both leaders to put as much energy as possible into figuring out how to move forward on a positive agenda.
From second left: Norman Lau Kee, trustee and chairman emeritus of the US-Asia Institute, Cui Tiankai, Chinese ambassador to the US, and Kent Lucken, president and trustee of the US-Asia Institute, enjoy a violinist's performance at a reception on Wednesday in Washington to mark the 35th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and the US. The event was organized by the US-Asia Institute and the US-China working groups at the US Senate and House of Representatives. De Yongjian for China Daily
(China Daily USA 06/13/2014 page1)