More Sino-US exchanges

Updated: 2012-09-06 07:54

(China Daily)

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Beijing and Washington both have an interest in maintaining peace in the Asia-Pacific and, toward that end, should work to cooperate, clear up misunderstandings and increase their mutual trust.

That is the message both governments have tried to put forward during US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Beijing this week.

Clinton's trip to China, her second in a year, has come at a difficult time. Territorial disputes among China and several of its neighbors in the East China Sea and the South China Sea are becoming more intense. The United States, though saying it will not take sides in these disputes, has shown de facto support for parties opposed to China.

The US' involvement in the disputes amid its strategic rebalancing in the region has given rise to suspicions about its real intentions and raised doubts about its commitment to strengthening its cooperation and building mutual trust with China.

Visits and timely communications have proved to be essential in allowing the two countries to better understand each other's stances and strategic intents and in helping them avoid miscalculations.

During her two-day trip, Clinton and Chinese leaders discussed issues of mutual concern and reaffirmed their countries' commitment to advancing the China-US cooperative partnership.

Admittedly, both governments have become more tactful in dealing with their differences and defusing potential problems that may dampen their prospects for cooperation. And true, China and the US have more agreements than differences on a wide variety of issues. But once a difference takes on gravity, it can threaten to overturn the boat.

Washington should understand that in matters concerning China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Beijing will not back off or compromise. The US should refrain from being an instigator of certain countries' attempts to encroach upon China's interests.

Given that China will see a transition of power in the near future, and the US could possibly too, the countries should be cautious about making decisions that could squander their work in promoting cooperation between themselves and their peoples.

(China Daily 09/06/2012 page8)