China calls for global perspective on Sino-US ties

Updated: 2011-10-24 06:48


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COLLEGE STATION, US - China and the United States should take a global view and strategic, long-term perspective when framing the bilateral relations, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Zhang Yesui said here on Sunday.

Making an opening speech to the 2011 China-US Relations Conference held at Texas A&M University, Zhang described China-US relations as "one of the most important and dynamic relationships in the world. "

The relationship has four distinctive features, said Zhang, noting that "the economic interests of the two countries have been closely interconnected. "

Last year, bilateral trade between the two countries reached $385 billion. The US continues to be the No 1 source of foreign direct investment for China and China has become the biggest foreign creditor for the US.

Meanwhile, dialogue and consultation at various levels have increased and improved, said Zhang, citing frequent high level visits and exchanges between the two countries and the establishment of over 60 dialogue and consultation mechanism covering a wide range of areas.

Other distinctive features of the China-US relations include the extensive and growing social interactions between the two and the two countries' continued and effective communication and cooperation on many important regional and global issues, according to Zhang.

"The fundamental reason and driving force lie in the expanding common interests between the two countries and shared responsibilities in ensuring sustainable development and dealing with emerging global challenges," Zhang said.

However, the Chinese ambassador said, the China-US relationship "is probably one of the most complex bilateral relationships in the world."

"China and the United States are different in political system, social value, historic and cultural traditions," Zhang said, noting that these differences can "lead to misunderstanding and mistrust in each other's strategic intentions."

As the two countries build their cooperative partnership, they should concentrate on four priorities, Zhang said.

Firstly, the two countries should view their relations from a new perspective, said Zhang.

"In the era of globalization and given the size and the degree of interconnectedness of the two countries, China and the US can be regarded as a community of interests," Zhang said. The China-US relationship is not and should not be a zero-sum relationship, he said.

"It is imperative to shift from the old habitual way of thinking and begin to frame China-US relations with a global view and from a strategic and long-term perspective. If we work together as partners, we would both emerge as winners."

Meanwhile, Zhang urged the two countries to work together to advance mutual economic interests. Economic and trade ties have always been the cornerstone and engine for the two countries' overall relations, he said.

Both countries are undertaking efforts to restructure their economies. The core of China's 12th Five-Year Plan is to transform the mode of economic development and the US is striving to jumpstart its economy through revitalizing its manufacturing, strengthening infrastructure and expanding export, said Zhang.

"This offers real opportunities not only for increased trade and investment activities, but also for expanding cooperation in such areas as clean energy, energy conservation, environmental protection, and infrastructure. "    

Zhang also called on both sides to continue to improve strategic mutual trust. "To a large extent, how deeply we trust each other determine whether we can cooperate, and how well we cooperate."

To build strategic trust and avoid miscalculations and misperceptions, the two sides need close dialogues and communications, Zhang said, adding that the two should take advantage of existing dialogue mechanisms such as the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, Strategic Security Dialogue and Asia- Pacific Affairs Consultation.

Zhang also urged proper handling of differences and disagreements between the two countries, such as the issue of Taiwan and the trade  imbalance between China and the US, among other issues.

"A stable and growing China-US relationship not only serves the fundamental interests of our two countries and two peoples, but also contributes to peace and development of the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large ," Zhang said when concluding his speech.

The 2011 China-US Relations Conference kicked off Sunday at Texas A&M University in east central Texas.

The conference, under the theme of "Institutionalizing Collaborative Research and Partnership", was the fifth in a series that began in 2003 and was attended by some 600 prominent governmental, businesses and academic leaders from China and the US.