Cui hails China's new normal

Updated: 2016-04-04 11:18

By Hezi Jiang in Philadelphia(China Daily USA)

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Cui hails China's new normal

Ambassador browses in Philadelphia

China’s Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai (left) visits the grocery store of Ye Huimin (right) in the Chinatown of Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon after the first annual Penn Wharton China Summit at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Cui greeted local people and spoke to Chinese community leaders. “The Chinese consulates in the US is a home for overseas Chinese community, the doors are always open for you,” he said.

"China and the United States will always have disagreements, but at the same time, we will always cooperate and go forward on the bumpy road," Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai told young people on Sunday. "This will be the new normal of US-China relations."

Held by the Chinese undergraduate students at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the first annual Penn Wharton China Summit invited entrepreneurs, scholars, government officials and leaders from various fields to Philadelphia over the weekend to discuss "China's New Normal".

About 1,300 young people from four countries, 34 US states and 72 cities attended the conference.

In his speech, Cui addressed the future of the US-China relationship, a topic many Chinese students in the US care deeply about, he said.

"Our diplomatic efforts make sure we never enter the Thucydides Trap," said Cui, referring to the ancient Greek historian's theory that says when a country rises to power, there is inevitably a war with the existing power.

China has proposed a new type of major power relationship to avoid the trap. It's a relationship based on "No confrontation, respect and win-win cooperation", Cui said.

"The bottom line is no confrontation," said Cui, who quoted President Xi Jinping: "The goal of China is to fulfill the Chinese people's dream of a better life."

Cui said China didn't want to challenge any country's power, but at the same time it will hold on to its own rights.

Touching on the topic of the South China Sea, Cui said China is a strong supporter of freedom of navigation laws, but freedom of navigation grants no one the liberty of provocation.

"We don't have the intention. But, we can't allow others to keep taking our territory. Like President Xi said, 'We can't lose a foot of the land our ancestors left us'," he said.

Cui said China and the US are on the right track in managing and controlling differences to ensure that cooperation goes deeper and further.

Using examples of the rising number of Chinese and American students studying in each other's countries, Cui said the bond between the two countries is getting stronger.

"Maybe in the future, a Chinese ambassador to the US and a US ambassador in China will both be graduates of Wharton. Communication will be so much easier," said Cui.

"Sometimes, we have to look at issues from a different angle. A difference between our countries may be an opportunity for cooperation," he said.

"Taking cybersecurity as an example, what had been seen as a major crisis between our countries brought us together to form a high-level organization to combat the problem side by side.

"The road in front of us won't be easy, but it's clear that we have more common interests than differences," said Cui.

And when it comes to differences, the ambassador believes, China has to go forward bearing in mind its own culture and history.

"We use a fork to eat steak," he said, "but when it comes to noodles, we still prefer chopsticks."