Op-Ed Contributors

Building trust necessary in the Sino-US relationship

Updated: 2011-05-18 15:34

By Zhou Qi (chinadaily.com.cn)

Twitter Facebook Myspace Yahoo! Linkedin Mixx

Building trust necessary in the Sino-US relationship
Zhou Qi, an expert on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Both China and the United States say the third round of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue that took place earlier this month in Washington was a great success.

The two countries’ relationship had faltered after a series of incidents in East Asia.

China suspected the US’ interest in Asia as an attempt to stop and resist China’s development in Asia, while the US suspected the “unprecedented assertiveness” showed by China as a demonstration of its military and economic power.

But President Hu Jintao’s participation in the nuclear security summit, his subsequent involvement in the second round of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue and his visit to the US earlier this year have strengthened the Sino-US bond.

Both countries have started to place an importance on their relationship. They have realized a great mutual interest between them and that cooperation is needed when regional and global issues occur. They have also realized that no matter what conflicts happen between them, they need to sit down and communicate with each other.

There developing trust was an important part of the third round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

The talks covered a broad range of subjects. Officials from both countries discussed the economic cooperation on a broader scale and for the long term, and accomplished a number of mutually beneficial achievements.

The gathering drew much public attention, as this was the first year for military representatives from both nations to attend the dialogue. They discussed cooperation in fields such as nuclear, space, network and maritime security. This is undoubtedly meaningful in terms of avoiding risks and increasing trust between the two countries’ armies. At the end of the two-day talks, China and the US made an agreement that military officials will meet regularly. All of these achievements have shown the desire of communication from both militaries.

Most notably, yuan exchange rates were not regarded as the most important issue. From the US’ point of view, this is the most controversial matter between China and the US. However, since the topic was not put on the agenda, it indicates the disagreement on this matter has become minute. Although China and the US have different opinions toward the speedpace of the yuan’s appreciation, China’s efforts on solving the imbalance have been recognized by the US.

For China, a very encouraging achievement is that following China’s repeated requests for the US to ease its high-tech exports to China, the US committed to give China fair treatment and relax the high-tech export rules to China. The US also agreed to discuss through the Sino-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade how to speed up the process for the US to recognize China’s market economy status. These requests have been rejected by the US many times, but if the US starts to take action, it shows the US would like to remove policies that restrain China.

Another important decision made by China and the US is that they would like to open the lines of communication in the Asia-Pacific region. It is necessary to foster dialogue after an eventful year during which frictions stagnated bilateral ties several times. It will certainly help the countries build up tolerance between each other and enhance competition - a win-win situation. It also shows the expectation to maintain peace and stability, as well as promoting prosperity in the region.

The author is an expert on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.


The song dynasty

There are MORE THAN 300 types of Chinese operas but two POPULAR varieties are major standouts

Sino-US Dialogue

China and the US hold the third round of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue from May 9-10 in Washington.

Building communities

American architect John Portman and his company have developed more than 30 projects across China.

Refreshingly beautiful
V-Day parade
Revolutionary marriage