China, US 'should unleash' potential of cooperation

Updated: 2014-03-14 09:31

By Zhao Shengnan (China Daily)

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China, US 'should unleash' potential of cooperation

Press conference is held after the closing meeting of the second annual session of China's 12th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 13, 2014. [Photo by Feng Yongbin/]

China and the United States should respect each other's core interests and properly manage differences to further improve the bilateral relationship, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday.

Common interests far outweigh the countries' differences, Li told a news conference shortly after the conclusion of the annual legislative session.

He urged both sides to do more to further "unleash the potential" of bilateral cooperation.

Li's words came after Beijing's renewed commitment to deepen reform and opening-up during the session.

Observers said neither Beijing nor Washington would let the differences between them hinder their relations, and China's ongoing reform will boost the ties between the world's largest economies.

China and the US have differences or frictions over some issues, but "as long as the two sides respect each other's core interests and major concerns, properly manage their differences and engage in equal consultations, and in particular, continue to expand their common interests, the two countries will be able to further raise the level of their relationship," Li said.

Trade with the US, China's second-biggest trade partner, rose 7.5 percent year-on-year to $521 billion in 2013.

Robert Kuhn, a US expert on China studies and the chairman of the Kuhn Foundation, said the US and China are the great drivers of stability in the world.

"US-China relations give stability to the world, and should be very strong," Kuhn said, adding that the disagreements and problems between the two countries are so minuscule compared with the giant benefits.

Ma Zhengang, deputy president of the China Public Diplomacy Association and former Chinese ambassador to the United Kingdom, said Sino-US relations have been stable despite Washington's strategic "pivot" policy, which has contributed to the tension between China and some US allies over territorial disputes in the region.

Li said China will enhance common interests and narrow differences with neighboring countries.

"China has unwavering commitment to pursuing peaceful development and unshakable will in safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity, both for the sake of upholding stability and creating a favorable environment for its development," Li said.

Ma said some Asian countries hope to leverage Washington's Asian rebalance policy to challenge China's sovereignty but development remains the top priority for China's neighboring countries.

"China's neighbors can benefit from the country's growth, as the US does. I know many Americans view China's reform as an opportunity and would like to participate in it," he said.

Xinhua and Zhao Yanrong contributed to this story.