Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivers a keynote speech at a dinner co-hosted by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the U.S.-China Business Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Council on Foreign Relations in New York, the United States, Sept. 24, 2019. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)
NEW YORK, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) — China and the United States need to stand high, look far and take the bilateral relationship forward with vision and conviction, said Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi here on Tuesday.
Over the past four decades, China-U.S. relations have weathered many twists and turns, Wang said in a keynote speech at a dinner co-hosted by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the U.S.-China Business Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Council on Foreign Relations.
Yet, the relationship has steadily moved forward with progress beyond even the boldest imagination, he added.
Noting that China-U.S. relations have once again come to a crossroads, the top diplomat said that China and the United States must turn to history to look for inspiration and guidance for their relations in the next 40 years.
Mutually beneficial cooperation is the only right option for China and the United States, and neither country has taken advantage of the other, said Wang, detailing the tremendous benefit for both countries from cooperation in the past 40 years.
Such cooperation, enhanced by comparative strengths, has helped drive the robust growth of the U.S. economy, substantially cut the cost of living for U.S. families and enabled American firms to take home huge profits, said the top diplomat.
Wang said that the trade frictions between China and the United States in the past year and more have inflicted losses on both countries.
Higher tariffs have raised the production costs of U.S. companies, pushed up U.S. consumer prices and dampened the growth potential of the U.S. economy, he said.
Businesses, farmers and consumers in the United States have acutely felt the mounting pressures, he added.
All these pointed to one simple and undeniable fact: Cooperation benefits both China and the United States and the rest of the world; friction will only create a lose-lose situation, and harm the whole world, Wang said.
Wang pointed out that opening-up and integration represent the right direction, and neither China nor the United States can move ahead without the other.
The two countries are now among the most important trade partners and investment destinations for each other, said Wang.
With industrial, supply and value chains deeply interconnected, China and the United States can be regarded as a community of shared interests, he said.
Given the size of the two economies and the level of their interdependence, so-called decoupling or shutting the door to each other is neither sensible nor realistic, Wang said.
Decoupling from the Chinese economy would be decoupling from opportunities, and from the future, he said.
While China opens itself up wider to the United States and the rest of the word, it also expects the United States to do the same to China and remove all unreasonable restrictions, Wang said.
The seasoned diplomat cautioned that conflict and confrontation will lead nowhere, and neither country can mold the other in its own image.
Since China and the United States differ from each other in history, culture, social systems, development paths and national conditions, it is inevitable for them to have disagreements and even frictions, said Wang.
What matters most is how to perceive them objectively and handle them properly, he said, adding that differences should not be a chasm that prevents people from engaging each other, but an impetus to mutual learning and shared progress.
The Chinese state councilor denounced the claim by some Americans that the decades-long U.S. engagement policy has failed in its original purpose of changing China and that it is time to revert to a containment policy.
“Such an idea of modeling others according to one’s own wish is wrong from the very starting point, and cannot possibly work,” he said.
Seventy years on, it is important for the United States to avoid picking another misguided fight with the wrong country, he said.
In terms of roles on the world stage, Wang called on shouldering responsibilities together in accordance with the trend of history, and said that neither of the two countries can replace the other.
In response to the so-called “shift of international power” hyped by some in the United States, Wang said that such a claim is a strategic misjudgment about China and reflects a lack of self-confidence.
In a world confronted with an increasing number of challenges, no country can do well in isolation or fix all the problems single-handedly, Wang said, noting that the sharing of international responsibilities is a natural trend.
In this process, each country, big countries in particular, can harness its comparative strength and play a role to the best of its ability, he said, adding that China is ready to fulfill its due share of responsibilities.
The top diplomat called for concerted efforts from both sides to manage differences on the basis of mutual respect, expand cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit and jointly advance ties based on coordination, cooperation and stability.