A new start­ing point

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT -

On Jan 1, 1979 China and the United States es­tab­lished for­mal diplo­matic ties. Thir­ty­five years later our two coun­tries have never been so in­ter­de­pen­dent. We are at a new his­tor­i­cal point and can steer bi­lat­eral ties to an even higher level for the ben­e­fit of the two peo­ples and the peo­ples of the world, said a Peo­ple’s Daily Over­seas Edi­tion opin­ion piece pub­lished on New Year’s Day.

In ret­ro­spect, the es­tab­lish­ment of for­mal diplo­matic ties be­tween our two coun­tries was an epoch-mak­ing event not just for China and the US, but also the world at large.

Re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries have had to weather many vi­cis­si­tudes over the years. But de­spite the twists and turns they have grown to be the most im­por­tant bi­lat­eral ties in the world.

The two coun­tries may not be able to solve all the is­sues the world is fac­ing to­day by work­ing to­gether, but al­most all the ma­jor is­sues in the world will re­main un­re­solved if they don’t pull to­gether.

Both coun­tries, and in­deed the world, have changed dra­mat­i­cally over the past 35 years. But what has not changed is the fact that the con­ver­gence of their in­ter­ests con­tin­ues to pro­pel re­la­tions. With this in mind the lead­ers of the two coun­tries have vowed to build a new type of re­la­tion­ship be­tween ma­jor pow­ers, one that side­steps the Thucy­dides trap, in which war be­tween an ex­ist­ing power and an emerg­ing power is in­evitable.

Ad­mit­tedly, both coun­tries have a long way to go to shore up the po­lit­i­cal wis­dom and cul­ti­vate the pa­tience nec­es­sary to en­sure smooth sail­ing for their re­la­tions over the next 35 years. But with bi­lat­eral trade poised to top $500 bil­lion in 2013, more than 200 times the vol­ume 35 years ago, it is clearly in both their in­ter­ests to do so.

The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has sig­naled it will push ahead with deep­en­ing re­forms to pro­mote fu­ture de­vel­op­ment, which will of­fer new op­por­tu­ni­ties to ad­vance bi­lat­eral ties. This in turn will usher in an in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­ment fa­vor­able to China’s re­form en­deav­ors.

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