China’s en­voy: ‘Yes, we can!’

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By CAI CHUN­Y­ING in Wash­ing­ton charlenecai@chi­nadai­

Cui Tiankai, China’s am­bas­sador to the United States, told China ex­perts in Wash­ing­ton on Thurs­day that the ma­jor coun­try re­la­tion­ship pro­posed by Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama is a frame­work for co­op­er­a­tion that needs com­mit­ment from both sides.

The new re­la­tion­ship model is a win­ning way to avoid cri­sis and achieve co­op­er­a­tion, Cui told at­ten­dees of the 6th US-China Project on Cri­sis Avoid­ance & Co­op­er­a­tion, a fo­rum hosted by the United States In­sti­tute of Peace and its Chi­nese part­ners.

Cui said “cri­sis” in Chi­nese, weiji, con­sists of two char­ac­ters with wei mean­ing dan­gers and ji mean­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. “The key to avoid­ing cri­sis is to turn dan­gers into op­por­tu­ni­ties for co­op­er­a­tion,” he said, “and, the con­cept is par­tic­u­larly true for man­ag­ing the re­la­tions be­tween the US and China.”

“If mem­bers of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity have the vi­sion, wis­dom, de­ter­mi­na­tion and will to work to­gether, we’ll be able to seize the op­por­tu­ni­ties and make a bet­ter world for all, and if not, we’ll prob­a­bly be overwhelmed by the cri­sis and all of us may end up as losers,” he added.

Cui pointed out that the two lead­ers set the goal against this big pic­ture for China and the US to work to­gether to build a new model of ma­jor coun­try re­la­tion­ship.

Cui re­called the speech of then US Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton at the US In­sti­tute of Peace in March 2012 in com­mem­o­ra­tion of the 40th an­niver­sary of US Pres­i­dent Nixon’s visit to China. ‘“We are try­ing to find a new an­swer to the an­cient ques­tion of what hap­pens when an es­tab­lished power and a ris­ing power meet,’” Cui quoted her as say­ing.

To Cui, build­ing the new model of ma­jor coun­try re­la­tion­ship, which pres­i­dents Xi and Obama first pro­posed dur­ing their his­tor­i­cal meet­ing at the Sun­ny­lands es­tate in Cal­i­for­nia last June and which they later reaf­firmed in “sub­se­quent com­mu­ni­ca­tions,” is part of the “an­swer.”

“China-US re­la­tions are mov­ing for­ward in a steady way de­spite is­sues now and then, due to the guid­ance of this goal,” Cui told the au­di­ence whose mem­bers also in­cluded vis­it­ing ex­perts from the China In­sti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions in Bei­jing and Fu­dan Univer­sity in Shang­hai, both co-spon­sors of the fo­rum.

Cui pointed out that the new re­la­tion­ship model stresses mu­tual re­spect to­ward each other’s dif­fer­ences, and he said such re­spect is not a fa­vor given to one side by the other, that it is re­cip­ro­cal process and two-way street.

“Pos­i­tive ap­proach will have pos­i­tive re­sponse and neg­a­tive at­ti­tude prob­a­bly will get sim­i­lar re­ward, so you reap what you sew,” said Cui, who was in­tro­duced to the stage by Stephen Hadley, chair­man of the in­sti­tute and for­mer na­tional se­cu­rity ad­vi­sor to US Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush.

Cui said the new model ac­cen­tu­ates “con­struc­tive ap­proach to­wards our dif­fer­ences.” He calls the both sides to be “frank and di­rect” in dis­cussing dif­fer­ences and “con­struc­tive and prag­matic” in man­ag­ing them.

Defin­ing the new re­la­tion­ship model as “a frame­work for co­op­er­a­tion,” Cui said he be­lieves the on­go­ing co­op­er­a­tion in var­i­ous fields and at ev­ery level be­tween the two coun­tries, guided by the new model, will have “a clear sense of di­rec­tion and greater in­cen­tives” and there­fore “pro­duce even more tan­gi­ble re­sults for our two peo­ples.”

Cui, who served as China’s vicemin­is­ter of For­eign Af­fairs be­fore be­com­ing US en­voy last year, said the new re­la­tion­ship model will not only ben­e­fit the people of the two coun­tries, but the en­tire in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

“It is not G2. It is a re­sponse to the change that’s tak­ing place in the world, wit­ness­ing the rise of a good num­ber of other coun­tries. This new model will con­trib­ute to this process,” he added.

Cui said China re­mains fully com­mit­ted to the new re­la­tion­ship, and he hopes that the US “will be equally con­fi­dent.”

Cui con­cluded his re­marks with the om­nipo­tent slo­gan of Amer­i­can spirit:

“Yes, we can!”

In the ques­tion and an­swer pe­riod fol­low­ing his speech, when asked to give ad­vice to young people in both coun­tries who want to work in the field of US-China co­op­er­a­tion, Cui sug­gested they look at the other coun­try with an open mind and make a real ef­fort to gain a good un­der­stand­ing of its his­tory, cul­ture, and the people.

“This com­plex new model re­la­tion­ship is not ac­tu­ally that com­plex. It’s very sim­ple. It’s about the well-be­ing of our people, what our people want and what we have to do,” Cui said.

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Cui Tiankai (left), am­bas­sador of the People’s Repub­lic of China to the US, chats with Stephen Hadley, chair­man of the United States In­sti­tute of Peace and for­mer US na­tional se­cu­rity ad­vi­sor, dur­ing a Q and A ses­sion af­ter giv­ing a speech on ma­jor coun­try re­la­tion­ship at the in­sti­tute in Wash­ing­ton on Thurs­day.

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