Cui: Progress of bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship ‘re­mark­able’

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMER­ICA -

Cui, a former vice-for­eign min­is­ter, de­scribed as “re­mark­able’’ the progress made in the bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship in the more than 40 years since Pres­i­dent Richard Nixon’s first trip to China in 1972. He cred­ited it to ef­forts by Chi­nese lead­ers and eight US pres­i­dents from both the Demo­cratic and Repub­lic par­ties.

While bi­lat­eral trade hit $ 500 bil­lion in 2013, the re­la­tion­ship has ex­panded in ev­ery di­men­sion. Ex­changes be­tween the two coun­tries have in­creased dra­mat­i­cally, with close to 10,000 peo­ple trav­el­ing be­tween them ev­ery day. And Chi­nese stu­dents in US col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties num­bered 230,000 a year ago, the largest group among in­ter­na­tional stu­dents.

Cui said that China and the US have main­tained close co­op­er­a­tion on re­gional and global is­sues. Chi­nese mil­i­tary ves­sels are en route to par­tic­i­pate for the first time in the Rim of Pa­cific naval ex­er­cise off Hawaii.

The two coun­tries will also kick off the 6th ses­sion of the China-US Strate­gic and Eco­nomic Di­a­logue (S&ED) in Bei­jing next month to dis­cuss a wide range of co­op­er­a­tion and dif­fer­ences.

Cui said China’s devel­op­ment and China-US co­op­er­a­tion have not only brought tan­gi­ble ben­e­fits to the peo­ples of the two coun­tries, but also con­trib­uted greatly to the peace and pros­per­ity to the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion and the world.

“To­day, China-US re­la­tions have again en­tered a crit­i­cal junc­ture. The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has made a de­ci­sion for com­pre­hen­sive and deep­ened re­form. Mean­while, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Pres­i­dent Barack Obama made a de­ci­sion to make con­certed ef­forts in build­ing a new type of ma­jor coun­try re­la­tion­ship.

“This isn’t co­in­ci­dence. It is be­cause lead­ers of both na­tions have re­al­ized that the chal­lenges in the 21st cen­tury are global and can­not be ad­dressed by any one na­tion alone,” Cui said.

He said that he be­lieves China and the US, as the largest de­vel­op­ing na­tion and the largest de­vel­oped na­tion, share huge com­mon in­ter­ests and shoul­der great com­mon re­spon­si­bil­ity for the world.

“(They) could first set up a part­ner­ship based on mu­tual re­spect and win-win co­op­er­a­tion,” Cui said.

China-US re­la­tions have suf­fered a set­back in the last few months over is­sues of cy­ber se­cu­rity and the mar­itime ter­ri­to­rial dis­putes in the South and East China seas.

Paul Haenle, di­rec­tor of the Carnegie-Ts­inghua Cen­ter based in Bei­jing, said that de­spite the dif­fer­ences and ten­sions be­tween China and the US, it’s im­por­tant for both lead­ers to put as much energy as pos­si­ble into figuring out how to move for­ward on a pos­i­tive agenda.

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