Cui: Progress of bilateral relationship ‘remarkable’
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.