More interactions needed
For many US citizens, China is still amysterious oriental country which sells a lot of cheap products to their country. In general, they hold little grudge against the country except for its low-quality exports flooding their supermarkets. At bottom, it is just the few China watchers, journalists, and politicians who see China as a grave threat to the US.
Quite interestingly, Chinese people, especially the younger generations, knows a lot about what is going on in theUS, not the other way around. It thus requires them to make more efficient self-introductions to theirUS peers. Grassroots or unofficial exchanges can be a feasible solution.
Before Xi concluded his maiden state visit to the US, both sides agreed to support the holding of the China-US YoungMaker Competition annually, as well as the collaboration between the thinktanks in Chinese and US universities, marking a promising start.
Teenagers, in particular, should pursue a knowledge-driven approach in a bid to acquire a comprehensive understanding of the other country. On the other hand, think tank scholars also need to keep an open mind to their foreign counterparts and engage in more in-depth, constructive discussions, regardless of their nationalities and which government they represent.
Likewise, the “state-province collaboration” between Chinese provinces and US states, is expected to become another newbreakthrough in the bilateral relationship, because it involves little ideological differences and focus on economic cooperation and common interests.
Zhao Kejin is an associate professor of international relations at Tsinghua University.