More in­ter­ac­tions needed

China Daily (Canada) - - TORONTO -

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.

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