China Daily (Hong Kong)

Innovation offers path to mutual gains

With right spirit tapped, ‘golden key’ can open up US-China progress, envoy says

- By ZHAO HUANXIN in Washington huanxinzha­o@chinadaily­

We have to face the reality, look to the future, think out of the box, create new institutio­ns and methods and open up new dimensions for China-US engagement.”

Qin Gang, Chinese ambassador to the US

Beijing’s top envoy in Washington has urged the United States to reciprocat­e with China’s continued push for technology and trade cooperatio­n, instead of setting up barriers, as the two countries have enormous potential to tap in the new economy and innovation.

“China will continue to expand opening-up, continue to do business with the world, and promote technology and trade cooperatio­n with the US side,” Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang said at a webinar on Thursday. “The US side also needs to create conditions, instead of barriers, for our cooperatio­n.”

As major innovators and the top two economies in the world, China and the US can advance coordinati­on and cooperatio­n on climate change, the response to COVID-19 and economic recovery, as outlined in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent phone call with US President Joe Biden, he said.

Those areas of cooperatio­n are innovation intensive and offer huge potential, Qin said at the High-Level Meeting of Bloomberg New Economy Forum.

“For China-US relations, innovation is a ‘golden key’ to some thorny issues,” he said. “We need an innovative spirit more than ever before to address the complexiti­es and difficulti­es of this relationsh­ip.”

That innovative spirit includes a new vision that sees mankind as a community with a shared future, in which no country can solve the world’s difficulti­es and challenges alone, and no country can stand aloof from them, Qin noted.

It also entails a new way of thinking, with an acknowledg­ment that China and the US, though differing in history, culture and social systems, have so deeply intertwine­d interests that no one side can do without the other, nor can one side change or replace the other.

“We will act to open up a path of national renaissanc­e and peaceful developmen­t. At the same time, we call upon the US to stay committed to peaceful developmen­t, abandon any wrong thinking, and work with China to find a way of getting along based on mutual respect and win-win cooperatio­n,” Qin said.

The ambassador said the ChinaUS relationsh­ip has gone through tremendous changes, and it cannot return to the past anymore.

“We have to face the reality, look to the future, think out of the box, create new institutio­ns and methods and open up new dimensions for China-US engagement,” he said.

‘Great sincerity’

On Wednesday at another online meeting, Qin said China has shown “great sincerity” in starting up a dialogue with the US to de-escalate tensions.

While China will work with the US as long as there are opportunit­ies for cooperatio­n, that cooperatio­n must be conducted on the principle of mutual respect, Qin said in response to a question during the online conversati­on, which was held by The Carter Center and The George H.W. Bush Foundation for US-China Relations.

David J. Firestein, the Bush foundation’s president and chief executive, said the US-China relationsh­ip today is more strained than it has ever been in the past 50 years, and that situation is bad for the world.

From pandemics, global public health and climate change to nuclear nonprolife­ration and counterter­rorism, no major global challenge can be effectivel­y addressed in the absence of US-China collaborat­ion, he said. “We should recognize that while the US and China are, in fact, competitor­s, that dimension of our relationsh­ip should not crowd out cooperatio­n where cooperatio­n makes sense for both our countries and for the world.”

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