Old friend who helped set the course for ties

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Front Page -

Ed­i­tor’snote: Ge­orge Her­bert Walker Bush, World War II US naval avi­a­tor, Texas oil pioneer, and the 41st US pres­i­dent, died on Fri­day. He was 94. The Peo­ple’s Daily’s WeChat ac­count Xi­akedao com­ments:

It is worth men­tion­ing that Ge­orge H. W. Bush served as di­rec­tor of the US li­ai­son of­fice in Bei­jing in 1974 be­fore the es­tab­lish­ment of di­plo­matic re­la­tions, and con­trib­uted to the thaw­ing of the China-US re­la­tions.

The Soviet Union col­lapsed dur­ing his pres­i­dency (1988-1992), dur­ing which the US also ex­tended its hand di­rectly to the Mid­dle East by ini­ti­at­ing the Gulf War. Al­though he failed to be re-elected — mainly for fail­ing to re­boot the US econ­omy — Bush helped to put an end to the Cold War and usher in the post-Cold War era.

True, the mil­i­tary ac­tions he started in the Mid­dle East and So­ma­lia seem­ingly came to noth­ing. But in fact, they be­gan a process of the US re­build­ing the world or­der, dur­ing which the US quickly es­tab­lished its dom­i­nancy in geopol­i­tics.

It is fair to say, Bush was a states­man of vi­sion, not only for be­ing a co-founder of the US dom­i­nancy in the post-Cold War era, but also his in­sight­ful ob­ser­va­tions on China, which were the key for the form­ing of the US’ China poli­cies in the 1980s and be­yond.

He knew that China was dif­fer­ent from the Soviet Union, and in­sisted Wash­ing­ton should co­op­er­ate with China, and give up ap­ply­ing its Moscow tac­tics when deal­ing with Bei­jing, which was an off­beat thought in con­trast with the then main­stream think­ing in Wash­ing­ton.

His­tory shows Bush was cor­rect, and his suc­ces­sors have largely in­her­ited the essence of his China poli­cies, which has been cru­cial for China-US ties to weather the changes in the times and the in­ter­na­tional sit­u­a­tion over the past decade, and still bears mean­ing to­day.

In the 1990s and early 21st cen­tury, both China and the US wit­nessed fast eco­nomic growth thanks to the win­win co­op­er­a­tion of the two sides, Bush’s in­flu­ence on the US’ China poli­cies should take some credit for that.

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