Chi­nese and Amer­i­can schol­ars gather in Shang­hai to dis­cuss China-US ties

Global Times – Metro Shanghai - - CITY PANORAMA -

Dou­glas Paal, Vice Pres­i­dent for Stud­ies, Carnegie En­dow­ment for In­ter­na­tional Peace

In 40 years of ex­pe­ri­ence, there are lots of lessons to be drawn. One of the most im­por­tant to me dur­ing my time work­ing on US-China re­la­tions was that we have to ex­pect cy­cles of ex­cite­ment and maybe even il­lu­sions, which are of­ten fol­lowed by cy­cles of dis­il­lu­sion. We’ve been through this a num­ber of times. It started be­fore the nor­mal­iza­tion of our re­la­tions.

China is the as­cen­dant new great power, and how we, the United States as the sta­tusquo power, deals with China is the most im­por­tant challenge we face. We have to look back at our for­bear­ers at how they saw big con­cepts and then sub­or­di­nated our smaller dis­putes un­der these larger con­cepts. We have to be able to make room for each other in the Asian-Pa­cific re­gion to begin with, and glob­ally over time. The US and China have to ac­com­mo­date each other’s in­ter­ests. That’s mu­tual ac­com­mo­da­tion, not one-sided ac­com­mo­da­tion.

Zhou Wen­zhong, for­mer Vice Min­is­ter, Chi­nese Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs, for­mer Chi­nese Am­bas­sador to the US

Over the past 40 years of China-US re­la­tions, both coun­tries see each other as a part­ner, which I think is very im­por­tant and also the main rea­son why China and the US could march for­ward de­spite dif­fi­cul­ties. How­ever, the US ad­min­is­tra­tion to­day has a chang­ing view of China, which is wor­ry­ing. From late2017 till now, the US gov­ern­ment has is­sued a se­ries of re­ports re­gard­ing China as a strate­gic ri­val. Pres­i­dent Trump even called China “a ri­val power” in a speech in De­cem­ber 2017. The change in the way the US sees China wor­ries me a lot. There are many dif­fer­ent voices in the US gov­ern­ment right now, which is baf­fling to busi­ness peo­ple, aca­demi­cians and other politi­cians. I hope the US gov­ern­ment can re­solve this is­sue and al­low China-US re­la­tions to re­turn to its nor­mal track, and try to view China’s de­vel­op­ment from the right per­spec­tive.

Yu Hongjun, for­mer Vice Min­is­ter, In­ter­na­tional De­part­ment, Cen­tral Com­mit­tee of CPC

If we look back in the his­tory of China-US re­la­tions, we see many ups and downs, but in gen­eral, we were mov­ing for­ward. The nor­mal­iza­tion of diplo­matic ties be­tween China and the US changed the course of China-US re­la­tions, and the course of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions. We might also say that it changed the course of hu­man his­tory. We have to be aware of the mas­sive sig­nif­i­cance of the es­tab­lish­ment of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween China and US. To­day we’re fac­ing a turn­ing point, which is a big test for both coun­tries. If ei­ther coun­try be­comes ir­ra­tional, a ma­jor con­flict may oc­cur. There­fore we must pre­vent things from wors­en­ing, try to min­i­mize our dis­agree­ments, find more com­mon ground and seek di­a­logue.

Sean Stein, Con­sul Gen­eral, US Con­sulate Gen­eral in Shang­hai

Over the last 40 years, no city and no re­gion has been more in­stru­men­tal in build­ing ties be­tween our two coun­tries – whether it’s the waves of Chi­nese stu­dents go­ing to Amer­ica or Amer­i­can busi­nesses in­vest­ing here or Chi­nese busi­nesses in­vest­ing in the US. Whether it’s trade or ed­u­ca­tion or peo­ple or tourism, no place has been more im­por­tant and cen­tral to the build­ing of this re­la­tion­ship over the past 40 years in Shang­hai and eastern China.

I’m op­ti­mistic. I can see ex­am­ples of where con­tin­u­ing en­gage­ment is pay­ing div­i­dends in the area of trade, as many of the other speak­ers have also no­ticed. We re­cently had a highly suc­cess­ful meet­ing be­tween Pres­i­dent Trump and Pres­i­dent Xi, and at that meet­ing the two sides agreed to en­gage in ne­go­ti­a­tions

to ad­dress con­cerns about tech­nol­ogy trans­fer or in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty or non tar­iff bar­ri­ers or cy­ber se­cu­rity. And in high­light­ing those con and cerns, the US pres­i­dent the vice pres­i­dent made clear that no one’s goal is to harm or con­strain China’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

Ezra Vo­gel, Pro­fes­sor, Harvard Univer­sity

Just af­ter Nixon was elected in 1969, those

of us at Harvard Univer­sity work­ing on China de­cided there was a new op­por­tu­nity to get re­la­tions with China and the United States off to a good start. Our per­spec­tive was that it was ex­tremely un­for­tu­nate ever since 1949. Ev­ery time we thought there was a chance to open up re­la­tions be­tween these two great coun­tries, it did not work out. So the group of us at Harvard had meet­ings for sev­eral weeks, and were plan­ning to write a let­ter to then Pres­i­dent Nixon. We pre­pared a let­ter to send to Henry Kissinger, urg­ing that they con­sider open­ing to the re­la­tion­ship. Af­ter that, Kissinger came to Harvard and we had a broad dis­cus­sion on China, al­though he didn’t tell us at that time he was al­ready plan­ning to visit China. Then he in­vited some of us to the White House to con­tinue the dis­cus­sion. And of course, we were rap­tur­ous when the re­la­tion­ship be­gan to de­velop.

David Lamp­ton, Pro­fes­sor, Johns Hop­kins School of Ad­vanced In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies

The essence of the tip­ping point, if you want to put it that way, is that the se­cu­rity re­la­tion­ship be­tween the US and China is the most im­por­tant. I think if the se­cu­rity re­la­tion­ship goes in a neg­a­tive di­rec­tion, eco­nom­ics can’t make up for that. And cer­tainly cul­ture and ed­u­ca­tion can­not make up for it. So in a sense, I think the most im­por­tant task in our re­la­tion­ship is to im­prove the se­cu­rity re­la­tion­ship.

Tao Wen­zhao, Re­searcher, In­sti­tute of Amer­i­can Stud­ies, Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sci­ences (CASS)

A lot of changes took place both in China and the United States. But one thing I think has not changed is bi­lat­eral re­la­tions, which are still very im­por­tant to China’s mod­ern­iza­tion. The US is still the most im­por­tant bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship for China. Of course, China ben­e­fited a lot from these bi­lat­eral re­la­tions, and the US also ben­e­fited a lot. And in the fu­ture, over the next forty years, if China wants to achieve “the great re­ju­ve­na­tion of the Chi­nese na­tion,” it still needs a ba­si­cally healthy and sta­ble bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship with the US.

Pho­tos: VCG and c

From left: Wu Baiyi, di­rec­tor of Shang­hai In­sti­tute of Amer­i­can Stud­ies, CASS; Ezra Vo­gel, pro­fes­sor of Harvard Univer­sity; David Lamp­ton, pro­fes­sor of Johns Hop­kins School of Ad­vanced In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies; Tao Wen­zhao, re­searcher of Shang­hai In­sti­tute of Amer­i­can Stud­ies, CASS

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