Better China-U.S. ties require right perception

Both sides should maintain the momentum of recovery and stabilization of the relationship by actively exploring the right way for the two countries to get along, and promoting the sustained, steady and sound development of China-U.S. relations.

2 mins read
Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with representatives from American business, strategic and academic communities at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 27, 2024. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)

by Lyu Yanhao

In a meeting with delegates from the U.S. business, strategic, and academic communities, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged the U.S. side to develop a right strategic perception of China.

In recent years, the relationship between China and the United States has encountered substantial headwinds, largely due to the deeply flawed perception among U.S. politicians of China as a long-term strategic competitor and “most consequential geopolitical challenge.”

Instead of recognizing the prospect for mutually beneficial cooperation, this misperception has perpetuated a cycle of suspicion and hostility against China.

Driven by an entrenched Cold-War mentality of ideological confrontation and profound strategic anxieties, some in Washington have severely misjudged and intentionally distorted China’s commitment to peaceful development.

China’s path of development may differ from that of the United States, but it is founded on principles that resonate with its people and contribute to its progress.

From the outset of their engagement, China and the United States have recognized the profound disparities in their political systems and stages of development. Despite these differences, the two countries have formed diplomatic ties, deepened cooperation based on mutual interests, and worked jointly to contribute to global peace and prosperity.

China will not become another the United States, nor can the United States reshape China according to its own preferences. In fact, the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the socialist system have received the firm support of the over 1.4 billion Chinese people, serving as the cornerstone of China’s development and stability.

Contemporary U.S. politicians would benefit from heeding the political wisdom and courage demonstrated by their predecessors in navigating relations with China.

Regarding its strategic intentions, China has made its commitment to eschewing the outdated practices of colonization and exploitation, as well as rejecting the pursuit of hegemony.

China has no aspirations to replace the United States, as its developmental goals are focused on continually improving the well-being of the Chinese people and making substantial contributions to global sustainable development.

By contrast, Washington’s attention appears increasingly fixated on its diminishing hegemony.

In a world characterized by multipolarity and multilateral cooperation, the concept of hegemony has become obsolete. Moreover, it would be prudent for Washington to redirect its focus inward, addressing domestic issues from within rather than simply shifting the blame to others.

During their summit in San Francisco last year, President Xi and U.S. President Joe Biden reached an important consensus that China-U.S. relations should be stabilized and improved.

In the past few months, Chinese and U.S. officials have worked to follow through on the common understandings of the two presidents, maintained communication and made progress in the political and diplomatic, economic and financial, law enforcement and counternarcotics, climate change and people-to-people fields.

Both sides should maintain the momentum of recovery and stabilization of the relationship by actively exploring the right way for the two countries to get along, and promoting the sustained, steady and sound development of China-U.S. relations.

While the bilateral relationship cannot go back to the old days, there remains a promising prospect for a brighter future if Washington rectifies its strategic perception of China and prioritizes mutual understanding, trust, and cooperation.

Are China and the United States adversaries, or partners? Addressing this pivotal question, raised by President Xi during his November visit to San Francisco, is crucial for fostering stability in one of the world’s most significant bilateral relationships.

Xinhua News Agency

Founded in 1931, Xinhua News Agency is one of the largest news organizations in the world, with over 10,000 employees across the globe. As the main source of news and information for China, Xinhua plays a key role in shaping the country's media landscape and communicating its perspectives to the world. The agency produces a wide range of content, including text news articles, photos, videos, and social media posts, in both Chinese and English, and its reports are widely used by media organizations around the world. Xinhua also operates several international bureaus, including in key capitals like Washington, D.C., Moscow, and London, to provide in-depth coverage of global events.

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