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China urges Biden administration to focus on cooperation, manage differences

By Sheji Halima [NAN]

China has advised the Biden administration to focus on cooperation and manage differences in bilateral ties to bring the relationship between the two countries back to its former course of sound and steady development.

Yang Jiechi. a Senior Chinese diplomat made the call on Tuesday in an online conversation with board members of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

“More than a week ago, the Biden administration officially took office.

“China-U.S. relations now stand at a key point and face new opportunities and new challenges,’’ said Yang, also director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee.

Yang said that normal China-U.S. interactions needed to be restored, and “China should be seen as it is.’’

The previous U.S. administration pursued some misguided policies toward China, said Yang, who noted that the root cause is a strategic misjudgment by some in the United States.

“They view China as a major strategic competitor, even an adversary.

“That, I am afraid, is historically, fundamentally and strategically wrong,” Yang added.

Yang, who is also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, described it as a task for both China and the United States to restore the relationship to a predictable and constructive track of development.

He also stressed the need to build a model for interaction between the two major countries that focuses on peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation.

China hopes the new U.S. administration will respond to the will of both peoples and follow the trend of history, said Yang, adding: “For normal exchanges to resume, our two sides have to work in the same direction.’’

He proposed that, at the government level, the embassies of the two countries and other channels should serve as bridges, while other players including think tanks, universities, media organisations, and businesses as well as exchanges at the sub-national level can also contribute in their own ways to bolstering overall relations.

Yang said that he hopes the new administration will remove the blocks to people-to-people exchanges, such as harassing Chinese students, restricting Chinese media outlets, shutting down Confucius Institutes and suppressing Chinese companies.

“These policy measures are not only wrong but also unpopular,’’ Yang said.

He suggested that more should be done to send a positive message that China and the United States are working together, to encourage positive public perceptions of each other and win more public support for growing China-U.S. relations.

Yang then called for the proper management of differences and the broadening of mutually beneficial cooperation.

Noting that the two countries have different histories, cultures and systems, Yang said that what matters is that the differences are managed properly so that they do not stand in the way of our overall relations.

“Both sides need to respect each other’s histories, cultures and traditions, respect each other’s core interests and major concerns, and respect each other’s choices of political system and development path.’’

He said that China has no intention to challenge or replace the United States’ position in the world.

Emphasizing that China never meddles in the internal affairs of the U.S., he urged the U.S. to honor its commitments under the three Sino-U.S. Joint Communiques, strictly abide by the One China principle, and respect China’s position and concerns on the Taiwan question.

Furthermore, Yang urged the United States to stop interference in the affairs of Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang, and to stop attempts to hold back China’s development by meddling in China’s internal affairs.

“Any trespassing would end up undermining China-U.S. relations and the United States’ own interests,’’ he added.

He noted that in the face of COVID-19, there are more and broader areas where China and the United States can and must cooperate, including Coronavirus response, economic recovery, climate change and ways to jointly improve the global public health system.

Those few U.S. politicians should immediately stop using the pandemic to stigmatize China.

Instead, they should do things that will contribute to an enabling environment for bilateral cooperation against COVID-19, he said.

Yang stressed that trade issues should not be politicized, saying that China would always welcome U.S. business investment in China.

He noted that it falls on both sides to provide a fair, open and non-discriminatory environment for each other’s companies.

He also reiterated China’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, saying that China had announced its goals of peaking carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2060.

“For China and the United States, climate change, renewable energy and low-carbon, sustainable development could be areas of mutually beneficial cooperation, which I believe will serve economic and social development in our countries and help protect Mother Earth,’’ he said.

Yang said that the history of China-U.S. relations gives us reason to be optimistic about a brighter future for China-U.S. relations.

He called on the two countries to bear in mind the fundamental interests of people in the two countries and beyond, respect each other, seek common ground while putting aside differences, keep disagreements under effective control, and expand common interests.

“If we follow this approach, I am convinced the China-U.S. relationship will embark on a path of improvement and development, a prospect that would tremendously benefit our two peoples and the entire world,’’ he said. (Xinhua/NAN)

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