Sino-US dialogue must address mutual concern

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/19 23:38:39

Sino-US talks must address mutual issues


The first China-US Diplomatic and Security Dialogue (DSD) will be convened in Washington on Wednesday. The line-up for the talks will involve Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi, General Fang Fenghui, chief of General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, the level of which is equivalent to that of a "two plus two" dialogue between the US and its allies. The DSD is a part of the new strategic dialogue framework between China and the US. 

Washington has said North Korea will top the agenda. It also revealed its dissatisfaction with China for not doing enough to rein in North Korea's nuclear program. Some US and Western media claimed the honeymoon between China and the US is drawing to an end, and the Trump administration is facing another turning point to take a tougher posture against China. It's fair to say no such honeymoon period has yet been started. Talking about whether it's over is nothing but rabble-rousing. US public opinion and its strategic circle rather than China exerted the greatest pressure on Trump when he made remarks against the US' long-term China policy before he was sworn in. The new president adjusted his stance after taking office, leading bilateral ties back to a normal track, and this momentum was consolidated by the Mar-a-Lago meeting between the two top leaders. This is the real picture of China-US relations.

One argument holds that Trump made a full concession to China as he sought China's support for the North Korea issue, and if Beijing disappoints Washington, Trump would end the deal and abruptly change his attitude toward China. Noticeably, such a US-centered perspective, which is built on the belief that the US could absolutely dominate China-US relations and wantonly manipulate issues concerning China's core interests, is arrogant and distorted.

US warships are still making so-called "freedom of navigation" operations in the South China Sea. But the region has calmed down as the Philippines no longer stirs up troubles, thus providing fewer excuses for the US to disturb the waters. 

Trump didn't declare China a currency manipulator. Previous US governments all gave up attempts to label China as a currency manipulator because China doesn't conform to the US criteria to be designated a currency cheater. That Trump didn't put Beijing on the list doesn't mean he is friendlier to China than his predecessor.

Unless the Trump administration relaxes its restrictions on high-tech exports to China, stops selling advanced weapons to Taiwan, cancels the Taiwan Relations Act, orders a halt on close-in reconnaissance over Chinese waters, suspends the deployment of the anti-missile batteries in South Korea and opens more US markets to China, we don't feel that Washington has made any concessions to China.

Solving the North Korea nuclear issue requires joint efforts from both China and the US. Conflicts between the US and North Korea are the root cause for aggravating the problem. It's an illusion that the issue can be resolved solely through China's help.

We hope the Chinese officials can present the Chinese public's concerns to their US counterparts during the DSD talks. What is the US' intention of deploying the anti-missile system in South Korea? How can the Pentagon assure it won't target China? Why does Washington continue to instigate the South China Sea disputes despite the relevant claimants trying to calm the situation?

Regarding the Taiwan question, President Trump had said the US would stick to the one-China policy, but the US is raising the level of military personnel exchanges with Taiwan. The Trump administration is reportedly crafting a big new arms package for Taiwan. This sends misleading signals to the Tsai Ing-wen administration and is not what a responsible government should do.

Sino-US relations are jointly shaped by conflicting interests and various connections between the two sides. It is hoped the DSD can clearly define and form a correct understanding of them.


Newspaper headline: Sino-US talks must address mutual issues


Posted in: EDITORIAL

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