Airport episode can’t eclipse Xi-Obama talks

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/9/4 22:58:39

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with his US counterpart Barack Obama for three hours in Hangzhou on Saturday. Prior to the meeting, they handed over their countries' instruments of ratification for the Paris Climate Agreement to Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-moon, a highlight of cooperation between the two countries.

This is perhaps Obama's last visit to China and Asia as US president. From the messages released by both sides, Obama highly values this opportunity. His meeting with Xi was both fruitful and frank. According to the White House, the two leaders have agreed to co-build the peacekeeping capacity of Third World partners, signaling a new trend.

All know that divergences still remain between Beijing and Washington which are hard to solve. But people care more about how the two cope with these divergences. Shortly after Obama's plane landed in Hangzhou, Chinese security personnel attempted to prevent some US officials and reporters from walking toward the motorcade, citing security reasons, while the US side insisted that it was a US plane and president. Western media has hyped up the incident, but Obama tried to play it down. This makes us believe that the tense atmosphere between China and the US can be partly attributed to the Western media, which often makes a fuss over trifling issues.

The meeting between Xi and Obama seems to have cleared all the recent irritants between China and the US. It identified the position of Sino-US frictions and paved the way for bilateral cooperation in the future.

China published 35 consensuses and a list of achievements of this meeting, with the economy making up the lion's share. This shows the will of both to manage divergences and avoid emergencies. The principle of no-conflict and no-confrontation has been placed high above sentimental disputes.

China has talked more about major power relations between the two than the US side. This kind of relationship is an inevitable step in the bilateral ties and no one can skip that. If the two fall into the outdated political games between major powers by placing the South China Sea and the dispute over the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system at the forefront of the geopolitical battlefield, and by taking the unprecedentedly large-scale economic cooperation for granted, then ties can only slide back to what they have been in the past. This is against the will of both Chinese and American people and the international community.

There have been disputes between the two, but after communication, especially between state leaders, more room is expanded for bilateral cooperation. Obama probably would not like to see undercurrents in Sino-US ties before he leaves office. During his eight years in office, bilateral relations have kept steady, to which Obama himself has contributed. How his successor will behave can be viewed as a reference as to how we assess Obama's role.

Posted in: Editorial

blog comments powered by Disqus