Honesty is basis for China-US dialogue

Source:Global Times Published: 2013-7-11 0:13:01

For more, see Daily Special(s): Fifth round of China-US S&ED

The fifth round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue kicked off on Wednesday in Washington. The two-day dialogue is being carried out at a critical moment of constructing a new type of China-US relationship after leadership changes in both countries, as well as after the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's leak of US surveillance secrets.

The US media has highlighted Snowden's shadow cast on the dialogue, but it's different on the Chinese side. Some American politicians' understanding of "strategic dialogue" is more narrow-minded than that of their Chinese counterparts. Meanwhile, this also reflects the US diffidence at present. For years Washington has been pointing its finger at China over cyber security issues, but its own surveillance scandal was exposed by Snowden.

Despite ups and downs the bilateral relationship maintains a positive trend in general. It's understandable that China and the US lack mutual strategic trust, but they should restrain their suspicions of each other. This requires the two to be frank in the strategic dialogue rather than taking the dialogue as a means to pursue unreasonable interests for their own sake.

The biggest obstacle between China and the US is the hypocrisy and jiggery-pokery Washington hides under superficial candidness. The US has many channels to express demands. Its senators, labor unions and media, to name only a few, can all interfere in the relations with China.

Washington is also good at manipulating public opinion. It has shaped itself as a victim of cyber espionage in the past years. However, it has been proved now that the US is behind the world's most serious spying activities.

Washington is accustomed to being hollow and assertive, which China has to curb. The Snowden affair offered a chance, but Beijing hasn't made a big deal out of it. China acted rather restrainedly when handling the Snowden case, and there's no need for China to hype the case in the strategic and economic dialogue. However, it should be a tool of the Chinese delegation to psychologically deter the US delegation. The US should stop making the case for accusing China of cyber espionage and showing off their moral high ground of human rights protection.

With a capital advantage, expanding market and technological progress, China is moving closer to an equal position with the US. It's time for the US to reflect on its attitude on China. 

Washington shouldn't dictate the China-US relationship. It holds double standards on many issues, which triggered much opposition from the Chinese public. Our anger should be made known to the US and our opinions should be heard.

The China-US Strategic and Economic dialogue is an opportunity for both countries to explore the degree of tolerance each can have of the other. Worrying the bilateral relationship will be jeopardized is not necessary. The China-US strategic relationship is not so fragile.

Posted in: Editorial

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