Chinese officials urge US to respect one-China principle and return ties to normal at event commemorating Shanghai Communiqué
Published: Feb 28, 2022 01:49 PM Updated: Feb 28, 2022 10:01 PM
Guests have a discussion at meeting in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Shanghai Communiqué in Shanghai on February 28. Photo: GT

Guests have a discussion at meeting in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Shanghai Communiqué in Shanghai on February 28. Photo: GT

Chinese officials and experts called on the US to respect the one-China principle and bring China-US bilateral relations back to normal, at an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Shanghai Communiqué in Shanghai on Monday.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered a video address at the event, noting that the Shanghai Communiqué ended the prolonged estrangement between China and the US and started the process toward the normalization of China-US relations.

Wang noted that the two countries must uphold the one-China principle and consolidate the political foundation of China-US relations. Taiwan has been an inalienable part of Chinese territory since ancient times.

Wang said that history tells people that by following the trend of the times, the two countries can make the right strategic choice; countries with different social systems can attain peaceful co-existence by seeking common ground while reserving differences; and they can build real guardrails for China-US relations by following the basic norms of international relations.

Time and tide wait for no man. China and the US must push the two countries' relations to a right trajectory of healthy and stable development, Chinese Ambassador to the US Qin Gang said at the event via a video link.

Lin Songtian, president of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, said that the Shanghai Communiqué has set an example of win-win cooperation, as well as how to seek common ground while reserving differences for China-US relations. It is also of great significance in reference to the two countries' relations today. 

"The 50 years of history testifies that as long as the two sides abide by the spirit of the Shanghai Communiqué and stick to the principle of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and cooperation, China and the US are fully capable of joint development, which will also bring huge benefits to the people of the two countries," Lin said at the meeting.

The China-US relationship looks grim and complex; the fact is that the US has misjudged its understanding of China strategically, Lin told the Global Times on Monday. "The world has changed, but some Americans' minds are still stuck in the Cold War. Their minds, ideas and theories have not kept pace with the times, and they are even more reluctant to acknowledge China's successes."

The key to repairing relations between China and the US lies in whether the US can keep up with the times in its mentality and theory, and learn to respect and uphold win-win cooperation with China and other emerging developing countries, Lin said. 

The two countries have established 50 pairs of sister provinces/states and 233 pairs of sister cities, according to official data. China-US trade surged 28.7 percent to $756 billion in 2021, official data showed, despite multiple challenges like the coronavirus and oftentimes sour relations.

"I do believe that we are not talking about a permanent fall in the [China-US] relationship. I believe that this is temporary. I think it's going to take several years to restore trust," Jeffrey Lehman, vice chancellor of NYU of Shanghai, told the Global Times on Monday, noting that the best way to restore trust is greater, non-official conversations.

Lehman said the second key element of an improvement in the relationship is "joint effort, joint projects," because there are so many problems facing the world today that can only be solved through cooperation.

"The more we do that, the more the two countries cooperate and do things that are important together, the better they feel about each other, and the more trust is rebuilt," Lehman said.

"China-US relations began with the exchange of athletes, students and scholars between our two nations, and the shared future of our bilateral relationship will continue to grow stronger together through these types of people-to-people exchanges," Justin O'Jack, chief representative of the China office of the University of Virginia told the Global Times.

The meeting was hosted by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs, Shanghai Municipal People's Government, and China-US People's Friendship Association.

Global Times