Let’s hope that US will gain a clearer idea about the responsibility of a major power: Global Times editorial
Published: Jul 29, 2022 02:58 AM
China US Photo: VCG

China US Photo: VCG

On the evening of July 28, President Xi Jinping spoke with US President Joe Biden on the phone at the request of the latter. The two Presidents had a candid communication and exchange on China-US relations and on issues of mutual interest. This was the fifth phone call between the Chinese and US heads of state since Biden took office. 

During the call, President Xi pointed out that faced with a world of change and disorder, the international community and the people around the world expect China and the US to take the lead in upholding world peace and security and in promoting global development and prosperity. "This is the responsibility of China and the US as two major powers." President Xi elaborated on China's principled position on the Taiwan question. President Biden underscored the importance of China-US cooperation and said the US hopes to keep an open line of communication with China to enhance mutual understanding and avoid misperception and miscalculation. He reiterated that the one-China policy of the US has not changed and will not change, and that the US does not support "Taiwan independence." 

The phone call between the two Presidents itself is a positive signal. The official briefing showed that the two heads of state maintained their usual frankness in the call and did not avoid their differences, while expressing their willingness to cooperate. It is pertinent, instructive and constructive to the current China-US relations, and objectively plays a role in reassuring the people on a global scale to some extent. This interaction between the heads of state is extremely critical for both China-US bilateral ties and for the world.

As early as ten days ago, the leadership in Washington, including Biden himself, disclosed to the media the message of the upcoming phone call between the two heads of China and the US, and clearly expressed their expectations. Since the phone call between the two heads on September 10, President Biden's remarks have been relatively positive. However, China-US relations have not only failed to get out of the plight created by the previous US government, but have stagnated and even deteriorated. The root lies in that these positive statements by President Biden have not been translated into the US' practical actions. In other words, from the perspective of many Chinese, there is something wrong with Washington's execution.

On the day of the call between the heads of China and the US, the US top general was convening a security conference in Sydney, Australia, attended by military leaders from 26 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The "CHIPS and Science Act" was just passed in the US Senate. These are all major moves by Washington to contain China in terms of security and economy. However, a bigger storm is also brewing as US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is plotting to visit the Taiwan island. Washington is fully aware of the severity of this issue. These aspects together form the "polygon prism" of US' China policy.  

Whether the China-US relations can turn around, the US side is still the key. For the next step, the US side should translate the positive momentum formed in this latest exchanges into dynamics that fully reflects the execution capability, seriously consider China's statements on strategic track which are rational and in line with the two countries' interests and concerns, truly meet China half way, properly manage and develop China-US ties. Particularly, the US needs to show positive execution capability on cores issues that have major impact on bilateral ties. Conversely, if some people insist on their own way in the future, and continue to do things that are detrimental to China-US ties, or even have subversively negative impact, the responsibilities lie entirely on the US side.

China's legitimate development rights allow no infringement and China's core national interests allow no provocation. There is no way China will make a compromise on these two aspects. During the talks President Xi said that resolutely safeguarding China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity is the firm will of the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people. The public opinion cannot be defied. Those who play with fire will perish by it.

It is hoped that the US will be able to clearly see this. Only by doing so, can they avoid miscalculation. To be clear and honest, it is time for Washington to slam on the brake of its radical moves on the Taiwan question, because if the US takes a few more steps forward, they will find themselves on the verge of a cliff. 

Some Americans seem to be very entangled: they on the one hand, believe that the US needs to value the importance of cooperation with China, while on the other hand, they are unwilling to accept the easing of relations, and even regard it as "China's win." If they cannot get rid of the myth of seeking hegemony, Washington can only spin around in place, eventually hurting itself and others as well. 

China and the US are at a crucial moment. What Washington needs to do is to meet China halfway, overcome the unfavorable influence of its domestic politics and implement what it has promised thus showing responsibility toward itself but also toward the world. 

China's stance has always been consistent. We hope that the US can match its words with deeds, acting on what it says and having a clear idea of its responsibility as a major country.