China shows ‘consistent, positive attitude’ toward US with Wang Yi’s meeting with Burns
Published: Oct 29, 2022 04:47 PM
Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns on Friday, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry. With the meeting, China has once again demonstrated its positive attitude and expectations for the development of China-US relations, analysts said.

Wang, who is also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said during the meeting that China-US relations are at a critical juncture. Chinese President Xi Jinping has pointed out that China and the US should respect each other, coexist peacefully, and forge win-win cooperation, Wang said. Relaying Xi's call, Wang said this is the fundamental principle for the two countries to develop their relations.

Neither China nor the US can change the other, the US should stop trying to deal with China from a position of strength and stop trying to suppress and contain China's development, Wang stressed.

Wang also said that the international community generally looks forward to the stable development of the China-US relations, and said that he hopes Burns can be a bridge and a link between China and the US as the ambassador.

In response, Burns said the US is willing to strengthen communication with China, manage differences, and advance cooperation. Tensions in China-US relations rose after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's provocative visit to the Taiwan island in August.

Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Burns was appointed as US ambassador to China a few months before his first meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister on Friday, after the 20th CPC National Congress. Through this meeting, Wang conveyed to Burns the Chinese government's attitude to the ties, Lü Xiang, an expert on international relations at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

"China expressed a persistent and positive attitude toward China-US relations," Lü said. "At the same time, China has high hopes for a positive trend in the long-term development of China-US relations, but not fearing even a further deterioration of ties."

During the meeting, Wang also briefed Burns on the major achievements and significance of the 20th CPC National Congress, to which Burns responded that he paid great attention to the Congress and carefully studied its report. The Chinese side's introduction helped deepen the US side's understanding of the report, he said.

"Shattering some of the malicious interpretations from the West, Wang's words proved that China has not changed its foreign policy after the 20th CPC National Congress," said Lü. "While there is no guarantee over whether the US will come up with a cooperative attitude, China has remained consistent and positive."

Recent people-to-people exchanges between Chinese and US have also released some positive signals. After a delegation of experts from Chinese nongovernmental think tank Center for China and Globalization visited the US from late June to early July, Senior Advisor of the US Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Scott Kennedy also kicked off a visit to China from September to October.

Kennedy met with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng on October 8, during which Xie encouraged scholars from think tanks of the two countries to strengthen their contacts and carry out more communication and exchanges, so as to play a positive role in enhancing mutual understanding between China and the US and bring bilateral relations back to the sound and stable track.

Despite signs of "re-warming" of people-to-people exchanges between the Chinese and US civilians, the previously suspended dialogue mechanisms between the governments have not resumed. In August, as a countermeasure to Pelosi's provocative visit to the Taiwan island, China cancelled or suspended the talks.

On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said there need to be favorable conditions and an enabling atmosphere for relevant communication to resume.

On Wednesday, President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to the annual Gala Dinner of the National Committee on US-China Relations. China stands ready to work with the US to find the right way to get along with each other in the new era on the basis of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, which will benefit not only the two countries but also the whole world, Xi said.

Also on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden sent a congratulatory message to the Gala Dinner of the committee.

Observers noted that after the US midterm elections, China and the US are expected to pour more energy into dealing with diplomatic issues, especially the China-US relationship which is important to both sides as well as the world.