Actions must follow words for US to improve China ties
Published: Jun 19, 2023 08:26 PM
Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Beijing, capital of China, June 19, 2023. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Beijing, capital of China, June 19, 2023. Photo: Xinhua

From Sunday to Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made his first trip to Beijing since the Biden administration took office. It was the first visit by a US Secretary of State to China since 2018. This visit is of major global significance because of the current low point in China-US relations. Chinese President Xi Jinping, China's senior diplomat Wang Yi, and Foreign Minister Qin Gang met Blinken. The two sides had candid, in-depth and constructive talks at length on the overall bilateral ties and important issues. Both sides agreed to jointly implement the important common understandings reached by the two presidents in Bali, effectively manage differences, and advance dialogue, exchanges and cooperation.

Since May, there have been more positive interactions between the US and China, and high-level dialogue in several sectors has partially resumed. This implies that there is potential for improvement in the tense China-US relationship. The two sides have shown the ability to return to the consensus reached by the two leaders during their meeting in Bali in November.

It must be realized that cooperation is the only viable option for China and the US. From a responsible perspective, the Chinese government has always aspired to establish a stable, predictable, and beneficial relationship with the US. However, the US side has an extensive record of contradiction. It occasionally maintains or strongly demands communication and cooperation with China, but then intentionally defames, stifles, and restrains China's legitimate right to development to further its own interests. Such an approach will neither win the confidence of the international community nor guarantee the stability of China-US ties over a prolonged period. The US side needs to seize the chance presented by Blinken's visit to China as well as the constructive stance adopted since May. It should cherish the positive goodwill expressed by the Chinese side and make the necessary actions.

The US should effectively correct its perception of China and ensure that the two countries are heading in the right direction. Rather than blaming China for any of the current internal or foreign issues the US is suffering from, the US should realize that the stability and growth of China is a major contributing factor to global peace and prosperity. The roots of the problems the US is facing today lie domestically within itself. The US is deceiving itself by taking the approach of treating China as an imaginary enemy and mobilizing its domestic efforts through so-called competition with China. An objective and rational perception of China will be beneficial to China-US relations as well as to the US itself.

The US should respect China's red lines and ensure stability in the development of bilateral relations. In the course of interactions between China and the US, the US side should take full stock of the Taiwan question, which is the most important political foundation for China-US relations. The US side must adhere to the one-China principle as defined in the three China-US joint communiqués and must stop the dangerous and egregious provocative act of using the island of Taiwan to contain China. 

In recent years, the US, driven by its obsession with hegemonic power, has promoted what it calls a regional strategy, advancing various mini-circles in military, economic and trade, science and technology, supply chains, and other areas with the clear intention of thwarting China's development. This even creates huge obstacles and risks to stability in related areas in the region and globally.

The US should deal with emergencies in a calm, professional, and rational manner to enhance the certainty of the future of bilateral relations. There are extremely close and complex ties and interactions between the two great powers, covering many areas. In the face of these uncertain challenges, China and the US should maintain stable relations and open communication. However, it is important to note that when emergencies happened in the past, malicious speculation by certain anti-China extremist forces within the US occurred, which added obstacles and costs to China-US relations and missed opportunities to stabilize relations. To ensure that China-US relations can follow the established direction of prospects, the US side must exert sufficient political influence within its own country.

In the future, both China and the US should implement the consensus of the Bali meeting between President Xi and President Biden without compromise and push the China-US relationship back on track. In this regard, China has always made efforts, and for the next step in China-US relations, the world is watching how the US side will deliver on its promises with concrete actions.

The author is deputy director of the Center for American Studies, Renmin University of China. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn