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Liu Zhiqin: China, US capable of ironing out differences


By Liu Zhiqin    Source: China Daily    Published: 2016-3-16


Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi takes questions from the press during a news conference on the sidelines of the two sessions on March 8. [Photo by Kuang Linhua/]

Last week Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi reiterated China`s friendship with the United States and what China expects of Washington to maintain good bilateral relations. At a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of China`s top legislature, he also said China, as a responsible country, has a broad and open mind and long-term vision for world peace.

Wang emphasized that China is neither the US nor does it intend to acquire the US` leadership role in the world, saying this is the core of China`s political philosophy. Wang made particular mention of the "American mindset", and said it is the source of "America-style concern" that the US exhibits while dealing with an emerging power like China.

The US is obsessed with the "act-by-itself" mindset in international affairs, which makes it see "potential foes" everywhere, and its misperception of China is the result of its own worries, anxieties and misjudgments.

China neither intends to nor has the ambition to replace the US as the world leader. This fact is not related to whether China has the ability and capacity to do so; instead, it is related to the Chinese mindset and is deeply rooted in the Chinese nation.

Chinese people have long believed in the adage, "don`t do unto others what you don`t want others do unto you". The US follows the opposite principle.

Contrary to Chinese people`s belief that a country can influence another only with virtue, the US believes in making other countries follow its line through force. The main difference between Chinese philosophy and the US mindset is that, the former puts emphasis on "sharing" while the latter advocates "exclusive enjoyment".


The scrambling for a bigger say and greater influence between China and the US on a series of issues is in essence a result of such ideological discrepancies. But what China pursues is "a reasonable development space and right of say" under the framework of the extant international order. It is not seeking to challenge the core interests of the US.

Therefore, there is no reason for Beijing and Washington not to work for peaceful coexistence and mutual coordinated development.

Since China and the US share many common interests, they should show the world their ability to deal with issues of common concern. The cooperation and understanding China and the US have demonstrated at the UN climate change conference in Paris and over cyberspace security are proof that they don`t have to engage in a "life-or-death" struggle and the two countries have every reason to pursue common development.

One superpower like the US is enough for the world; there is no need for a second of the same size because the world cannot endure the consequences. China knows that full well. So any talk of China trying to write another set of rules to counter those inked under the US leadership is baseless. What China pursues is a better world.

Mutual understanding is vital to the peaceful coexistence of China and the US. If the US changed its ingrained "American-style thinking", then there would emerge a broader space for Beijing and Washington to work together for mutual benefit.

We need not worry too much about the future of Sino-US ties, because Washington and Beijing are capable of maintaining the relations and offering better times to the world.

The author is a senior research fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China.


Key Words: China   US   relations  

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