Chinese scholars: How to get rid of the dilemma of Sino-US relations?


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Chinese scholars: How to get rid of the dilemma of Sino-US relations?


Source: RDCY  website        Published:2020-09-22

Editor's note: Since the COVID-19 outbreak, China and the United States have rapidly moved from a trade war to comprehensive frictions in science, technology, economy and politics, and ideological battleground is very fierce.

Recently, Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin university of China (RDCY) and “Fengxiang” channel of IFENG News jointly hosted the seminar of "How to get rid of the dilemma of Sino-US relations?". Shi Yinhong, a professor in the school of international relations at RUC, He Weiwen, former economic and commercial counselor of the consulates general in San Francisco and New York, a senior fellow of RDCY, Wang Wen, executive dean of RDCY, and Wang Yong, a professor in the school of international relations at Peking University, participated in the discussion. Here are these four scholars views about the ideological differences between China and the United States.

Core summary:

1. Wang Yong believes that the negative impact of the ideological differences between China and the U.S. is becoming increasingly evident, and the mutual trust between the two countries is also becoming more and more fragile. Therefore, rebuilding strategic and political trust in the future is the key point. In practice, we should reduce misunderstanding and miscalculation in crisis management and start from specific areas.

2. Shi Yinhong points out different views on "rebuilding strategic mutual trust" and "misunderstanding and misjudgment", believing that these two concepts lack specificity and objectivity. He pointed out that in dealing with China-US relations, the key is to be "focused".

3. He Weiwen believes that we should not dwell on ideological and social system differences, instead of that, we should jump into the UN Charter, respect for each other's sovereignty, non-aggression and non-interference in each other's internal affairs. In negotiations on specific issues, we should first highlight the sovereignty and national views and then express our desire to talk in a peaceful manner, so that there may be a way out.

The following is the live record:

As for the ideological differences between China and the U.S., Wang Yong believes that the negative impact of such differences are becoming increasingly obvious. He mentioned that the so-called "new Cold War" and "Cold War" are not the same as the general relationship competition, but the competition with very serious ideology and political system. The U.S. security hawks, represented by Pompeo and others, are actually paying much attention to the ideology, in order to conjure up memories of Cold War. They are determined to launch a "Cold War" with China. To confront against China, they are now mobilizing hard and soft power, like the resources, tools, and institutions that the United States has amassed during the past U.S.-Soviet rivalry.

In view of this situation, he proposed that China should emphasize more the similarities between China's system and the systems of other countries when introduce the characteristics of China's system to the world.

At the same time, we should reduce misunderstanding and miscalculation. "Certainly, there will be great power competition strategically as well as institutional differences, but we should not exaggerate the ideological and political differences between China and the U.S. by making something out of nothing. So next year, no matter who will be the leader of the U.S., we will take this opportunity to dialogue with the new future U.S. administration, " Wang Yong said.

Wang Yong also mentioned that mutual trust between China-US is increasingly fragile, therefore, rebuilding strategic mutual trust and political trust is key in the future. In practice, to rebuild strategic mutual trust and political trust between two countries, the most basic task is to manage crises. In order to avoid trouble, we should avoid misjudging the other side, especially in a confrontational situation of the air and sea.

Secondly, we should start from specific areas. Strategic mutual trust and political trust should be based on concrete results rather than empty talk. This requires diplomats and negotiators from both sides, with the trust of the leaders, to engage in very in-depth consultations. At the same time, he also mentioned that because of the current U.S. policy towards China, which has been heavily influenced by the election, almost all channels of dialogue are now closed, so it may not be a good time to discuss specific understanding and to reach a compromise.

Shi Yinhong firstly supplemented "rebuilding strategic mutual trust". Since 2014, scholars from some influential research institutions in China and the U.S. have been talking about mutual trust. But everything depends on the result, China-US relations are not getting better, they are getting worse. Therefore, it is not wrong to talk about mutual trust, but ti should be implemented in concrete practice, he said.

To "reduce misjudgment", Shi Yinhong put forward different opinion. He said that China's basic view of the U.S. cannot be described as a complete miscalculation, because some are indeed right. From America's point of view, their perception of China is also not a complete miscalculation.

At the same time, Shi Yinhong argues that as the China-US relationship has come to such a bad state, one of the issues is to "focus". He pointed to the Kennedy-Khrushchev conversation of 1962, in which the two countries did not talk about ideology, nor did they condemn each other ideologically, but instead reached a concrete agreement, "no fight".

Therefore, he advocated that current China-US relations should also be discussed in detailed. It is now very clear that the avoidance of a major military conflict is the highest common interest, the basic minimum common denominator, and the guiding principle in this situation, so it is important to get it right. He said.

He Weiwen believes that we cannot dwell on ideological and social differences but should pay attention to the charter of the United Nations. He argues that ideology within the scope of the national sovereignty, and a country's social system belongs to the internal affairs. Article 1 of Charter of the United Nations is that states sovereign is equal, the second one is non-aggression, the third one is non-interference in each other's internal affairs. "We speak of the five principles of peaceful coexistence, the fourth is the equality and mutual benefit, if we cannot reach the first three, we can do nothing."

New Type of Major Power Relations during Obama administration is actually the five principles of peaceful coexistence, so now we cannot expand the ideology differences and social system differences to national relations, international relations is governed by international rules, namely, respect sovereignty, non-aggression and non-interference in each other's internal affairs.

"There are three things that are most important when it comes to putting it into practice. The first is the Taiwan Strait, the second is the South China Sea, and the third is Hong Kong. On the issue of the Taiwan Straits, our strength depends on the fact that our military is conducting large-scale military exercises there, which is to tell you that this is my sovereign territory and you cannot cross it. With that precondition in mind, we can talk other things. If we all get this right and get the key of the matter, then we can avoid some of the big problems that might happen in a big way, such as avoiding a brush fire. How do we keep our guns from going off? Firstly, we should highlight our view of sovereignty and nationhood. Then, we can indicate that we hope that the talk is in a peaceful way. Therefore, such of this possibility is the way to solve the problems.

Shi Yinghong said that it is very important for us to do our own thing well, including continuing deepen reform. The key is to put our own affairs in order rather than the words-fight. The Chinese people are becoming more and more satisfied, and there are more and more neutrals and sympathizers in the world. It is crucial that some developed countries including the U.S., gradually and slowly change their views of China.

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