Senior diplomat points out 'enormous benefits' of engagement to two countries
China's senior diplomat, Yang Jiechi, urged Washington on Friday to avoid strategic miscalculation about China-US relations and work with Beijing to bring bilateral ties back to the right track.
Yang, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, made the remark in a signed article that focuses on the Sino-US relationship amid growing tensions between the two largest world economies.
In the article, Yang reviewed the development of bilateral ties since China and the United States established diplomatic relations in 1979 and the contributions that generations of Chinese and US leaders have made in normalizing ties and promoting the countries' cooperation. He also highlighted the political foundation of China-US ties.
He rejected assertions made by some US politicians recently that the US policy of engagement with China had become a total failure, calling such allegations a "fanfare for ideological confrontation and the Cold War mentality".
"They are nothing short of discrediting the enormous efforts and contributions made throughout decades by people across the two societies to promote the development of China-US relations," Yang said.
The diplomat included a long list of achievements through bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields as well as their teamwork in the settlement of regional and international issues. He said China-US relations have made historic progress despite ups and downs along the way. "It has brought enormous benefits to the two peoples and contributed significantly to world peace, stability and prosperity."
Yang said that what has happened shows that no obstacle is insurmountable for China and the US. "The key lies in a true commitment to mutual respect, equality and seeking common ground while shelving differences. It lies in the courage to take up the responsibility for history and the people."
In developing their ties, Yang said, China and the US must always move in the right direction, bear in mind that their common interests far outweigh their differences and expand cooperation in a win-win spirit. They must always "manage their differences in a constructive manner … and respect each other's core interests and major concerns," he added.
Yang stressed that issues related to Taiwan, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Tibet and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous regions concern China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and bear on China's core interests. "We urge the US side to handle relevant issues properly with prudence and immediately stop interfering in China's internal affairs."
He blamed US politicians who smeared the CPC in an attempt to drive a wedge between the Party and the Chinese people and form an anti-China coalition through creating ideological confrontations. "US attempts to smear and slander China's political system and drive a wedge between the CPC and the Chinese people are doomed to fail."
Yang said that China has no interest in meddling in US domestic politics, and likewise, the US should respect China's development path. Any attempt to take away from the Chinese people's legitimate right to development is a daydream, he added.
"We are committed to developing a China-US relationship featuring non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. In the meantime, we are resolved to safeguard our sovereignty, security and development interests," Yang said.
He urged the US to abandon its Cold War mentality and misguided zero-sum approach, and underlined the need for the two countries to engage in dialogue and communication in all areas. "China is always open to dialogue and communication with the US," he added.
While calling for expanding mutually beneficial cooperation in all fields, Yang stressed the importance of people-to-people exchanges.
He warned that some anti-China elements in the US are abusing the concept of "national security" to deliberately obstruct the normal interactions between the two countries and to mislead the people in the US in an attempt to cause irreversible damage to China-US relations.
To safeguard and stabilize the relationship, Yang said the right attitude is to respect history, keep pace with the times, build on past achievements and not to distort and deny history or turn back the wheel of history.