U.S. urged not to ‘put old wine in new bottle’ on China policy

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Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai said on Wednesday that it would be a “huge strategic misjudgment” for the United States to take China as “a strategic rival and imaginary enemy.”

Cui made the remarks in his speech at the “China-U.S. Engagement: Past Achievements & Future Adjustments” Online Dialogue, an event organized by the Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament and U.S. nongovernmental organization the Carter Center on Wednesday evening.

U.S. urged not to ‘put old wine in new bottle’ on China policy

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FACING CONSEQUENTIAL CHOICE

“Tomorrow will be the 42nd anniversary of Mr. Deng Xiaoping’s visit to the United States … At this historical juncture, we are facing a consequential choice again,” Cui said.

Forty-two years ago, Deng and then U.S. President Jimmy Carter made the historic decision to establish diplomatic relations between China and the United States, and the two countries “were able to break the ice of the Cold War and rise above ideological differences,” he said.

“Since then, our ever-deepening cooperation has delivered huge benefits to the two peoples, and contributed enormously to world peace, stability and prosperity. Facts have proved that we have made the right choice and stood on the right side of history,” he said.

However, in the past few years, some people in the United States tried to “deny these basic facts,” said the ambassador.

“By creating rumors, stoking hatred and fanning confrontation, they attempted to hijack America’s China policy and push China-U.S. relations down the precipice of confrontation. This has seriously damaged the fundamental interests of the two peoples and is doomed to failure,” Cui said.

There have also been calls recently “for America to adjust its strategy and build an allied and partner coalition, so as to address China’s challenge and restore balance and legitimacy in the Asia-Pacific,” he noted.

“Such an adjustment is just like putting old wine in a new bottle. It may cause the same mistakes made in the past and create new imbalances, which will further disrupt regional order,” he said.

“At this historical juncture, we are facing a consequential choice again. I agree with President Carter that China and the United States must remain closely connected, and restore trust, respect and normalcy between them,” Cui said.

“While China wishes America full success in building unity, in healing and in restoration, it is also hoped that integrity, candor, respect and vision will return to its China policy,” he said.

RISKING STRATEGIC MISJUDGMENT

“Taking China as a strategic rival and imaginary enemy would be a huge strategic misjudgment. To develop any policy on the basis of that would only lead to grave strategic mistakes,” Cui said.

“It is our firm belief that China and the United States can benefit from the prosperity and development of the other side. We may have competition, but we don’t have to be rivals,” he said. “Instead, we should strive to be partners.”

Cui said that the United States would have to ask itself whether it can accept the development and prosperity of another nation, whose history, culture and political system are different, and live peacefully with it.

Throughout its 100-year history, the Communist Party of China has always upheld its mission to pursue happiness for the people and rejuvenation for the nation, noted the ambassador.

“Everything we do is to meet the people’s aspiration for a better life, not to challenge or displace any country,” said Cui, adding, “we always believe in harmony in diversity between countries and in a community with a shared future for mankind.”

INITIATING CANDID, EQUAL-FOOTED DIALOGUE

“Our two countries have not a small number of differences and disagreements. The only way out of them is candid and equal-footed dialogue on the basis of mutual respect,” said the ambassador.

On specific issues, the two countries should explore solutions acceptable to both sides on the basis of goodwill for goodwill, and good faith for good faith, Cui said, adding, “claiming that dialogue is useless is no less than advocating confrontation.”

“At the same time, some issues have been raised in China-U.S. relations under the banner of ‘values,’ but in fact they all focus on China’s territory, so much so that people cannot but question the real intention behind,” he noted.

“On issues that concern its sovereignty, reunification and territorial integrity, China will not back down, and it is hoped that the U.S. side will respect China’s core interests and refrain from crossing the red line,” he said.

COOPERATING FOR BETTER WORLD

China and the United States “urgently need” to enhance cooperation as the world faces the common enemy of the COVID-19 pandemic and an increasing threat from climate change, said the ambassador.

“Cooperation is the only right option for the two sides … It has been proved time and again that when China and the United States cooperate, we can get things done, and that is good news for both countries and the whole world,” Cui said.

Over the past two decades, the two countries have carried out effective coordination and cooperation in a wide range of fields, from overcoming the global financial crisis to fighting terrorism, from helping African countries combat Ebola to addressing hotspots such as the Korean Peninsula issue and the Iranian nuclear issue, he said.

“Right now, we face the common enemy of the pandemic and an increasing threat from climate change. China sincerely welcomes America’s return to the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, and looks forward to stronger cooperation with it in these two fields,” Cui said.

“We also urgently need to enhance macroeconomic policy coordination to fend off international economic and financial risks and inject confidence into the world economy,” he added.

Meanwhile, the two countries “need exchanges, not estrangement,” said Cui, adding that “there is no place for McCarthyism in the 21st century, and no one can push the two peoples back to the era of estrangement and isolation.”

The ambassador said that over the past year, he has been much busier than before taking part in various kinds of online meetings and talks, and was “often overwhelmed by the passion” of both countries for greater exchanges and mutual understanding.

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“Let’s work together, with courage and hope, to find light, spread light, and illuminate the future for China-U.S. relations and mankind,” he said, citing the poem recited by Amanda Gorman, the first national youth poet laureate in the United States, at U.S. President Joe Biden’s inauguration.

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Source : Al Jazeera | Photocredit : Google

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