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World Insights: U.S., Chinese experts urge more cooperation, exchanges for stable bilateral ties

新华网 2023-07-04

       Chinese and U.S. experts have stressed the importance of regional and global cooperation for a stable China-U.S. relationship.
  During the 11th World Peace Forum at Tsinghua University in Beijing, they underscored the fragility of the relations, urging effective management of tensions and resumption of constructive exchanges between the two sides.
The Trump and Biden administrations stressed too much competition, said Wu Xinbo, dean of the Institute of International Studies at Fudan University, noting it was important to translate the political will for cooperation into action.
  Over the past few years, China-U.S. relations have grown more unstable and unpredictable, said Douglas Paal, a distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington D.C., during a panel discussion of the forum on Monday.
Given China's domestic development over the past five years, China is less likely for now to be a leading source of instability, while surprise may increase from the U.S. side in the year and a half, said Paal.
  He elaborated that the United States is preparing for its general election season, which tends to raise issues, reducing the space for policy innovation for the incoming administration.
The two parties, Democrats and Republicans, are competing to show how tough they are in time, he added.
  The postponement of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to China to June from February was costly and has put a premium on following up more quickly, compressing more work into a shorter time frame, he noted.
  Wu, the dean of Fudan University, also held that there is a strong and active anti-China impulse. The atmosphere in Washington is toxic and irrational, reminding people of the notorious McCarthyism in the 1950s, he said.
  To prevent bilateral relations from further sliding to dangerous lows, the panelists stressed the importance of managing tensions to avoid conflicts.
  Wang Jisi, founding president of the Institute of the International and Strategic Studies of Peking University, cautioned that at present, the two countries should avoid any unexpected incident that may worsen bilateral relations like the shooting down of a civilian airship by a modern fighter jet in the United States in February.
  He said one thing critically important is that once there is any unexpected incident, the two sides would be able to avoid it from escalating into fierce arguments or conflicts.
  That's what I think we can expect and hope to happen, he added.
  Paal opined that eyes should be focused on laying the foundation for the two international meetings to be held in September and November, respectively -- the Group of 20 Summit in New Delhi and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders' Summit in San Francisco -- to demonstrate that the United States and China can manage some of the tensions that might otherwise lead to conflict.
  He reiterated that the two countries should stay committed to addressing shared concerns, and moving forward, it will be important for their leaders to create means to prevent events from becoming crises.
  Cliff Kupchan, chairman of Eurasia Group, also called on the two countries to attach more importance to managing tensions and seeking shared interests, adding both sides should focus on mutual and reciprocal actions on regional and global issues.
  The panelists all agreed that bilateral exchanges and cooperation can be cemented in areas where the national interests of China and the United States converge, such as climate change and global debt.
  They said it remains to be seen whether some softening tones by the United States could be translated into feasible agendas and actions.
  After Blinken's recent visit to China, both countries have indicated their willingness to interact. The question now is to move ahead and implement the opportunities to express our different views about some issues, Paal told Xinhua.
  It should not be engagement for engagement's sake, nor should be the mask or camouflage of real conflicts of interests that exist, he said.
  Based on his observation, the common objective should be to meet the new normal interests of both sides, avoid costly conflicts, and address issues of immediate interests of both sides and beyond.
  Wu pointed out that the United States still wants to and needs to cooperate with China on issues related to climate change and macroeconomics, adding it also has to respond to the pressure from the business community which demands a more normalized economic environment.
  Noting that both U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have said that their country does not intend to decouple with China, Wu said: We have to wait and see whether they can be translated in policies or they are just rhetoric.
  Urging the U.S. side to match its words with action, Wu stressed that there is a foundation for serious discussions on bilateral ties, which is the U.S. commitment of five noes, i.e., not seek a new Cold War; not seek to change China's system; the revitalization of its alliances is not against China; not support Taiwan independence; not look for conflict with China.