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Experts: Calibrating Sino-US relations
Publication Date : 02-01-2014
With China's rapid economic growth, the United States should leave more room for its progress instead of trying to contain development of the world's most populous nation, said experts.
They made the remarks ahead of the 35th anniversary of the establishment of China-US diplomatic relationship.
In 1979, Beijing and Washington established diplomatic ties at a time when China was beginning its reform and opening-up policy.
China has since registered double-digit growth over more than three decades to become the second-largest economy in the world.
Bilateral trade in goods has increased by 198-fold since the resumption of diplomatic relations.
Experts said that the rapid rise of a nation with a population of 1.3 billion is unprecedented in history and will inevitably challenge the current system.
Li Haidong, a researcher in American studies at China Foreign Affairs University, said that as an emerging power China is bound to change the status quo.
"Emerging economies only accounted for 15 percent of the global economy after the Cold War, but the figure rose to 45 percent several years ago," Li said. "With emerging countries showing vigorous prosperity, changes have to be made accordingly to meet their demands."
In recent years, the world also has witnessed the influx of China's cheap-cost products to some countries as well as its stance on maintaining territorial sovereignty.
Experts said that while US remains the single superpower in the world and devotes more effort in the Asia-Pacific region under its rebalancing strategy, it needs to recognise China's growth and create more space for mutual progress instead of containment.
"Beijing and Washington are increasingly interdependent on each other in the era of globalisation," said Fu Mengzi, a researcher of Sino-US
relations at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.
"Bilateral cooperation will not only be beneficial for both sides, but also exert a positive impact on international development. It is the responsibility of leaders in both countries to stabilise Sino-US relations and handle conflicts and disputes in a constructive manner," he said.
While there was intense media coverage in early December about a near collision with a US warship monitoring the Chinese fleet in the South China Sea, Beijing took a calm attitude toward the incident.
"As China has expressed its sincerity to maintain the existing order, the US should hold a more objective attitude toward China," Li said.
Experts noted that as major powers China and the US are required to cooperate with each other in both regional and international affairs.
"At present, many problems including environmental protection, climate change and counter-terrorism have turned into global issues and can only be resolved in a concerted way," Li said.
"China and the US have had good cooperation and communication over regional security issues, showing that they have strengthened their consensus on seeking mutual development," Fu said.
But analysts said the current strategic foundation for Sino-US cooperation is still obscure and requires further clarification.
"It is time for both sides to redefine their basis for cooperation since the bilateral relationship is no longer based on a solid foundation as before," Li said.
Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said the China-US relationship used to be based on the fight against a common threat, but things are totally different today.
"The world's changes require Beijing and Washington to work together and build a new world characterised by cooperation and mutual benefits," he said.