Conveying correct vs. misleading messages is key for China-US ties

CGTN | 作者: Gong Ting | 时间: 2018-11-12 | 责编: Wang Jiapei
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The second round of China-US Diplomatic and Security dialogue began on Friday, led by senior officials from both sides, sent a positive message to both countries and the world regarding the two countries' rising trade tensions.

According to the press of the US State Department, the dialogue is “friendly and constructive.” The bilateral meeting at senior officials levels, though postponed compared to last year's session, concluded with fruitful results after the phone call between top leaders of both sides, Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump on November 1. 

During the phone call, the two heads of state reached an agreement that China and the US will work for new progress based on a healthy and stable development of relations, and will meet with each other during the upcoming G20 summit in Argentina, which will undoubtedly carry great importance to the stability of bilateral ties. 

Aside from preparing for the scheduled meeting between the two heads of state, the priority for the dialogue is to underline both sides' strategic intention to each other. Conveying the correct rather than misleading messages is extremely important under current climate in order to prevent both sides from misunderstanding and misinterpreting each other's long-term goals and intentions, as well as from further escalating the ongoing tensions.

According to the Chinese side, China will stick to reform and opening-up and peaceful development, and work with other nations around the world to build a community with a shared future for mankind. What China has done is to seek a better life for its people, rather than challenge or replace any nations.

China has, as always, been a builder of world peace, a contributor to the global development and a guardian of the international order. At the same time, the US side also reiterates that it welcomes China's economic growth and success, and it has no intention to contain China. It also hopes to develop a constructive and fruitful bilateral relationship based on respect and reciprocity.

Another extraordinarily significant signal sent by Secretary of State Pompeo is that the US is not pursuing a Cold War with China. The message of reassurance, if in line with further US actions, could be very helpful in addressing Chinese concerns and skeptics on American strategic and long-term postures, as well as anxieties from the rest of the world.

During the dialogue, the two sides also made visible efforts in addressing the disputed economic and trade tensions. Both sides said that there is vast room for them to cooperate, and they should promote their communication and collaboration not only in economy and trade, but also in the military, law enforcement, anti-terrorism, drug control and people-to-people exchanges, in a bid to bring more practical benefits to the two peoples.

A stable and complementary rather than a tit-for-tat economic relationship works for the fundamental interests and welfare of people, and millions of enterprises on the value and supply chain across the Pacific. Shared common economic interests have long been the ballast stone stabilizing the competitive factors in the relationship, and will certainly play the same role if the two sides have enough wisdom and concrete actions to resolve the disagreements through negotiations and dialogues.

It is essential right now to prevent economic disputes from exerting adverse spillover effects on other vital areas of China-US relations, including political and military issues. Therefore, the two sides should spare no efforts in making mil-to-mil ties a stabilizing factor for the overall bilateral ties. 

Regarding mil-to-mil relation, the two sides agreed to maintain military communications at various levels, and strengthen mechanism dialogue, in a bid to deepen communication and de-escalate risks. In addition, they declared that both sides will keep up communication to develop a Crisis Deconfliction and Communication Framework, and be committed to implementing the existing Confidence Building Measures. 

Both sides sent positive and cooperative tones on the Korean Peninsula issue. The US expressed appreciation for China's important and constructive role on the issue. And both sides believed that the consensus reached between top US and DPRK leaders in their Singapore meeting in June should be implemented proactively. Also, they exchanged views and positions on the Taiwan question, South China Sea issue, etc.

The message brought by this very important dialogue is that the two sides, both between top leaders and at the senior officials level, start to interact substantively with the shared intention to de-escalate difficulty after continuous troubles in bilateral ties recently. The momentum must be kept up with further concrete actions from both sides, moving towards a fruitful consensus in the upcoming meeting during the G20 summit. 




Gong Ting is an assistant research fellow with the China Institute of International Studies.



Source: CGTN, November 11, 2018.