Beijing (People’s Daily) - China-US relations should be defined by the two sides, which requires the seeking of shared interests, an international studies expert told People’s Daily in an interview on Friday.
Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, met with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Zurich, Switzerland, on Wednesday. The two sides had a comprehensive, candid and in-depth exchange of views on China-US relations as well as international and regional issues. The meeting was described as constructive, and conducive to enhancing mutual understanding.
The China-US dialogue in Zurich was clearly positive and pragmatic compared to the Anchorage and Tianjin meetings earlier this year, said Ruan Zongze, executive vice president of the China Institute of International Studies.
Following the spirit of the phone call between Chinese and US heads of state on September 10, the two sides agreed to strengthen communication, manage differences and avoid confrontation, Ruan said.
Noting the positive description of the meeting, Ruan said there might be other conversations in the future that help normalize China-US dialogues. “That would become a significant mechanism for the two sides to manage divergences and avoid conflict.”
During the meeting, Yang said that China opposes defining China-US relations as “competitive.” A White House readout of the meeting said that Sullivan made clear the while investing in their national strengths and working with allies, the US will continue to engage with China at a senior level to “ensure responsible competition.”
“The ‘competition’ wording is a rhetorical trap of the US to cover up its confrontational diplomacy,” said Ruan, adding that China will not agree to define the relations as “competition” in this condition.
The US saying “responsible competition” this time showed they have realized that it is impossible to define the relations unilaterally, Ruan said. “China-US relations should be defined by the two sides, which requires the seeking of shared interests.”
As the US is slightly adjusting the phrasing on bilateral relations, such as adding some descriptive words, real differences are yet to be seen, said Ruan.
“We need to not only hear what the US has said, but also see how they act to fulfill their pledges,” said Ruan. “And China will deal with the relations in a responsible manner.”