OPINIONS Time to steer China-US relations back to right course


Time to steer China-US relations back to right course


14:35, December 24, 2020

In retrospect, the year 2020 has regrettably seen China-US relations being trapped in a downward spiral amid the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the past year, by smearing China's anti-epidemic efforts, interfering in China's internal affairs and sanctioning Chinese hi-tech companies, Washington hawks have dragged down relations between the two countries to the lowest point since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties.

For the benefits of the two countries as well as the whole world, the time has come to reset the right course of the giant vessel of the China-US relationship and steer clear of disruptions for its smooth sailing.

Risks and challenges facing the global community are unprecedented. China and the United States, as the world's two major countries, need to work together with each other as well as the rest of the world to overcome difficulties, meet challenges and pursue development.

Defeating the COVID-19 pandemic requires joint efforts of the international community. Countries with stronger capabilities, such as the United States and China, should shoulder greater responsibilities and lead by example.

Leading the world with most COVID-19 cases and deaths, the United States is still grappling with the continuous resurgence of the pandemic, while China, the country that sounded the first alarm, has effectively controlled the spread of the virus domestically, gaining considerable clinical experience in containing the virus.

It is thus evident that by cooperating in areas such as treatment, vaccine and the supply of critical medical equipment, China and the United States as responsible members of the international community will contribute more to the global fight against the pandemic.

In addition, as the world economy is staggering along amid the pandemic, the world's top two economies need to stabilize their economic and trade ties to help get the global economy back on the track of growth at an early date.

In its latest World Economic Report released in October, the International Monetary Fund projected that the global economy will contract 4.4 percent in 2020 and warned that a road out of the crisis will likely be "long, uneven and highly uncertain."

Being projected to be the only major economy to see positive growth in 2020, China has been committed to promoting global trade and further opening up its domestic market, which will bring tangible benefits to other economies that have been pummeled hard by the pandemic, including the United States.

In this sense, decoupling with the Chinese economy, which some China-bashing politicians in Washington have been peddling, is nothing else but isolating oneself from one of the most important consumer markets in the world, as well as the opportunity for a speedy recovery from the pandemic.

As a matter of fact, despite Washington's obstructions, the people of the United States have made their stance clear. A recent report by The New York Times revealed that despite the imposition of tariffs by the US administration on Chinese imports, Americans have actually been buying more Chinese-made goods during the pandemic, with items such as furniture, appliances and toys driving the surge amid lockdowns.

Apart from coping with the global pandemic and stabilizing the tumbling world economy, it is also widely expected that China and the United States could cooperate on issues related to the shared future of mankind.

Two issues standing out in that category are combating climate change and safeguarding nuclear nonproliferation, in both of which China and the United States as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council have played and should continue to play decisive roles.

As long as the two countries act with a sense of responsibility to history and humanity, bear in mind the fundamental interests of the two peoples as well as the whole world, they can make greater contributions to the entire globe.

The priority for both sides is to uphold principles of mutual respect and equality, seek common ground while shelving differences, and stay committed to win-win cooperation.

Only by doing so, the giant ship of China-US relations will be able to stay on the right course, steer clear of hidden shoals and rocks, and navigate through the countercurrents and stormy waves. This benefits the two countries and the world at large.

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