Thursday, November 08, 2018

Dialogue Expected to Manage China-US Frictions
Global Times
2018/11/8 22:48:41

China and the US will hold their second diplomatic and security dialogue on Friday in Washington during which senior officials from both sides will meet to talk about pressing and challenging issues.

This is the second dialogue of this kind since President Xi Jinping of China and his US counterpart Donald Trump launched this framework for negotiation in Mar-a-Lago in April 2017. Since then, there have been dramatic changes in China-US relations. The US declared China a strategic rival, launched the largest-ever trade war against China, made provocations over Taiwan and the South China Sea, shrank bilateral technological and cultural exchanges and cracked down on Chinese high-tech enterprises. Senior US officials often throw mud at China in their remarks, making the outside world feel heightened tensions. Many are concerned whether the split in the US Congress after the midterm elections will herald worse China-US relations.

Against this backdrop, the dialogue creates an opportunity for China and the US to communicate on pressing issues and may bring a thaw to soured ties. And the Xi-Trump meeting at the G20 summit later this month is expected to stabilize bilateral relations.

While major divergences between China and the US can't be solved immediately, it's crucial the two countries manage their frictions. They need to stop underestimating each other's will. In fact, both sides weren't ready to fully upgrade their confrontation. They need to exercise self-restraint.

The Chinese side needs to listen to US demands and sort out what's reasonable. The US side has to assess what is China's bottom line.

Western media has increasingly hyped a new Cold War looming between China and the US, but few US officials identify with the view publicly.

A new Cold War serves the interests of neither China nor the US. This hype will only poison the environment for future China-US cooperation and hence the two countries need coordination to send signals and shatter the misleading judgment.

There are few examples from history when great power competition ended up with both sides winning. China and the US have different political systems and ideologies. It's no easy task for one side to convince the other of its kindness and figure out the other's strategic intention. But this is a critical step for human beings to walk out of the predicament of the rise and fall of a traditional power. Both countries, especially the US, must demonstrate patience and responsibility.

China has to convince the US that our range of core interests is far smaller than other powers in history, but we are steadfast in defending those core interests and capable of doing so. Outside that range, China will expand its interests in the world only through enlarging common interests with others rather than encroaching upon others' interests in a zero-sum manner.

China needs to keep clarifying our mentality and behavioral logic. Meanwhile the US should refrain from infringing upon China's core interest or it will backfire. It is hoped that China and the US can act smart and rational to avoid repeating the previous tragedies of emerging and existing powers.

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