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Keynote of Sunnylands meeting still relevant

2014-07-22 11:08 People's Daily Online Web Editor: Yao Lan

On the evening of his arrival in Brazil for a Latin American tour on July 14, Chinese President Xi Jinping was straight onto the phone with US President Barack Obama. Last June, President Xi's visit to Latin America was immediately followed by a flight to California, where he met President Obama in what is commonly known as the "Xi-Obama Summit" or the "Sunnylands Summit". Latin America, it seems, has become a new stage for interactions between Xi and Obama.[Special coverage]

The fact that China and the US are creating opportunities for dialogue between the two leaders is proof that both sides attach great importance to their bilateral relations. During their Sunnylands meeting last summer, Xi and Obama struck a positive tone in developing a new model of major-power relationship between the two countries, and the relevance of this was reemphasized during this recent phone call.

Ever since the Xi-Obama summit last year, China-US relations have made solid and valuable progress, a conspicuous example of which is the PLA Navy fleet joining the RIMPAC military exercise led by the US. In the meantime, there has also been no lack of negative incidents, be they the hacking charges, or the disputes over the East China Sea and the South China Sea.

Although President Obama has stressed on several occasions that the US welcomes a stable, peaceful and prosperous China, and that it is devoted to the construction of a new type of major-power relationship with China, discordant voices in opposition to this trend are still heard too often from high levels of the US government. Wrong signals have been sent with regard to issues that affect China's core interests, different departments in the White House have had trouble synchronizing on China issues, and the gridlock between the White House and Capitol has become detrimental not only to China-US relations, but to US self-interest as well.

Washington needs to reflect that respect is reciprocal. When the US is willing to communicate and cooperate on an equal footing, China-US relations usually advance smoothly; otherwise, setbacks arise. The US is accustomed to upholding an international order that serves its own interests, and the regional structural adjustments taking place right now are making some US officials uneasy and eliciting a negative response.

The US also needs to recognize that a fair balance of interests between China and the US can be achieved through dialogue and consultation, the highest form of which is communication between the two presidents. The commitment to developing a new model of great power relations has been renewed by both sides through this recent phone call, and it would be best if officials of all levels of the US government can keep that fact in mind.

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