Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai has urged Washington to abandon its Cold War, zero-sum mentality to maintain stable bilateral ties for the benefit of both sides and the world at large.
MAKING RIGHT CHOICES
In two recent speeches delivered at events promoting bilateral exchanges, the ambassador said the two countries have reached an important moment to make choices for the world's most important bilateral ties.
With tremendous opportunities and challenges ahead, "the prospects (of China-U.S. relations) will very much depend on the choices we make today," said Cui at an event held Tuesday by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University.
He urged the United States to abandon its Cold War, zero-sum mentality which could undermine bilateral relations.
"If we have a more positive and cooperative mindset, we could see clearly the emerging trends in the world, seize new opportunities, and turn challenges into opportunities," he said. "That will bring about real benefits for the people of our two countries."
Earlier at the 2018 Penn Wharton China Summit in Philadelphia, Cui said in a speech that the two countries will usher in the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
Cui pointed out that China's choice for reform and opening-up, and the U.S. decision to normalize relations with China some 40 years ago were both "great historical choices," which have brought tangible benefits to the two countries and two peoples.
At Harvard, he reiterated the opinion, saying "40 years of diplomatic ties and cooperation have served the interests of both countries quite well."
"In addition to all the bilateral benefits we have gained from this relationship, we have also seen its positive impact on the broader region of the Asia-Pacific and the world," he added.
Cui said China and the United States share common interests and responsibilities in maintaining global peace and stability and promoting global economic growth and prosperity. "This is our responsibility to the international community," he said.
TACKLING TRADE DISPUTES
In Philadelphia, Cui said the point of view held by some Americans that the United States has suffered a loss in trade with China is "untenable."
The bilateral trade volume was almost negligible when then U.S. President Richard Nixon visited China in the 1970s, but it grew to over 580 billion U.S. dollars last year, and two-way investment is also increasing, he said.
He added that the current large trade deficit is attributed to many factors, including America's economic structure, low savings rates and high-tech export restrictions.
As regards the recent escalating trade tensions between China and the United States, Cui warned at Harvard that a trade war serves no meaningful purpose and will only destroy trade itself.
A trade war would not only harm both economies, but also poison the atmosphere of the overall China-U.S. relations, undermine mutual confidence, and hurt global growth, he said.
"We are against any trade war. We believe any dispute should be worked out through dialogue and consultation," said the ambassador.
However, if the United States insists on initiating a trade war, China will retaliate, said Cui.
Trade tensions have been escalating in recent months, as Washington threatened to slap additional tariffs on Chinese goods worth 100 billion dollars, after proposing steep tariffs on Chinese imports worth 50 billion dollars.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also warned this week that the prospect of trade restrictions threatens to undermine confidence and derail growth prematurely.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Thursday urged policymakers to steer clear of all protectionist measures amid rising trade tensions between the United States and its major trading partners.