Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai has argued that disagreements between Beijing and Washington are "inevitable" but "manageable".
Writing in USA Today to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the countries, Cui acknowledged the relationship was at a "crossroads in history" but stressed that the stable development of China-U.S. relations had been vital to the success of both nations.
"The steady growth of China-U.S. relations is indispensable to the success of our two countries and the world, as air and water to lives," the ambassador wrote. "It would be irresponsible and detrimental for us to 'decouple' or become isolated from each other."
Trade between the countries is worth 1.5 billion U.S. dollars per day, according to Cui, who said that over the past 40 years a "mutually-beneficial balance, which allows both of our societies to 'win' together" had been achieved.
China and the U.S. are currently negotiating over their trading relationship after a year in which the Trump administration imposed tariffs on Chinese imports and China put in place retaliatory measures. The three-month negotiating period ends on March 1, 2019.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump discussed the issue during a telephone conversation on Saturday. Xi told his counterpart that bilateral ties are now in a vital stage, according to Xinhua, while Trump said talks were progressing positively.
Cui contended that the basic elements of the China-U.S. relationship remained unchanged despite ongoing tensions over trade, highlighting "the shared interests of our peoples for a better life, and the need for our combined efforts to address major global challenges."
"The China-U.S. relationship is like a tower built on the solid foundation of common interests," the ambassador wrote. "And this foundation has remained as strong as ever, weathering every storm of the past 40 years. Damaging or dismantling it will only cause mutual suffering."