Senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi on Tuesday called on the Biden administration to focus on cooperation and manage differences in bilateral ties so as to bring the relationship back to its former course of sound and steady development.
Yang, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the call in an online conversation with board members of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.
"More than a week ago, the Biden administration officially took office. China-U.S. relations now stand at a key point and face new opportunities and new challenges," said Yang, also director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee.
Yang said that normal China-U.S. interactions need to be restored, and "China should be seen as it is."
The previous U.S. administration pursued some misguided policies toward China, said Yang, noting that the root cause is a strategic misjudgment by some in the United States. "They view China as a major strategic competitor, even an adversary. That, I am afraid, is historically, fundamentally and strategically wrong."
It is a task for both China and the United States to restore the relationship to a predictable and constructive track of development, and to build a model for interaction between the two major countries that focuses on peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, according to Yang.
China hopes the new U.S. administration will respond to the will of both peoples and follow the trend of history, said Yang. "For normal exchanges to resume, our two sides have to work in the same direction."
He proposed that, at the government level, the embassies of the two countries and other channels should serve as bridges, while other players including think tanks, universities, media organizations, and businesses as well as exchanges at the sub-national level can also contribute in their own ways to bolstering the overall relations.
Yang said that he hopes the new administration will remove the blocks to people-to-people exchanges, such as harassing Chinese students, restricting Chinese media outlets, shutting down Confucius Institutes and suppressing Chinese companies.
"These policy measures are not only wrong but also unpopular," Yang said. He suggested that more should be done to send a positive message that China and the United States are working together, to encourage positive public perceptions of each other and win more public support for growing China-U.S. relations.