China on Thursday responded to an open letter concerning China-U.S. relations by former U.S. politicians and well-known scholars, urging the United States to heed rational voices from within and the international community to work for sound bilateral ties.
The Washington Post on Wednesday published the open letter with joint signatures of 95 academic, diplomatic, military and business experts, saying that making China an enemy was counterproductive.
The large number of signers indicates that there is no single Washington consensus endorsing an overall adversarial stance toward China, the letter said, which put forward seven propositions on China-U.S. relations.
At a press briefing, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang made positive comments on opinions in the letter that he said were "rational and objective".
"China and the United States are not enemies," Geng said, citing the tremendous benefits the historical development of bilateral ties over the past four decades has delivered to the two peoples, and its role in facilitating world peace, stability and prosperity.
"The past forty years have proved that China and the United States, totally different in history, culture, social systems and ideologies, can respect each other and achieve win-win cooperation based on non-conflict and non-confrontation," Geng said.
"Cooperation is the only right choice for the two countries," Geng said, noting that cooperation will lead to mutual benefits while confrontation only results in harm to both sides.
With highly intertwined interests and extensive scope for cooperation, China and the United States should strive for mutual facilitation and common development instead of falling into a so-called trap of confrontation, Geng said. "This is in line with the fundamental interests of both countries, and it is also the shared aspiration of the international community."
"We have confidence in China-U.S. ties," Geng said, noting that the two countries have frequent interactions in the fields of economy and trade, as well as local and people-to-people exchanges, which have made the two countries highly interdependent with shared interests.
"The close interconnections have added to the resilience of bilateral ties, and sound China-U.S. relations represent the popular will of the two peoples and conform to the overriding trend," he said.
Geng stressed that the China-U.S. ties should not be defined by contradictions and divergences, or swayed by prejudice and misjudgment in the future. "We believe that objective, rational and inclusive voices will eventually prevail over paranoid, fanatical and zero-sum claims."
Geng urged the U.S. side to co-work with the Chinese side to promote bilateral ties based on coordination, cooperation and stability in accordance with the consensus reached by the two heads of state, in order to better benefit people of the two countries and the world.