"The China-U.S. relationship can have a future only when it is built on dialogue and cooperation -- a future of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation," Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai has said.
"If there is a side to choose, then all countries, China and the U.S. included, should choose the right side of history, working within their countries to improve their own domestic governance, while working outside their borders to build together a world with lasting peace, common security and shared prosperity," said Cui in an op-ed posted Thursday on POLITICO.com.
"The world needs strong solidarity, not growing division. Countries should be each other's partners, not imaginary enemies," he said.
Calling the abrupt shutdown by the U.S. side of China's Consulate-General in Houston an "unusual break in international diplomacy," the ambassador said Washington's decision will dampen people-to-people exchanges, causing inconvenience for visa and passport applications in the region to say the least, and diminish the desire for cooperation between the two countries.
"From a broader perspective, it is only one in a series of moves to demonize China and ramp up ideological confrontation," he said.
"However, no sensible foreign policy is based on ignorance, arrogance or shortsightedness, let alone hatred," he said.
"As some try to overthrow the China policy built by successive U.S. administrations, it is important to remember the history between the two countries," he said.
"The idea at the heart of President (Richard) Nixon's statement (during Nixon's own visit to China) -- respect for each other's political systems and core interests -- has been the basis for the establishment and continued growth of China-U.S. relations, to the benefit of the two peoples and the whole world," he said.
"The ups and downs of the past 41 years have proved that both countries stand to benefit from cooperation and lose from confrontation," he said.
"China's U.S. policy remains unchanged. The closure of America's Chengdu Consulate this week is merely a legitimate response based on the principle of reciprocity, which is consistent with diplomatic practices and a due right of all sovereign nations," he said. "We are still willing to grow China-U.S. relations with goodwill and sincerity and hope the U.S. will return to the right track."
The Chinese envoy noted "there are current attempts by some U.S. policymakers to drive a wedge between the Chinese people and the Communist Party of China (CPC)."
"Such policies violate the principles that have helped build the relationship between the countries, and are doomed to fail," he said.
The CPC, whose philosophy is to place the people's interests and trust above all else, has drawn strength from the 5,000-year-old Chinese civilization, and has found a path of development best suited to China, he said. Surveys by Harvard University and Edelman have both concluded that the Chinese government is widely supported by its people.
"During his visit to China, President Nixon quoted President George Washington at a banquet: 'Observe good faith and justice towards all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.' Today, his words are still resoundingly true," the ambassador said.