Le Yucheng, vice-minister of foreign affairs. (Photo by Feng Yongbin/chinadaily.com.cn)
New administration in Washington called on to employ positive policies
Officials and experts have urged China and the United States to reshape their damaged relationship and called on the new U.S. administration to employ positive policies to refresh ties with Beijing to benefit both nations and the world.
Addressing the virtual Vision China event organized by China Daily on Thursday, Le Yucheng, vice-minister of foreign affairs, expressed hope that the new year will bring a new start to China-U.S. relations.
Le said he was impressed by U.S. President Joe Biden's repeated appeal to people in the U.S. for unity over division in his inauguration address. "I believe we need exactly the same spirit for China-U.S. relations," he added.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's historic visit to China as well as the famous "ping-pong diplomacy". "As the story of 'the tiny ball moved the big ball' goes, it took those great men before us extraordinary wisdom and courage to break the ice in China-U.S. relations," Le said. "The challenges we face today call for the same vision and courage to break the ice again."
Le called on the world's two largest economies to shoulder their important responsibilities for world peace and development, and strive to expand their shared interests and cooperation. The joint fight against COVID-19, economic recovery and climate change could be priority areas of cooperation for the near term, he said.
"Anything is possible when China and the United States choose to cooperate," Le said, adding that the two countries can work together to avoid the so-called Thucydides Trap. The term describes the tendency toward conflict when an emerging power threatens to displace an existing power.
The Vision China event, with the theme "Moving Forward: The Future of China-U.S. Relations", was broadcast online to a global audience. It was the 17th edition since China Daily launched the series, in which influential political, business and academic speakers are invited to tell China's story from a global perspective and discuss major China-related topics of international interest.
In a speech at the event, Zhou Shuchun, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily, called on both countries to "stand on the right side of history" in developing their relations.
Zhou said it is precisely because governments, politicians and people from both sides chose to "stand on the right side of history" that the two countries broke the ice more than 40 years ago and developed a fruitful relationship.
"As a bridge linking China and the world, we at China Daily — and with this Vision China event today — are joining the aspiration to see China-U.S. relations walk on the right side of history as history requires," he added.