Senior Chinese and U.S. officials are to convene later this week in Washington for an annual gathering considered to be a paramount dialogue crucial for China and the United States to repair mutual trust damaged by U.S. moves.
The seventh China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) comes at a time when mutual trust between China and the United States has been running at a markedly low level.
In the past few weeks, a lot have happened to weigh on bilateral relations, with the first and foremost being the U.S. trouble-making in the South China Sea.
After years of turning a blind eye to reclamations by Vietnam and the Philippines in the disputed area, the United States have recently become a harsh critic of China's construction efforts there.
The United States also provided China's rival claimants with military assistance and words of assurance that the United States will continue to challenge China's rightful claims regarding the South China Sea.
The clearly lopsided approach has not only taken a toll on the China-U.S. mutual trust, but has also brought about unprecedented tension in the area and put regional stability at risk.
In addition to the South China Sea issue, cyber security is another issue that underscores a trust deficit between the two countries.
As it did in the past, the U.S. side recently pointed an accusing finger at Beijing for allegedly supporting a massive cyber breach targeting U.S. federal personnel system.
For those with a pessimistic view on China-U.S. ties, the above-mentioned U.S. moves could be fatal to further development of bilateral relations.
Indeed they are detrimental. Therefore, Washington should be wise enough not to let a loose tongue further harm its overall relations with Beijing, given the increasing interdependence between the two countries.
The S&ED, designed to promote mutual understanding, augment mutual trust and broaden mutually beneficial cooperation, has proven an efficient mechanism for the two sides to manage their disputes so as not to affect the overall health of bilateral ties.
To build a new type of major-country relations, the two countries have many challenges to conquer and it is always imperative for them to enhance mutual trust, which is essential to further growth of any bilateral relations.