Speaking at the opening ceremony of the seventh round of China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) on Tuesday in Washington, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden welcomed fair and healthy competition with China. He emphasized that the U.S. does not fear China's rise and China's peaceful rise can be conducive to the world. Lou Jiwei, China's finance minister, said during the meetings that the U.S. should take on more responsibility to boost the global economic recovery. China and the U.S. currently contribute 40 percent of the world's GDP growth. China accounts for approximately 30 percent and the US the remaining 10 percent.
Biden's remarks sound half-hearted to Chinese. However, they are still much better than hawkish rhetoric. Just as the S&ED is unfolding, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work portrayed China as a threat to American air and space technological superiority. Biden's remarks are obviously more helpful to enhancing well-intentioned interaction between China and the U.S.
Some Americans believe Chinese people are looking forward to a collapse of the U.S. economy. But China calls for more US economic growth and more U.S. responsibility for the global economy. This perhaps could help chase away U.S. misgivings.
China and the U.S. so far have maintained the most civilized competition of an emerging power and an established power, but both are preparing for the worst-case scenario.
There are often vehement sentiments over some frictions in both countries. The US, in particular, now and again lashes out at China, aggravating the sense of uncertainty over bilateral relations.
While it is hard to establish mutual strategic trust, it is more difficult for the two countries to break up.
Globalization has brought about profound changes to major power relations. China and the U.S., although lacking in mutual trust, have reached a stage where they are highly economically interdependent, which is unexpected to hardliners. U.S. hawks perhaps don't want to see such economic interdependence. But they could not imagine cutting off the U.S. economic bond with China.
The China-U.S. relationship has no other choice but to cement cooperation and explore establishing a new type of major power relations in the 21st century against what are certain to be bumps in the road. With the ramifications mounting if there were to be a serious mistake in the Sino-US relationship, the possibility of making such a blunder is diminishing.
Nowadays, China and the U.S. still have to sit down and communicate frankly. This will become a critical point in history.
There are too many possibilities for China and the U.S. to fall into a conflict. Although cooperation is the trend, many have suspicions over this.
Given the size of the U.S. aggregate economy, which is bigger than China's, it is not easy for China to surpass the U.S., let alone that China has no intention of doing so. Both China and the US should focus on their own development. Petty actions will not have any real effects.