Defense Minister Li Shangfu said on Tuesday that China's path of peaceful development is a boon for the world, and the United States should exercise sound strategic judgment in this regard.
Li, who is also a state councilor, made the remarks during a meeting with former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger, who is visiting Beijing, according to a news release from the Ministry of National Defense.
Li said in the meeting that the world today is undergoing both transformation and upheaval, adding that changes unseen in a century are unfolding at a fast pace and human society is facing unprecedented challenges.
He stressed that people of all countries hope that China and the U.S., as two major powers, will shoulder their responsibilities and play a leading role in maintaining global stability and prosperity.
Only through peaceful coexistence and integrated development between the emerging and developed economies can the world have a better future, the defense chief said.
Li outlined the shape of current bilateral relations, pointing out that some people in the U.S. had failed to move in the same direction as China, taking China-U.S. relations to the historically lowest point since the two nations established diplomatic ties.
The reality of interdependence between the two nations has been ignored, the history of win-win cooperation has been distorted, and the atmosphere of friendly communication has been damaged, he said.
Li said that President Xi Jinping has put forward the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, pointing out the correct path for China-U.S. relations in the new era.
China is committed to building a "stable, predictable and constructive" China-U.S. relationship, Li said, expressing his hope that the U.S. will join hands with China to implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state and promote healthy and stable development of the relationship between the two nations as well as the two militaries.
Speaking of his visit to China, Kissinger said that he came as a friend of China, noting that both the U.S. and China should eliminate misunderstandings, coexist peacefully and avoid confrontations, as the world now faces challenges as well as opportunities.
The former top U.S. diplomat said that neither the U.S. nor China can afford the cost of treating the other as an adversary, which has been repeatedly proved by history and practice.
If the two countries were to go to war, it would not bring any meaningful results to the people of either nation, he said.
To understand and manage U.S.-China relations well, especially to reverse the current difficult situation, requires both sides to exert wisdom, cooperate and develop together, Kissinger said. He added that the two militaries should strengthen communication, make every effort to create positive outcomes for the development of bilateral relations and maintain world peace and stability.