Insights丨Robert Kuhn: A different way of thinking to be catalyzed in U.S.-China relations

2023-11-16 Editor : Zhao Li ECNS App Download

By Chen Tianhao

(ECNS) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday arrived in San Francisco for a summit with U.S. President Joe Biden, and to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting. During an exclusive interview with China News Network, Dr. Robert Kuhn, Chairman of the Kuhn Foundation, expressed his opinions over the China-U.S. summit meeting and the 30th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting.

"The coming summit could be a very critical moment," said Dr. Kuhn, "if both countries have the target they have to shoot for, then it could catalyze a different way of thinking."

For the past few months, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry paid their visits to Beijing. Meanwhile, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Chinese vice Premier and the Chinese lead person for China-U.S. economic and trade affairs He Lifeng also paid their visits to the U.S. at the invitation of the U.S. side. The China-U.S. summit meeting has been "set the tone by a whole series of people-to-people communications and exchanges," according to Dr. Kuhn.

Dr. Kuhn also held that these changes indicate that "each side was looking for a reason to transform the trajectory from continuously negative to positive." He added that "both sides were looking for a way, and there's every motivation to do so from economics, social aspect and the problems in the world. So it is absolutely a deliberate effort for both sides."

During rounds of talks between He Lifeng and Janet Yellen, the two sides agreed to enhance communication, seek consensus, manage disputes, and avoid misunderstandings that may lead to unintended escalation. Both sides stressed that they do not seek to decouple their economies, and welcomed the objective of a healthy economic relationship that provides a level playing field for companies and workers in both countries and benefits the two peoples. As Dr. Kuhn pointed out, "Economic relationships between the U.S. and China was always the ballast in the ship that keeps everything afloat. It has been the primary support engine in the U.S. for positive U.S.-China relations for decades."

"There's been a lot of communications on diverse levels and that's a very good sign," Dr. Kuhn noted, "but I think three things need to happen in terms of the U.S.-China relations. Number 1 is don't make things worse. Number 2 is to find small things to do to work together. And number 3 is to let time pass for issues that may seem intractable, including the South China Sea issue and the Taiwan question."

"So I look for this Summit to make a permanent new plateau that everything can be built from there," Dr. Kuhn concluded.


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