September 29, 2022
WASHINGTON – Restoring healthy China-US relations can avert ‘political tragedy’, envoy says
Putting China-US relations back on the track of healthy and stable development at an early date serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples and meets the expectations of the international community, a top Chinese envoy said in Washington on Tuesday.
Speaking at an online reception for the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang cautioned that the US’ strategic misperceptions could lead the two countries into a “political tragedy”, and cooperation is the only right way out.
“In the world today, the trends of turbulence and transformation are evolving, and deficits in development and security are looming large. China and the United States have huge common interests and common responsibilities, and cooperation is the only correct choice,” the ambassador said.
He noted that regarding China as a threat and challenge, and defining China-US relations as strategic competition are “serious” strategic mistakes and will only push the two nations into confrontation and conflict and the world into division and turmoil.
“It will be a political tragedy between major countries … (in which) no one is the winner,” he said. The ambassador said China-US relations are facing “severe challenges”.
The relations, which plummeted to the lowest point in four decades during the administration of former US president Donald Trump, hit another major snag in early August when US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, causing damage to the bilateral relations that analysts said would not be easily fixed.
Qin reiterated that the Taiwan question has bearing on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and that it concerns China’s core interests, making it the most important and sensitive issue in China-US relations.
He urged the US to “unequivocally” oppose and stop “Taiwan independence”, support the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations and China’s peaceful reunification with real actions, and earnestly uphold the overall China-US relations and peace and stability of the Taiwan Straits.
The three principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping are the correct way for China and the United States to get along, Qin said.
“It is hoped that the US will work with China, strengthen dialogue, reduce misunderstandings, manage differences, expand cooperation, and bring China-US relations back to the track of healthy and stable development at an early date,” he said.
Such efforts serve the fundamental interests of the two peoples and also meet the general expectation of the international community, he said.
Craig Allen, president of the US-China Business Council, said the USCBC, a nonpartisan, nongovernmental business association focused on supporting US companies doing business in China, has for decades facilitated “positive engagement” between the business communities and stakeholders across both countries.
“The scale and the importance of the US-China economic relationship cannot be understated, and it serves as the foundation for amicable relations between the world’s two greatest economies,” he said in a video speech.
Allen noted that US companies continue to do well in China, with nearly 9 out of 10 members of the council reporting profitability in the market.
“As China has grown, American companies have grown alongside. The success of American companies is connected to China. And as China has succeeded, so has America,” he said.
Stephen Orlins, president of the National Committee on US-China Relations, said that as Chinese people are celebrating the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, “we also are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Shanghai Communique and our organization, the National Committee on US-China Relations, hosting the Chinese ping-pong team’s visit to the United States.”
The Shanghai Communique laid the political foundation for productive relations, and the exchange of young ping-pong players launched people-to-people exchanges, which have produced so much benefit for the Chinese and US people, he said.
Speaking on behalf of the overseas Chinese in the US, Sue Zhang, daughter of General Zhang Zhizhong, who led troops in Shanghai battles in 1932 and 1937 during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, noted that in recent years, China-US relations have experienced setbacks and difficulties.
“We hope that China-US relations can return back on track, and we have been making efforts and contributions to improving the relationship,” she said.