Candid communication crucial to keep China-US differences from boiling over: China Daily editorial

The paper says it is crucial that both sides know about and understand each other's concerns, which will help iron out mistrust in the long run and avoid misunderstandings.



July 4, 2023

BEIJING – It is, as both countries acknowledge, of vital importance for China and the United States to maintain normal channels of communication in order to prevent the differences between them from developing into conflict or even confrontation.

It is crucial that both sides know about and understand each other’s concerns, which will help iron out the mistrust between them in the long run and avoid misunderstandings.

Given the importance of China-US relations not just to the two countries themselves, but also to the global economy and world stability, there is more than enough reason for the two sides to deepen engagement as much as possible on all levels.

That US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will visit Beijing from Thursday to Sunday is a positive sign that communication between the Joe Biden administration and Beijing is being stepped up as it comes soon after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit last month.

Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns said on Saturday that decoupling from China would be foolish given the deep interdependence of the US and Chinese economies, echoing Yellen’s remark in a House Financial Services Committee hearing that it “would be disastrous for us to attempt to decouple from China”.

However, the noise in Washington about decoupling will hardly abate unless the Biden administration can figure out the right way to maintain and develop the relations between the two countries. The China hawks consider it natural that the administration make it a priority to contain the rise of China even at the cost of the US economy.

Even though they have come to realize that it is foolish to decouple from China and it is impossible to do so as the economies of the two countries are deeply interdependent, they will not be willing to do things conducive to the development of bilateral ties.

As a result, it is unrealistic to expect that the relations between the two countries will take a turn for the better in a short period of time. It will take time for politicians in Washington to realize that to make the bilateral relationship tolerable, it is the US that must make the greater compromises to meet China halfway because in most cases the US has been making one provocative move after another.

Blinken said a couple of days ago in an interview that the US will continue to do and say things that China doesn’t like. Likewise, China will continue to do things that the US doesn’t like. But that does not mean the two countries are adversaries.

It means they need to keep talking candidly and sincerely to ensure that things are kept in the right perspective, and Washington must act on the straight and narrow to ensure its words can be trusted.

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