习近平向联合国贸易和发展会议成立60周年庆祝活动开幕式发表视频致辞
习近平向联合国贸易和发展会议成立60周年庆祝活动开幕式发表视频致辞
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To make correct historical choices for the Sino-US future

Source: CGTN | 2023-11-18
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To make correct historical choices for the Sino-US future

U.S. President Joe Biden escorts Chinese President Xi Jinping to his car to bid farewell after their talks in the Filoli Estate in California, U.S., November 15, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

By Zhu Zheng

The U.S.-China San Francisco meeting provides a roadmap for stabilizing and improving bilateral relations. The emphasis on making correct historical choices, finding the right approach for coexistence, and embracing a shared vision for the future sets a positive tone. However, the success of these proposals hinges on the commitment of both nations to implement them earnestly. As the dynamics between these two major powers have attracted worldwide attention, the outcomes of the Xi-Biden meeting will shape the global geopolitical landscape in the years to come.

There are a few points of the meeting that are worth highlighting as follows.

President Xi's remarks reflected a pragmatic and forward-looking approach to bilateral relations. Xi underscored the necessity of making accurate historical choices in determining whether China and the United States are partners or adversaries. This fundamental question should be answered in light of history and reality, since history is the best textbook and reality is the best antidote.

When it comes to detailed topics, the meeting once again proves that there are tremendous issues that the two countries can work on jointly.

Economic collaboration featured prominently in the discussions, with an emphasis on fostering a mutually beneficial trade relationship. President Xi and President Joe Biden explored opportunities for fair and open trade, acknowledging the interconnection of their economies. Complementarity far outweighs competition in the economic relationship between the two countries. Last year, the volume of China-U.S. trade reached a record high of roughly $760 billion. 

Cooperation in addressing common security threats, such as cybersecurity challenges and regional disputes, was discussed in the four-hour meeting. By finding common ground on security concerns, China and the United States can contribute to global peace and stability.

Cultural and educational exchanges were also highlighted as integral components of fostering mutual understanding and people-to-people connections. President Xi and President Biden expressed a commitment to expanding cultural and educational programs, encouraging greater interactions between citizens of both nations. Such initiatives can help bridge cultural gaps, dispel misconceptions, and lay the foundation for a more harmonious relationship between the peoples of China and the United States.

It is essential to note that the success of these collaborative endeavors depends on whether both nations can open communication, compromise, and diplomatic engagement or not in the future. The San Francisco meeting serves as a positive step forward in redefining Sino-American relations, emphasizing cooperation over confrontation. By addressing shared challenges through joint efforts, China and the United States can set an example for international collaboration and contribute to the resolution of pressing global issues.

As the world continues to grapple with complex geopolitical dynamics, the outcomes of the meeting between Xi and Biden offer hope for a more constructive and cooperative future. The shared commitment to collaboration on various fronts reflects a recognition of the interdependence between the two nations and the global community at large. The implementation of the discussed initiatives will undoubtedly shape the trajectory of China-U.S. relations and influence the broader landscape of international affairs.

Although the success of these proposals depends on both nations actively implementing them in their policies and actions, calls for prioritizing cooperation over confrontation, finding common ground, and building on shared interest should be perceived as a positive signal for more tangible diplomatic initiatives and collaborative efforts. There are reasons to believe that the United States and China will make correct historical choices for the future.

Zhu Zheng, a special commentator for CGTN, is an assistant professor specializing in constitutional law and politics at the China University of Political Science and Law. 

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