China, US must work for global common good

2021-01-26 12:07:07

LI MIN/CHINA DAILY Editor's Note: Now that Joe Biden has assumed the US president's office, what should Washington and Beijing do to put bilateral ties back on the right track? And how can the two sides manage their differences and engage in healthy competition and win-win cooperation? Five experts with the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies shared their views on the issue with The Paper. Excerpts follow: Leaders' decision key to resuming cooperation As Sino-US relations enter a new phase marked by competition, can they resume their fruitful cooperation and policy coordination to meet bilateral, regional and global challenges? If yes, how can they do so given that the Donald Trump administration has squeezed the space for cooperation? Although profound changes have taken place globally, and in the development and national strengths of China and the US-and despite the differences in their respective strategic objectives and mutual understandings-the two sides can replicate their successful cooperation in some important areas. In particular, at a time of turbulence and rapid changes in the international situation, the common interests of the two sides can help them to focus on some global challenges, keep aside, if not settle, some of their differences and find ways to resume fruitful cooperation. First, the fact that only with sincere Sino-US cooperation can major global crises be resolved shows the strategic significance of the China-US relationship. Therefore, it is important that both countries abandon the zero-sum game and work together, because the absence of Sino-US coordination and cooperation will not only undermine the collective efforts of the international community to overcome global crises but also exacerbate them. If Beijing and Washington engage in confrontation, instead of working for the global common good, they could trigger a major global crisis in the international governance system, leading even to the collapse of the entire system. Second, by setting goals and mutual expectations for Sino-US relations in a rational and realistic manner, the two sides can reduce tensions and instead strengthen cooperation. Experience shows that only by refraining from viewing China-US relations through the prism of self interests can the two countries bridge the gap between the goals they set for bilateral ties and mutual benefit, and reduce disappointments caused by unrealistic expectations. And only through rational and realistic cognition of each other's strategic intentions and development trend, accurately and objectively analyzing contradictions and their root causes, and enhancing cooperation and trust can they avoid misunderstandings about each other's intentions. Third, the strategic decisions of the leaders of the two countries are key to promote strategic cooperation. Strategic cooperation between major countries has never been easy. And the history of China-US ties shows that without the prompt decision of the two countries' leaders, bilateral strategic cooperation on many major issues would have been delayed, or never established. Chen Dongxiao, president of Shanghai Institutes of International Studies