Cui Tiankai: Asia-Pacific vital for building new China-U.S. ties

China and the United States may begin their endeavor to build a new type of relationship between major countries in the Asia-Pacific region and “the success or failure of such endeavor really hinges on the region,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said here Thursday.

Addressing a luncheon organized by the Asia Society Hong Kong Center, Cui said China and the United States “have more overlapping interests and more frequent interactions in the Asia- Pacific region than anywhere else.”

The two sides should work together to explore patterns of positive interaction in the region that features peaceful coexistence, healthy competition and win-win cooperation, he said.

The two sides have already reached important agreement on how China and the United States should get along with each other in the region, and that was literally made clear in the China-U.S. Joint Statement released during Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States in January last year.

“What needs to be done now is to truly implement the consensus on the ground,” Cui said.

To this end, Cui said work should be done for the two sides as follows:

First, China and the United States should view the other side’s strategic intentions in an objective and rational manner, and take concrete steps to forge a positive cycle of mutual trust and cooperation.

“China and the United States are shaping each other’s Asia- Pacific policies. If one takes the other as a genuine partner, one will get a partner indeed,” he said.

Second, the two sides need to have candid communication. Sound, steady and sustained growth of China-U.S. relations is important to the two countries, the region and the world at large. Meanwhile, China-U.S. relations are highly complex and new issues will keep emerging. The two sides need to have candid communication, make their interests and concerns clear to each other and find new ways and new measures to address the issues.

Third, the two sides need to expand cooperation. China and the United States have extensive common interests in the Asia-Pacific, hoping for economic growth as well as peace and stability in the region. Besides, both need to tackle the challenges of terrorism, piracy, transnational crimes and pandemics, and both stand to benefit from the sound development of regional mechanisms and win- win regional cooperation.

Fourth, the two sides need to properly manage differences. With different history, culture, development stages and social systems, it is natural for China and the United States to have disagreements, colliding interests and different approaches in some regional affairs.

“They should list their differences candidly, and manage and resolve such differences through level-headed and pragmatic discussions. They should identify shared interests and the biggest common divisor in bilateral relations, and remove obstacles that might hinder sound interactions between China and the United States in the Asia-Pacific,” said Cui.

Cui also called on countries in this region to pursue closer cooperation, maintain peaceful and stable regional environment, establish partnerships for mutually beneficial cooperation, and work to ensure a bright vision of development and prosperity.

He said China has always acted for enduring peace, mutually beneficial cooperation and common prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region throughout the years.

“China’s security and development is closely linked with the Asia-Pacific region, and China’s own growth contributes to regional security and development. Regarding the Asia-Pacific, China’s intention is transparent, its policy constructive and its approach inclusive,” he said.


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