China-U.S. ties not necessarily defined by rivalry: U.S. security advisor

The United States looks for new opportunities to further its relations with China, and the two countries are not necessarily destined for confrontation, U.S. top security advisor Thomas Donilon said here on Monday.

During a foreign policy speech at the Asia Society, Donilon said Washington will continue its strategic re-balancing in Asia-Pacific with a focus on developing ties with Beijing.

“China’s leadership transition and the president’s (Barack Obama) re-election mark a new phase in U.S.-China relations, with new opportunities,” he said.

He dismissed the idea of “confrontation” or “containment” existing between the two powers, adding that President Obama looks to improve ties with Beijing in the upcoming months.

On the perception that the rise of a new power has often led to conflict with an established one, Donilon said this pattern does not necessarily apply to the U.S.-China relations. “A better outcome is possible.”

To ditch the stereotyped pattern of power clashes, he suggested the two sides keep improving channels of communication and carry out cooperation on issues of common concern.

Washington encourages Beijing’s efforts to restructure its economy as the two countries are getting increasingly interwoven economically, he said.

The security advisor stressed that deeper military-to-military dialogues between the two countries are needed to avoid misunderstanding.

On top of that, Donilon said, the Unite States will “seek to work together with China to promote international financial stability through the G20 and to address global challenges.”


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