hinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in an August 5 interview with the State-run Xinhua News Agency that the US and China have to set up a clear framework for the bilateral relationship.
Wang said that China and the US are in the most complicated situation since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1979, and the framework he proposed should focus on four points: clarify the bottom lines and prevent confrontation, pave the way for talks, refuse to decouple and continue cooperation, and abandon zero-sum games and jointly bear international responsibilities.
Wang said that China has maintained stability and continuity in its policies toward the US, but is prepared to suffer a bumpy bilateral relationship. Wang emphasized that it is a serious strategic mistake for the US to define China as a rival and that China wishes to establish a cooperative and stable relationship with the US while safeguarding China’s sovereign and development interests and national security.
Wang’s interview followed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library on July 24 where Pompeo attacked the Communist Party of China and claimed that US’s policies on China have totally failed.
Wang said Pompeo’s remarks were “cold war thinking,” which has completely denied the achievements of the Sino-US relationship over the past decades and showed ignorance of the history and disrespect to the people of both countries.
Wang said that the Sino-US relationship is based on the principles of mutual respect and agreeing to disagree. “While China and the US are quite different in social systems and many other aspects, such differences have not affected the peaceful coexistence and cooperation between the two countries, and they should not affect their bilateral ties in the future,” he said. “It is neither necessary nor possible for the two sides to change each other. Instead, we should respect the choice independently made by the people of the other side.”
China and the US are a community with shared interests, Wang said. China’s rapid development benefited from opening up to the world and cooperating with different countries including the US, and it in turn provides sustainable impetus and a huge market for other countries’ development. Sino-US trade employs 2.6 million Americans and helps save American families US$850 a year. Even influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic, most US enterprises in China have no plan to leave.
Wang reiterated that China is willing to talk with the US about any problem at any time and could even work out a path for future talks. “We are ready to enter into candid, effective consultation with the US side and make cool-headed and sensible responses to the impulsive moves and anxieties of the US side,” he said.