Washington, December 3, 2020
2020 is almost end. This is a very unusual year and may become a turning point in history. It is imperative to overcome the COVID-19 epidemic, restore global economic growth and protect people’s lives and health. At the same time, we must realize that the epidemic is strengthening and accelerating some basic trends that have long appeared in the world. The epidemic has also made some major challenges more prominent. Only by uniting and responding together can we create a better future.
People are already discussing what the “post-epidemic world” will look like and what kind of global governance we need to do this. Obviously, without healthy and stable Sino-US relations, the “post-epidemic world” will not be stable, and global governance will not be effective. Therefore, it is time to seriously reflect on this vital bilateral relationship.
But this is not because of the so-called past failure. Nearly 50 years since Dr. Kissinger’s first visit to China, the development of Sino-US relations has brought great benefits to the two countries and the world.
We need to think because the world is undergoing rapid and complex changes, which bring great opportunities and risks. We must form a common vision and make the right choices for the future. Ensure that Sino-US relations develop on a constructive track towards a commonly determined goal. This is our responsibility to the two peoples and the international community.
For China, the choice is clear. Sino-US cooperation will benefit both sides and fight will hurt both sides. Cooperation is the only correct choice for the two countries.
In a congratulatory telegram to President-elect Joseph Biden, President Xi Jinping said that China is willing to work with the United States to “adhering to the spirit of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, focusing on cooperation, managing differences, promoting the healthy and stable development of Sino-US relations, and working with other countries and the international community to promote world peace and The noble cause of development.
As we are about to enter the third decade of the twenty-first century, there is unprecedented need for bilateral and global cooperation, including strengthening public health security, addressing climate change, advancing a more inclusive and equitable globalization process, and promoting scientific and technological progress to improve the lives of more people in more regions. In order to respond to all these challenges, we need to expand international cooperation, especially China and the United States should work together, not “decouple” from each other.
There have always been differences between China and the United States, many of which are part of the diversity of the world. But no difference is a reason for confrontation and war, whether cold or hot war. As long as we respect and understand each other, we can control our differences and keep Sino-US relations on the right track.
A few years ago, Professor Graham Allison gave a timely warning about the Thucydides trap. He also quoted Shakespeare’s famous saying, “It’s not the constellation that control our destiny, but ourselves.” Indeed, “nothing is predestined”, and everything depends on the choices we make. Zero-sum games are outdated.
It is extremely irresponsible to attempt to incite doubts and even hatred between different countries and civilizations. Those who indulge in the confrontation of great powers have put their feet in the trap. We should clearly understand the new reality of today’s world and work together to build a new type of international relations and a community of human destiny.
To stand on the right side of history, the first step is to abandon outdated thinking. The best way to avoid falling into the trap is to open a new path. This is the vision and historical mission we must have today. Are we ready?