With Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping's wrapping up his 5-day Washington visit, the follow-up comments turned out all centered around how the Chinese leader showed his unique way in getting closer to the grassroots and put on more of a human touch on his tour. Xi impressed the U.S. public with his amiability, chic and sense of humor, sending people wondering what such a trendy Chinese leader will bring to the future of Sino-U.S. relationmship, now that the U.S. President Barack Obama reiterated when meeting Xi, and also on many other occasions, that good ties between United States and China are essential and help the rest of the world.
The Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi concluded Xi Jinping’s U.S. trip on the eve of Xi’s departure, saying “the visit opens up a cooperative and win-win vista for Sino-U.S. relations, through the sound interactions between the two sides in an omnibearing, multi-layered way and in a wide spectrum of fields.”
On the heels of Xi’s Washington trip, speculations on the likelihhod of resetting the bilateral ties have also been hyped, given the fact that Sino-U.S. relationship has survived both warming and chill seasons over the past three decades, and is now at the critical juncture in the backdrop of the changing international conditions.
It seems evident that whether the U.S. could seize the opportunities of economic recovery and world peace somewhat depends on whether the super power would like to size up China from a new perspective, and face up to “Chinese opportunities”.
First of all, the U.S. is required to discard its ambivalence toward “China’s rise,” which means that, on the one hand, it is ready to see China’s robust growth, which it believes will act as the engine for the sluggish world economy; on the other, it fears that China will soon outpace its development and influence, and compete with it for predominance over the Asia-Pacific region and the world. The U.S., therefore, would rather see China’s rise in a “contained way”.
The U.S. mentality of contradictions could also trace the way to its strategic design. Its strategy of “Return to Asia”, for instance, is not an economic layout, but more of a strategic planning, watching out for China.
Admittedly, it is all right to attach importance to the national interests. The linchpin, however, is how to assess the national interests, or specifically speaking, how to deal with China, and how to see “Chinese opportunities”. Different interpretations of the issues above-mentioned would produce two completely different versions of China policy.
Then, taking a glance back at the U.S. history, people would find that the splendid American Dream boasting “nothing is impossible” and encouraging “starting up from nothing” goes hand-in-hand with the humble mindset of “people in debt looking belittled”. This explains why not a few Americans felt so good after the WWII, as they prided themslves in lending a large amount of money to Europe, and were so proud that the young country had surpassed the once unchallenged Britian, and catapulted to be the world’s great power.
Also, this explains why the U.S. might well be reluctant to accept the bitter fact that it is now in debt to a developing country, a nascent power. Hence, the self-important Americans need to acquaint themselves with the changing scenario before really reaching out to China and regarding “China’s rise” as a valued chance for the U.S. to seize to revitalize its slack economy.
Meanwhile, Xi’s U.S. visit brings home a time-honored truth that people-to-people goodwill will not be perturbed by political factors. In the era of public diplomacy, and with constant communication of the two peoples, it is believed that the bilateral ties will scale a new height and; both countries will cherish the momentum for development and enjoy a shared prosperity.
By Li Hongmei, Specially for Sina English