Wed, November 18, 2009
China > China & World > US president Obama's first Asia tour

New development in China-U.S.relations bears strategic significance

2009-11-18 15:48:39 GMT2009-11-18 23:48:39 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- Nov. 15 to 18 are three usually unremarkable days on the calendar but this year they attracted worldwide attention as U.S. President Barack Obama paid his first state visit to China.

Obama arrived in China at the invitation of Chinese President Hu Jintao with the international focus on how the two countries would address a raft of global issues. When he left, analysts saw a new direction for developing the China-U.S. relationship, which had major significance, and believed the summit had rendered bilateral relations stronger.

Hu and Obama reiterated in the China-U.S. Joint Statement that both sides were committed to building a "positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship in the 21st century" and promised to take concrete action to build a partnership to jointly cope with common challenges.

In the press conference at the Great Hall of People, Hu said he and Obama were positive about the development of the China-U.S. relationship since the inauguration of the new U.S. administration11 months ago, and they agreed to strengthen dialogue, communication and cooperation from a strategic and far-sighted perspective, and to make joint efforts to build a positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-U.S. relationship to promote world peace, stability and prosperity.

Obama said the partnership with China had helped his country to fight the most serious financial crisis seen in generations.

He added that the China-U.S. relationship had never been more important to the common future of the two countries. Challenges like climate change, nuclear proliferation, or economic recovery could never be met with a single hand.

"That's why the United States welcomes China's efforts in playing a greater role on the world stage, a role in which a growing economy is joined by growing responsibilities."

Jin Canrong, deputy dean of the International Studies School at China's Renmin University, told Xinhua the new goal for the China-U.S. relationship was to build a partnership to jointly cope with common challenges that was quite positive and significant.

Fu Mengzi, director of the Institute of American Studies under the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, told Xinhua the partnership to combat common challenges had positive and new meanings.

David Shambaugh, a George Washington University professor and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said the outcome of the summit "reflects the 30 years of hard work in building the relationship, as well as the growing strategic trust between the two sides."

He said both sides were actively committed to develop a "positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship in the 21st century," and a joint statement issued after the meeting between the two presidents may help take China-U.S. relations into a "totally new and positive era."

As one of the topics of the meeting between Hu and Obama, facing global challenges together has obtained great attention.

Fu said the challenges not only included those related to both parties, but also those concerned with global interests.

The China-U.S. Joint Statement stressed that, with global challenges increasing, the interdependence of all countries in the world had deepened and their need for peace, development and cooperation had increased.

On numerous critical issues concerned with global stability and prosperity, China and the United States have a broader basis for cooperation and shoulder more important common responsibilities.

The two countries should further enhance coordination and cooperation, jointly cope with common challenges and make efforts to promote peace, security and prosperity in the world.

Jin said focusing on global issues during the meeting demonstrated the global characteristic of China-U.S. relationship that had gone far beyond bilateral ties. Both parties were seeking more areas for cooperation, he said.

Shambaugh told Xinhua the joint statement released on Nov. 17 was an extremely positive document -- filled with countless examples of tangible Sino-American cooperation on a large range of bilateral, regional, and global issues.

Mainichi Shimbun, a major daily in Japan, reported that both parties agreed on deepening China-U.S. relations in a new era, which symbolized the bilateral ties had entered a new phase of development.

Obama said at the press conference that the United States welcomed China as a "strong, prosperous and successful member of the community of nations." This gave the impression that both countries had entered a new era of cooperation on global issues, the newspaper said.

Japan's Kyodo News reported that the Chinese and U.S. presidents agreed to cooperate on a plethora of critical issues, including climate change and nuclear non-proliferation.

Differences on issues such as human rights and trade imbalances were not obvious, which demonstrated that both sides had put intensifying bilateral ties as a priority, the news agency said.

During his talks with Obama, President Hu made five proposals on further advancing China-U.S. relations, of which the top priority was that the two countries should continue to increase strategic mutual trust.

Trust and cooperation is the only way to deal with country-to-country relations in the new era, Hu said, proposing that both sides view the world and each other and their relations from a new perspective.

The two leaders also believed that to nurture and deepen bilateral strategic trust was essential to China-U.S. relations in the new era. As Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei said, the respect for each other's core interests is the "key" to their relations.

Fu told Xinhua China-U.S. relations had been closely connected with a solid foundation based on common interests.

"There's no reason for the two countries to stray away from the status quo," Fu said, adding that a new China-U.S. joint statement issued following the summit stressed the will to enhance strategic mutual trust.

French newspaper Le Figaro said China's Hu welcomed a long-term strategic relationship and Obama highlighted the great importance of the bilateral relations for the future development of both countries.

Observers said Obama's visit to China could demonstrate an upgraded foundation for bilateral relations.

This was echoed by Shambaugh, who said the meeting between the two leaders was warm and sincere, showing an increasing strategic trust between China and the United States.

Agreements between the two countries would bring more peace and stability to the Asia Pacific region as well as the rest of the world, he added.

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