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'No better option than cooperation' for Beijing and Washington, says Ambassador Cui

By Zhao Huanxin in Washington | China Daily Global | Updated: 2019-09-28 07:36
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Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai speaks at a reception at the embassy in Washington on Thursday marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Photo by Zhao Huanxin / China Daily

Both the United States and China should choose a future based on cooperation rather than conflict, Cui Tiankai, China's Ambassador to the United States, said Thursday in Washington.

"We need to promote a China-US relationship based on coordination, cooperation and stability, and reject the notion of a 'new Cold War'," the top envoy said at a reception at the Chinese embassy in Washington marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

The past seven decades divide into 23 years of estrangement and confrontation and 47 years of win-win cooperation between China and the US, Cui said.

"History proves that we have a thousand reasons to make the China-US relationship work, and not a single reason to let it fail," he said. "History proves that both China and the US gain from cooperation, and lose in confrontation. So for our two countries, there is no better option than cooperation."

At this important moment, it is necessary to have a correct reading of each other's strategic intention, to respect each other's core interests and major concerns, and to properly manage differences, Cui said.

"The last thing we would want at this time is to turn back the clock of history," he added.

In a speech in New York on September 17, Cui said there are still some people in America clamoring for a new Cold War or for partial and even complete decoupling of the two countries.

"We need to develop sound economic and trade relations, and resist the words and deeds aimed at 'decoupling'," he said Thursday.

Instead, the two countries need to join hands for the sustained growth of the world economy, for global issues such as climate change, and for challenges brought by artificial intelligence and other new technologies.

"The world will look to us, its two major countries, for greater contribution to human progress," he said.

Beijing and Washington also need to step up mutual understanding and mutual learning between the Chinese and American cultures, both "gems of the human civilization", according to Cui.

"We need to respect each other's choice of development path and ditch the so-called 'clash of civilizations'," Cui said.

In addition, the two countries should ramp up people-to-people exchanges and must thwart any attempt to undercut the people's friendship.

"It is the people who make history. And it is the Chinese and American people, not any political force or schemer, that will determine the future of China-US relations," he said.

The National Day celebration was attended by about 600 guests from all walks of life, including current and former US government officials, diplomats, and business representatives.

Stapleton Roy, US ambassador to China between 1991 and 1995, said that his experience in China suggests that the American people and the Chinese people have many areas "where cooperation between the two countries will benefit both of us".

"What I would hope is that we bring the rivalry under control, and expand the areas where we can develop common interests, and use that to try to find a new type of relationship between our two countries that doesn't constantly increase the risk of war, or conflict of some sort," Roy said.

Early on Friday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered congratulations to China on the National Day.

"On behalf of the people of the United States, I offer congratulations to the people of China as you celebrate your National Day on October 1," Pompeo said in a statement. "The United States wishes the people of China happiness, health, peace and prosperity in the year to come."

About 600 guests from all walks of life, including current and former US government officials, diplomats, and business representatives, attend the National Day celebration Thursday night. Photo by Zhao Huanxin / China Daily
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