Sino-US ties can lead world in right direction

Updated: 2012-02-10 13:56


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WASHINGTON - The US-China relationship has the potential to take the world in a "very positive direction" in the coming decades, former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski said recently.

The two countries can tap the potential if they are both "determined, vigilant and sensitive to each other's interests," he told Xinhua in an interview ahead of the 40th anniversary of then US President Richard Nixon's historic visit to China in February 1972.

Recalling his term of office in the Jimmy Carter administration from 1977 to 1981, the architect of numerous major US foreign policy achievements said he had "the privilege of being deeply involved" in the normalization of US-China relations in 1978.

Over the last four decades, there has been a "considerable improvement" in US-China ties, said the renowned political scientist, calling the bilateral relationship "one of the most important" in the world.

"We have to nurture it, we have to promote it, we have to expand it," Brzezinski stressed. "We have to be careful not to let antagonism seep into the relationship."

If this bilateral relationship deteriorates, "We will both do damage to ourselves, and very much to global stability," warned the senior foreign policy strategist.

Till now, the 84-year-old statesman is still able to recall the conversations with then Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in the early stage of the China-US relationship.

Those conversations, he said, gave him "deep satisfaction" because he realized that at that time "the United Sates and China had a similar outlook on the world, particularly in terms of the central strategic dilemma that the world was then confronting."

Still an influential strategic thinker on many issues, Brzezinski highly valued the "extremely important" joint statement issued by Chinese President Hu Jintao and US President Barack Obama in Washington in January 2011.

He noted that the "specific and long" statement "outlines an agenda of Chinese-American cooperation" based on mutual respect and mutual benefit.

As regards the upcoming visit by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping to the United States, Brzezinski said it is an opportunity to "ensure greater continuity to the close relationship that we have and to reinforce our respective understanding of its importance."

While acknowledging that there are "some tensions" and "some uneasiness" on both sides, Brzezinski pointed out that the overall experiences in the last few decades have been good. He also rejected the notion of some skeptics that China will "explode" in the future, saying "I am convinced that China is going to be a success."