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China, US look to 2014

By Zhang Yuwei in New York | China Daily USA | Updated: 2014-01-01 16:12

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China is willing to continue to strengthen China-US relations in 2014 during a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday.

Wang said that China is ready to work with the US to implement the consensus reached between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama following the two leaders' meetings, including the Sunnylands, California summit last June. Wang said China will work with the US to make a concerted effort to build a new type of major-country relationship as well as properly handle differences between the world's two largest economies.

China and the US mark the 35th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties on Wednesday.

Wang said over the past 35 years, China-US relations have achieved historic progress, which has brought enormous benefits to the two countries and its people. The growing relations between the two have also played an important role in promoting regional and global peace, stability and prosperity, said Wang.

Echoing Wang's remarks, Kerry said that the two countries need to cooperate in an increasing number of areas in the current international and regional situation.

The US hopes to boost exchanges and cooperation with China, remain committed to building a new model of major country relations and jointly cope with global challenges to generate more positive influences on world peace and development.

The two also exchanged views on such issues as Japan, the situation on the Korean Peninsula and peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Also to mark the anniversary, Wang said in a bylined article published by Xinhua on Tuesday that "the strategic dimension and global influence of China-US relations have become increasingly prominent". The two sides have moved away from a state of no contact and become a community of intertwined interests over the past 35 years, he wrote.

The two countries should continue to strengthen strategic mutual trust, keep close engagement between senior leaders and at all levels and avoid misunderstandings and misjudgments, said Wang.

The two should carry out dialogue, exchanges and cooperation in different areas including nonproliferation, law enforcement, technology, education, sports, culture and health care, Wang said.

Experts believe the countries should continue to work on resolving mistrust to improve bilateral relations.

"Lack of trust forms one of the biggest obstacles in US-China relations," said Zhu Zhiqun, a professor of political science and international relations at Bucknell University and author of US-China Relations in the 21st Century. "If mutual mistrust is not dispelled, more hostile and damaging actions from either side are expected in the future."

Despite differences, the interdependent relationship between the two countries has improved at many levels in the past years. Last June, the two leaders held a two-day summit in a rare, informal setting at Sunnyland, a private estate of the Annenburg family in California. It was also the first face-to-face meeting between the leaders of the world's two largest economies since Xi took office last March and Obama won re-election in November.

Experts say that the meeting helped enhance understanding of the two leaders and helped forge a working relationship that both sides will be relying on very much in the years to come.

"Just think of 30 or 40 years ago, it would have been impossible to conceive of this kind of interaction, and here we have it occurring in California," said Stephen Orlins, president of the National Committee on US-China Relations in New York at the time.

"I give both countries' foreign policy advisors high marks for being able to engineer this, both in terms of the politics and scheduling of it," said Orlins.

Xinhua contributed to the story.

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