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New look at China-US relations offered

By Zhang Yuchen in Beijing | China Daily USA | Updated: 2015-01-14 11:15

A new book on "major country" - or great power - relations by top Sino-US relations expert Wang Jisi, provides a needed political analysis from a Chinese intellectual perspective that tackles the heatedly argued question of how China and the US should forge a new type of great power relations.

The new model of great power relations between the US and China has been talked about at least since 2012. Rather than offering a definitive vision of the two countries' new type of relations, political analysts and academic elites from the two sides shared their own views on the prospects for future development of the relations. The new book advances the discussion on key points on the potential to build that relationship.

As a work of historical and current analysis of the new type of the relations, the book comprises six chapters, the first of which summarizes theories of the pessimists, optimists and people warning ofthe US-China relationship. In the second and third chapters, contributing writers offer a historic retrospective of major powers rising and confronting each other, dating back to ancient Greece. They also scrutinize the global political and economic environment in the New World.

Chapters 4 and 5 are mainly about the history and status quo of the US and China relations. The final part of the book presents ways to establish a new type of partnership: deepening understanding and adjusting to each other's strategies, sharing the global responsibilities, searching for more common interests, and preventing severe crises.

To veer from or march toward similar goals is among the main concerns in regards to the future of their relations, and is achieved through cooperation and competition in the historical narrative as well as in the context of globalization.

As the originator and author of parts of the book, Wang Jisi, leading a group of young talent from top Chinese political institutions, articulates in the book the possibilities as well as the challenges of the new type of major country relations.

Lack of trust in each other's promises, growing competition in the Asia-Pacific area, and uncertainties in both societies, China and the US face more critical issues than ever before to develop their relations. Wang offers a reminder in the book that foreign policies will always be an indicator of domestic policies.

Having a neutral and realistic stand, Wang believes China should shoulder its own responsibilities in the international community.

"China won't be a real great power until it learns to tell stories of its own and voice its ideas on the international issues," said Wang at the book-publishing press conference on Jan 9.

"The goal will never be the two countries turning out to have the same ideology, will never be the same goal, the same political system, or the same social structures," said Wang, president of the Institute of International and Strategic Studies, Peking University. "The same goal will be that China and the US, based on their own domestic needs and international interests, obtain their own objectives, at home and abroad, within their relations of no confrontation or conflict but mutual respect and win-win cooperation."

The objectives of their own, according to Wang, will be to maintain world order with the US playing a leading role in it; continually developing China's economy and social stability, abiding by the accepted principles.

Respect exists despite the dislike or being displeased with the differences between the two sides.

Mutual respect is built with the acceptance that the US and China work in different ways; through respecting the US in its role as a leader and respecting China and its government.



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