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Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Building strategic trust

By Tao Wenzhao (China Daily) Updated: 2013-10-15 07:22

China and the United States get closer in regional cooperation in line with a new model of major-country relationship

This year has been an unusual one for China-US relations. Since US President Barack Obama started his second term and China completed a smooth leadership transition, leaders of the two countries have made a firm commitment to building a new model of major-country relationship that has charted a clear course to develop better bilateral relations.

Since the beginning of this year, Obama and President Xi Jinping have met more than once. Visits of other political and military leaders and dialogues between the two sides also tell us that the countries have put into practice the consensus that their top leaders have reached and started the process of building a new model of major-country relations. Both countries have also decided to actively explore a notification mechanism for major military activity.

Building strategic trust

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his counterpart US Secretary of State John Kerry hold a joint press conference following their meeting at the State Department on Sept 19, 2013 morning during Wang's visit to DC. Sun Chenbei / China Daily

Foreign Minister Wang Yi met US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sept 19. The next day, at the Brookings Institution, Wang noted in a speech that both countries have been working on strategic reassurance between a rising power and an existing major power. He said that "we have never had the strategic intention to challenge or even replace the United States for its position in the world" and that "we have never thought about pushing the US out of the region".

These statements are plain and straightforward and display genuine sincerity.

The statements are also factual. China has an edge economically, but security-wise it is still weak. With no allies or military bases overseas, China lags far behind the US in terms of military power. China does not have the capacity or intention to challenge the US position. Kerry reassured Wang that it was in US interests to see continued prosperity in China and maintain a partnership with China. He explained that the "rebalancing" strategy was not directed against China.

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