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Chance for US to change China policy: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-11-04 22:13
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The US presidential election marks an opportunity for the world's two largest economies to reboot their relations. It should not be squandered.

The two countries desperately need to manage their increasingly antagonistic relations to prevent their differences and competition becoming confrontational.

There is no reason why their relationship cannot be based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. It is only the ideological hard line that prevails in Washington that prevents this.

However irreconcilable the stances of the two countries seem to be, it is in most cases merely an impression created by the "America first" policymaking of these ultra-conservatives.

Yet the trade war the hard-liners initiated against China has not brought jobs to the US or reduced the US trade deficit, and the anti-China alliances they have been trying so hard to forge in Europe and Asia have not materialized.

Instead the massive campaign Washington has conducted to try and contain China has only served to show that the US can inflict no harm on China without hurting itself.

China has repeatedly said that it has no intention to challenge or replace the US, but it will never be subject to its bullying. Given the broad common interests of the two countries, not to mention their global responsibilities, the two countries have every reason to strengthen their coordination and cooperation to stabilize their ties.

Beijing on its part has exercised considerable restraint in the face of Washington's provocations and transgressions. It is only when the US has touched on China's core interests that it has taken counter actions. And these have either been reciprocal or proportionally less, so as to offer Washington some braking distance.

The phase-one trade deal — the bumpy process that has led to it, the step-by-step philosophy it embodies in resolving complicated issues and the two sides' commitment to carrying it out — shows that their relations are not yet broken beyond repair.

It is ridiculous to believe that engineering China's fall, even if that were possible, would be an antidote to the US' chronic diseases that originate fundamentally from the unfair distribution of power, rights and interests in the country.

Trying to curb China's rise will not help solve these problems.

China-bashing might have fueled the election campaigns, but it will not help the US adapt to the profound changes transforming the world. Instead, it will only anchor it to the past.

The things that have happened, good and bad, in the world since the leaders of the two countries last met with each other on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, on June 29 last year, have only driven home the foresight of the consensus they reached in that meeting. They agreed that stronger China-US ties are conducive to stability and prosperity and serve the interests of both peoples and the international community at a time when grave common challenges have emerged.

The hard-liners in Washington should reexamine their strategies and policies in the light of reality rather than ideology.

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