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China, US need to keep faith with win-win cooperation

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-01 08:41
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Chinese and US flags flutter outside the building of an American company in Beijing. [Photo/Agencies]

Apple just last week launched its new store in downtown Shanghai, the second-largest flagship store worldwide. Tim Cook, CEO of the American tech giant, also pledged to broaden its applied research initiatives in China on the sidelines of this year's China Development Forum in Beijing.

Apple's continuous investment in China is in stark contrast with the "China threat" and "China collapse" theories peddled by Washington's China hawks and US media in recent months.

The American company's commitment to China's market offers a glimpse into the very nature of China-US trade relations: win-win cooperation. That is also one of the key messages Chinese President Xi Jinping conveyed during his recent meeting with representatives of US businesses, strategic and academic communities.

Faced with the recent years' new and evolving situation in China-US business ties, the two sides should stay committed to mutual respect, mutual benefit and equal-footed consultation, follow economic and market rules, expand and deepen mutually beneficial business cooperation, respect each other's development rights, and work for win-win outcomes for the two countries and the world at large, Xi said.

If history is any guide, cooperation, instead of competition, has always been the mainstream of China-US ties since the two sides forged diplomatic relations.

Over the past 45 years, bilateral trade has expanded by more than 200 times. More than 70,000 US companies have invested and operated in China, and nearly 90 percent of the operations are profitable.

Today, China and the United States stand as two of the world's top economic powerhouses, whose combined economic output is more than one-third of the world's total. Also, for the two countries, the success of one is an opportunity for the other.

US exports to China have supported a broad swath of the US economy. In 2021, China stood out as the largest export market for four US states and one of the top three export markets for 38 states in America. And the current annual bilateral trade supports over 2.6 million jobs in the United States.

Qualcomm, FedEx and the Blackstone Group, whose top executives sat down with Xi a few days ago, are some of the American companies that have over the decades materialized their development through persistent investment in China. Their growth has also contributed to China's development.

Under the new circumstances, China and the United States have more, not fewer, common interests. American companies in China reported improved financial performance in 2023 with increased profitability, showed the 2024 China Business Climate Survey Report recently released by the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham China).

Many US companies also share a positive outlook on conducting business in China. According to the AmCham China's report, the two-year business outlook for China has improved, with members showing increased optimism across the board, especially with regards to domestic market growth, estimated profitability, and the economy.

In the meantime, Beijing's steadfast dedication to opening-up and high-quality development, as well as more measures to attract foreign investment will also bring about fresh opportunities for bilateral cooperation in more areas like green transition, climate change, electric car design and production, and artificial intelligence, among others.

In fact, the two sides have witnessed frequent communication and interaction in law enforcement and counter-narcotics following the summit between Xi and his US counterpart, Joe Biden, in San Francisco late last year, and has made some progress.

Still, future cooperation between the two countries is overshadowed by growing China-phobia in Washington. America's China hawks have turned a blind eye to the interdependence between the world's top two economies. For them, strategic competition should define future China-US ties, and taking China down is the only way for the United States to maintain global supremacy.

Nevertheless, whether it was the trade war or the so-called chip war, or any other form of small-yard-high-fences protectionist tactics against China, they have not only failed to alter the overall momentum of China-US trade ties, but also brought unnecessary pain to enterprises of the two countries, and rocked global industrial chains and supply chains.

"Even if the two economies could be separated, the result would be disastrous for both," a recent editorial by The Washington Post argued.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and the United States. The two countries can take it as an opportunity to revisit the past successes in bilateral cooperation for future accomplishments. Just as Xi said: "The relationship cannot go back to the old days, but it can embrace a brighter future."

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