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Where Does Sino US Relations Go?
- Oct 22, 2018 -

The theme forum on China's economic development and Sino-US relations was held recently at Harvard University in the United States. Experts from think tanks of China and the United States jointly discussed "China's economic development and Sino-US relations" and discussed in depth the prospects for Sino-US cooperation. Experts at the meeting agreed that Sino-US relations are facing some difficulties and the two countries should make joint efforts to ensure the healthy and stable development of bilateral relations. This is beneficial not only to the people of China and the United States, but also to the stability of the international order.

Win win rather than zero sum

The forum is sponsored by the Information Office of the Shanghai municipal government and the Chinese Research Institute of Fudan University. Where is the future of Sino US relations? This topic has become the focus of this forum's discussion. "China has always advocated win-win rather than zero-sum, and hopes that the United States will give up the idea of zero-sum game as soon as possible, so that China and the United States can shake off the shadow as soon as possible and embark on the road of win-win cooperation. At present, some people in the United States are trying to drag Sino-US relations into the cold war, which is very wrong. It is neither in the interests of the United States, nor in the interests of China, nor in the interests of the whole world. In fact, as the world's two largest economies, China and the United States have very good opportunities to promote common prosperity. It can be said that the fate of the two countries is closely related. Zhang Wei, Dean of the Chinese Academy of Fudan University, who wrote "China Touch", "China Shock", "China Beyond" and "Thinking about China Trilogy", pointed out the crux of the current Sino-US contradiction.

Zhang Wei said that China has achieved rapid economic and social development through decades of unremitting efforts. On this basis, China promotes peace and development all over the world, including proposing the "one belt and one way" initiative to jointly build and share, advocating the establishment of a new great power relationship and building the community of human destiny together. The road of reform and development in China proves that China has always adhered to the foreign policy of peaceful development and win-win cooperation. The Thucydides trap, which is based on the western historical context and thinking logic, is obviously not applicable to China.

Win-win, not zero-sum --- this view coincides with O'William, a professor at Harvard's Kennedy School. He pointed out that China and the United States should review their relations with a historical perspective and put the benefits of cooperation ahead of differences. In today's highly globalized, environmentally friendly and innovative post-industrial economy, win-win cooperation between China and the United States is particularly important for the global economy.

Understanding rather than misunderstanding

Robert Kuhn, chairman of the Kuhn Foundation, participated in the production and hosting of the large-scale documentary "Challenges facing China", and won many domestic and foreign documentary awards such as the China News Award, the American Emmy Award. As an expert on China's long-term concern for Shanghai's development and construction, Kuhn believes that China, the United States and the people of the two countries need to further strengthen communication and mutual understanding in order to eliminate mutual estrangement and misunderstanding. He hopes to analyze the process of China's reform and opening up through documentary, and show a real China.

"If anyone has any doubts about China's development path, go to Shanghai and have a look at it, because Shanghai's successful development can be said to be a microcosm and a sample of the whole of China's development. Taking advantage of the opportunity brought by China's reform and opening up, Shanghai has become a leading international metropolis in the fields of finance, trade, logistics, infrastructure, education, science and technology in just a few decades. Taking Shanghai as an example, Kuhn interpreted the extraordinary achievements brought about by China's reform and opening up. "The first China International Import Exposition, to be held in Shanghai from November 5 to 10 this year, further demonstrates to the world China's determination to continue to open its markets and share the fruits of development with the world." Kuhn said.

Zhang Weiwei also believes that China and the United States can fully achieve win-win cooperation and benefit both countries and the people of the world, on the premise of eliminating the misunderstanding of Sino-US relations. Joseph Nye, former dean of Harvard's Kennedy College, said in a speech that Sino-US relations have encountered some difficulties in the short term, but cooperation is a general trend in the long run. He said that China and the United States should not threaten each other, but also avoid mutual misunderstanding. In the future, China and the United States need to explore how to maintain healthy competition while maintaining international order and stability.

Advance instead of retrogression

Experts at the meeting agreed that the two countries should look at the dilemma facing bilateral relations from a developmental perspective.

Joseph Nai is the proponent of the concept of "soft power". He believes that in many cases, soft power has positive implications for China and the United States. If China and the United States want to reduce misunderstanding of each other, they should give full play to the role of soft power, enhance their attractiveness to each other, which is a win-win situation. In fact, this is also in line with the long-term development interests of China and the United States. In the future, China and the United States should strengthen cooperation on such important issues as climate change, network security, epidemic prevention and control. Joseph Nye also expressed his concern: "The friction we are experiencing between the two countries is losing our ability to appreciate and respect each other's soft power, thereby undermining the possibility of long-term cooperation in the future. I don't think we can have an international order in which either side can benefit unless the two countries work together.

Professor O'William expressed his view that China and the United States have cooperated to accomplish many innovations in human history. If this is realized, the two sides can take the determination and strength to overcome the current difficulties. I have no intention of weakening the difficulties and challenges facing China and the United States at present, but we should really stand taller, or step back, and look at what we have achieved through cooperation and what we can achieve in the future. I believe this will help both countries better plan their future development path. It is hoped that the two countries will carry forward the future and push bilateral relations to a new height of development.