By Zhong Sheng, People’s Daily

China and the U.S. should faithfully implement the consensus reached by Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden in San Francisco, and promote the healthy, stable and sustainable development of their bilateral ties with a sense of responsibility for history, for the people and for the world.

In December 1978, China and the U.S. issued the Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, announcing both countries’ decision to recognize each other and to establish diplomatic relations as of January 1, 1979..

2024 will mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

At this key juncture linking the past and future, it’s important that the two countries look back on their history of bilateral relations over the past decades to seek inspiration and guidance, which is of great significance for improving and developing their relations.

In the 1970s, the leaders of China and the U.S., with the fundamental interests of the two countries and two peoples at heart, made a historic decision with farsighted strategic vision and extraordinary political wisdom to break the ice that caused mutual isolation between China and the U.S.

After that, they continued to normalize the China-U.S. relations through unremitting efforts, opening a new chapter in the development of China-U.S. relations.

Over the past decades, China-U.S. relations have made historic progress despite twists and turns, bringing tremendous benefits to the two peoples and making important contributions to world peace, stability and prosperity.

History has fully proven that for two large countries like China and the U.S., turning their back on each other is not an option, it is unrealistic for one side to remodel the other, and conflict and confrontation have unbearable consequences for both sides.

The two countries must recognize the irrefutable truth that China and the U.S. both gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation.

Mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation are the lessons learned from 50 years of China-U.S. relations and the conflicts between major countries in history, which should be the direction of joint efforts between the two countries.

About a month ago, Xi and Biden held a historic meeting in San Francisco to explore the right way for the two major countries to get along in the new era, establishing the “San Francisco vision” oriented toward the future.

From an overall and strategic perspective, Xi pointed out at the meeting that China and the U.S. should jointly develop a right perception, jointly manage disagreements effectively, jointly advance mutually beneficial cooperation, jointly shoulder responsibilities as major countries and jointly promote people-to-people exchanges. These are the five pillars that have laid out a roadmap for the sound, steady and sustained growth of China-US relations.

The Xi-Biden meeting has consolidated the momentum of stabilizing China-U.S. relations and injected much-needed certainty and stability into the world of changes and chaos, therefore receiving widespread applause in both countries and the international community.

In recent years, China-U.S. relations have encountered serious difficulties. The root cause of that is the serious misperceptions some people in the U.S. have regarding China and the China-U.S. relations.

China and the U.S. are two major countries with different histories, cultures, social systems and development paths, and there have been and will continue to be differences between the two countries. However, such differences should not become an obstacle to growing China-U.S. relations. The two sides should look for ways to build bridges to help them walk toward each other.

The two sides must appreciate each other’s principles and red lines, and refrain from flip-flopping, being provocative, and crossing the lines. They should have more communication, more dialogues and more consultations, and calmly handle their differences as well as accidents.

Win-win cooperation is the trend of the times and should also be an inherent property of China-U.S. relations.

China maintains that the common interests of the two countries far outweigh their differences, and the respective success of China and the U.S. is an opportunity, rather than a challenge, to each other.

The economic and trade ties between China and the U.S., as an important part of China-U.S. relations, have delivered many tangible benefits to the two peoples.

Over the past 45 years since the establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and the U.S., the annual bilateral trade between the two countries has grown to $760 billion and the two countries’ two-way investment reached a cumulative total of over $260 billion.

China and the U.S. share broad common interests across many areas. They should work together to make the list of cooperation longer and the “cake” of cooperation bigger.

The foundation of China-U.S. relations is in the societies of the two countries, its hope lies in the two peoples, its future depends on the youth, and its vitality comes from exchanges at subnational levels.

During his visit to the U.S. in November 2023, Xi fondly recounted his friendship with the American people at a welcome dinner hosted by friendly organizations in the U.S.

In his speech delivered at the dinner, Xi emphasized that the foundation of China-U.S. relations was laid by the two peoples, the door of China-U.S. relations was opened by the two peoples, the stories of China-U.S. relations are written by the two peoples, and the future of China-U.S. relations will be created by the two peoples. His remarks deeply resonated with both Chinese and Americans.

The China-U.S. relations are steeped in history and built on solid popular support. It is the reaching out to each other by the two peoples that has time and again brought China-U.S. relations from a low ebb back onto the right track.

The two sides should build more bridges and pave more roads for people-to-people exchanges, promote people-to-people bonds, and jointly write new stories of friendship in the new era.

China-U.S. relations are the most important bilateral relations in the world today. Whether China and the U.S. can work hand in hand to meet challenges together concerns the interests of the two peoples and the future of humanity.

The only right choice that serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples and meets the common expectation of the international community is to faithfully implement the consensus reached by their heads of state in San Francisco and promote the healthy, stable and sustainable growth of the China-U.S. relations.

(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy and international affairs.)


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