Editorial Notes

Although patience is a virtue, it is not enough on its own for US-China ties: China Daily editorial

The paper says that China believes in bridging differences by pursuing friendly and mutually beneficial relations with other countries, and that the US should foster such relations as well.

Chinese and US flags flutter near The Bund in Shanghai on July 30, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Commenting on President Xi Jinping's "all aboard" speech at the virtual meeting on the World Economic Forum's Davos Agenda on Monday (Jan 25), White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on the same day that the US is in serious competition on many fronts with China.

Stressing that "Beijing is now challenging our security, prosperity and values in significant ways that require a new US approach", she said that the US president wants to approach the challenge with "strategic patience".

In response, Cui Tiankai, Chinese ambassador to the US, told the media on Tuesday that while acting with patience would certainly be good, patience alone is not enough, there should also be "rationality and sincerity".

It is to be hoped, as Cui said, that in adopting a patient approach, the US administration will conduct a thorough review of its predecessor's China policy, and better appreciate that an active, constructive and forward-looking perspective in its China policy would be more beneficial to the United States, and the world in general.

That the new administration seems willing to adopt a less confrontational approach to ties is welcome. But Gina Raimondo, during her swearing in as commerce secretary on Tuesday, showed how deeply ingrained some mistruths about China are in US political circles, as well as the broader society.

By repeating the disproved allegation that China hurts US workers and the ability of US companies to compete, she revealed how hard it will be for the US to stop playing its zero-sum games.

But to challenge US security, prosperity and values does not accord with China's national interests. China looks forward to working together with a secure, prosperous US so that the two countries, along with the rest of the international community, can make concerted efforts to resolve global challenges. It is China's sincere wish that all flowers bloom together.

The US' fear that it will be replaced by China as the global leader stems from its narrow-minded belief that history had come to an end with its preeminence. Hubris. But it has come before a relative decline, not a precipitous collapse, unless that comes of its own internal problems.

The rise of China and other emerging economies is dramatically different from that of Western gunboat colonialism. They seek development through cooperation, not exploitation, and they cherish stability and unity, which are also the defining characteristics of this strategic development period that China values.

In other words, the stronger they are, the more capable they become to help address global challenges. Instead of taking by force, the times should be characterised by give and receive. In saying that "selective multilateralism" should not be an option, Xi has called for a rejection of cliques and factions, and the divisions that would lead to a new Cold War.

Winner-takes-all is not the guiding philosophy of Chinese culture. China believes in bridging differences through dialogue and pursuing friendly and mutually beneficial relations with other countries. With a little patience, the US administration would see that it can bloom along with China.

China Daily is a member of The Straits Times media partner Asia News Network, an alliance of 24 news media organisations.

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