Since I first covered the Two Sessions, the two most important political meetings of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), as a Bangladeshi journalist in 2019, I have been keeping closer eyes on the developments of the Two Sessions every year. I have never missed the press conference of Foreign Minister Wang Yi during the previous sessions. This time I listened to him talking about China’s foreign policy and diplomatic relations at a virtual press conference on Monday.
I have noticed that the foreign minister has precisely said that the US needs to put its verbal assurances into practice and major country competition is not the right choice. I have found his statements to be a reiteration of China’s policy towards the US. President Xi Jinping himself while talking to his US counterpart President Joe Biden said much the same for the re-stabilization of the ties between the two countries.
I think the foreign minister’s statements have outlined an assertive roadmap to re-stabilize the Sino-US ties. Because it is the US that eats its own words over and again. During the last online summit with President Xi Jinping, President Joe Biden agreed that the two sides need to have open and candid dialogues to enhance understanding of each other's intentions and make sure that competition between the two countries is fair and healthy and does not veer into conflict.
President Biden reaffirmed the US government's long-standing one-China policy, stated that the US does not support "Taiwan independence", and expressed the hope for peace and stability to be maintained in the Taiwan Strait. The US is willing to work with China based on mutual respect and peaceful coexistence, increase communication, and handle differences constructively. President Biden also reiterated that the US does not seek to change China's system and his country has no intention to have a conflict with China.
The world then hoped that The US administration will translate its president’s words into actions and will seek no confrontations with China. Analysts were optimistic that the online summit lifted global hopes for win-win cooperation between China and the US. But unfortunately, after the summit, the US has forgotten its president’s assurances.
Retreating from President Biden’s promises, the US continues to stoke more discords and acrimonies with China. The US has sold destructive weapons to Taiwan, which is an integral part of China, once again. By sending delegations to the island, the US president himself trampled on his commitments and provoked China. Therefore, Wang Yi has precisely said the US needs to put its verbal assurances into practice.
On the other hand, by saying major country competition is not the right choice; China’s foreign minister has stood on the right side of history. Analysts think that this will make the US more beneficial than China as the Sino-US conflicts are already taking heavier tolls on the former than the latter. Hence, the US should realize that its cooperation with China is the only way to face the common global challenges.
The US policy-makers should remember that their efforts to undermine China have boomeranged on themselves, triggering many crises including acute inflations and price hikes. Numerous studies have found that US companies primarily paid for US tariffs, with the cost estimated at nearly $46 billion. The US must think that the US farmers have lost the vast majority of what was once a $24 billion market in China as a result of Chinese retaliatory actions.
The peace-loving people, except for some warmongers in Washington, never think of confrontations between the largest and second-largest economies of the world. I firmly believe that such an unhealthy exercise will spell more disaster to the US instead of bringing any good results. It will cause huge pains and suffering to people around the world as well. The US will make a blunder if it compares China with the Soviet Union as both are not the same and the US itself is not in the same position where it was during the Cold War.
The US also needs to realize that it is now standing in the era of globalization when any strategy of coterie and isolation is doomed to fail and boomerang in the long run. Therefore, before getting into any confrontation, the US must consider that during the Cold War it was privileged to lead the capitalist block of the then bipolar world. But now their perceived opponent China is an important ally and strategic partner of many capitalist countries that think the Chinese economy is essential for the development of their homes.
The US has to figure out that China is the largest trading and a major development partner of most of the countries of the current world. Even China is one of the major trading partners of the US itself. They can in no way forget that China has already superseded the US becoming the largest trading partner of different regions and blocks including the European Union.
- Md Enamul Hassan is a news editor at China Media Group (CMG) in Beijing, China