FM: US 'has not found right way to engage with China'
Through two major events enshrining China-United States relations, Beijing sent clear signals of its sincerity to effectively manage divergence and boost mutual goodwill, and it urged Washington to fix its hostile, coercive approach toward China.
Both Vice-President Wang Qishan and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi called for stepping up dialogue, deepening cooperation and managing differences in speeches on Saturday and Friday night, respectively.
Observers noted that the two speeches were made amid tension between the two largest economies in the world over a range of topics, such as human rights and the Taiwan question, and Washington has underlined the competitive side of the relations.
During a virtual dialogue on Friday with the US foreign policy think tank Council on Foreign Relations, Wang Yi noted that US President Joe Biden's administration has named China the "most serious competitor" of the US.
When shaping its China policy, Washington "has not gotten out of the shadow of the previous administration, has not got over its misperception of China, and has not found the right way to engage with China", said Wang.
In his five-point advice for handling China-US relations at a strategic height, the foreign minister prioritized viewing China's development in an objective and rational way.
"The wisdom from China's millennia of history is that hegemony will lead to failure, and that a strong country should not seek hegemony," he said.
He made strong rebuttals to some typical, viral allegations, such as the claim that China does not respect the US anymore.
The foreign minister said "it is China that values mutual respect and equality the most" and "respect is to be earned with hard work, be it a country or a person".
Responding to accusations that China embarks on "coercive diplomacy", Wang said China in history fell prey to foreign coercion, its foreign policy consistently treats all countries as equals regardless of their size, it does not act in a coercive way, and it "firmly opposes any country doing so".
While US officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, have publicly said one should never "bet against America", Wang responded by saying that "China welcomes early progress in COVID-19 response and full economic recovery in the US" and "the US needs to stay confident, rather than suspicious".
Since the White House recently defined China-US ties using words such as competition, cooperation and confrontation, Wang Yi said the definition ignores the differences between the major and minor factors and shows "a lack of a clear direction and goal".
China has no intention to compete with the US, and a heightened confrontation "only leads to a lose-lose situation", he said, adding that both countries should work harder together on the COVID-19 response, climate change and economic recovery.
Urging the US to respect the path and social system that China adopts, Wang said it is "undemocratic in itself" to label China as "authoritarian" or "a dictatorship" simply because China's democracy takes a different form than that of the US.
"Democracy is not Coca-Cola, which, with the syrup produced by the US, tastes the same across the world," he said, adding that conducting values-oriented diplomacy and meddling in other countries' internal affairs will only lead to turmoil or even disaster.
Speaking against inference in China's affairs, Wang said that playing the "Taiwan card" is dangerous and like playing with fire.
The reunification is a historical trend, and the US should not send any wrong signals to "Taiwan independence" elements, he said.
Meanwhile, this month marks the 50th anniversary of the ice-breaking visit to China by the US table tennis team in 1971, which was a prelude to the start of normalization of bilateral diplomatic relations.
In a video speech for a ceremony on Saturday in Beijing celebrating the anniversary, Vice-President Wang Qishan said Ping-Pong Diplomacy made history as it met the two peoples' needs to end the lack of interactions and bolstered mutual understanding and friendship, and it is still inspiring today.
The vice-president stressed the need to secure the healthy, steady growth of the ties and expand cooperation on all fronts to help the world conquer COVID-19, boost recovery and preserve peace.
Henry Kissinger, former US secretary of state, said in a prerecorded video message that Ping-Pong Diplomacy showed that a number of little steps are needed for major decisions to be made.
"So we can hope this is a symbol of the positivity in the future for America and China to continue their commitment to a peaceful and prosperous world," he said.
Lin Songtian, president of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, said that playing a sports game means making oneself faster and stronger, not setting up or diminishing competitors in order to force them out of the game.
Chinese Basketball Association president Yao Ming (second left) attends an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Ping-Pong Diplomacy between China and the United States in Beijing on Saturday. ZHANG XINGLONG/CHINA NEWS SERVICE
The rational urge for friendship by the two peoples draws a sharp contrast to exaggerations by some politicians and media, Lin said.
Jan Berris, vice-president of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, said she hopes that the spirit of humanizing each other through sports will be an inspiration for bilateral relations once again.
"I do believe that there are many powerful bridges that unite the two sides, and it is important to keep these bridges very strong," she said.