As couples the world over celebrated
Valentine's Day on February 14 with gifts and showings of
affection, visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and his host
U.S. President Barack Obama reassured each other of the importance
of the relationship between the largest developing country and the
biggest developed nation.
Xi's trip overlaps the celebration of the 40th
anniversary of President Richard Nixon's icebreaking visit to China
and the issuing of the Shanghai Communiqué in 1972.
These historic events opened the gate for
communication and exchange, and broke down the wall of
confrontation in favor of one geared toward cooperation. The two
countries also made a profound contribution to remodeling the
international political landscape.
In the past four decades, China and the United
States have reaped remarkable fruits in politics, trade, cultural,
and people-to-people exchanges. The progress achieved in developing
bilateral ties has far exceeded even the most optimistic
Now, it is the time for the two nations to
fine-tune the tone of their bilateral ties. This year is an
election year in the United States. It will also witness the 18th
congress of the ruling Communist Party of China this fall in
Beijing. Xi's state visit to the United States offers a peek into
the course of bilateral ties in the next decade.
Besides meeting political and military figures
in Washington, D.C., the Chinese vice president also visited the
state of Iowa and Los Angeles in California to attend a number of
activities. A fact sheet on strengthening bilateral economic
relations was released when Xi was in Los Angeles and the business
delegation accompanying Xi purchased U.S. commodities worth $27.1
Although highlighting the economic and trade
progress between the two sides, we must admit that trade frictions
and difference can hardly be avoided. But China has taken active
steps to meet U.S. concerns over protection of intellectual
property rights and the trade imbalance, and we hope the United
States will make progress in easing restrictions on hi-tech exports
to China and Chinese investment in the United States. If we can
only buy soybeans and Boeing aircraft from the U.S. side, the trade
imbalance between the two sides can hardly be addressed.
China and the United States also face the task
of building political and military mutual trust, as uncertainties
exist. The two nations have different views on regional and
hot-spot issues, let alone their stands on the Taiwan question,
Korean Peninsula and the Middle East. They need to tackle these
problems constructively and strategically.
At his meeting with Obama, Xi said he is
confident that China and the United States have the wisdom, ability
and measures to maintain and advance their partnership. Obama said
it is vital that the United States has a strong relationship with
China. We believe these commitments are not only reserved for the
likes of Valentine's Day.