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By cementing a strategic policy of cooperation, China and Europe forge a more practical partnership
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UPDATED: April 12, 2014 NO.9 FEBRUARY 27, 2014
Kerry's Chinese Valentine
Top U.S. diplomat's China trip enhances bilateral engagement
By Yu Lintao

He added that China and the United States are highly interdependent, reflected by the annual $500 billion bilateral trade as well as more than 90 dialogue mechanisms and exchanges. However, as one is established and the other is an emerging power, the two nations differ in terms of social systems and culture, which can act as a source of divergences and conflicts.

Practical cooperation

The two sides also reached broad consensus on this year's high-level engagements, dialogue and concrete cooperation in various areas.

On the second day of Kerry's China trip, the website of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced a China-U.S. Joint Statement on Climate Change. The two sides have reached agreement on the implementation plans on the five initiatives launched under the China-U.S.

Climate Change Working Group (CCWG), including Emission Reductions from Heavy Duty and Other Vehicles, Smart Grids, Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage, Collecting and Managing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data, and Energy Efficiency in Buildings and Industry, and have committed to devoting significant effort and resources to securing concrete results by the time of the Sixth China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue (SED) in 2014.

"Unlike traditional security issues, nontraditional security issues including climate change need more international cooperation," said Huang. As the largest developed country and the biggest emerging economy, the cooperation between China and the United States on the issue is of more practical significance, he added.

The two sides agreed to discuss the establishment of a joint working group on nonproliferation, and strengthen cooperation in this regard. They also discussed cooperation on antiterrorism, and other major international and regional issues including tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Some observers claimed China's firm stance regarding the Korean nuclear impasse during talks between diplomats of the two sides also helped the two to enhance mutual understanding.

Wang told Kerry in the talks that "China will never allow chaos or war on the Korean Peninsula."

China's attitude elicited a positive response from Kerry. In a press briefing after talks with Chinese leaders, Kerry said, "At every level in all our conversations today, China could have not more forcefully reiterated its commitment to that goal."

The two sides agreed to start preparations early for a new round of SED—scheduled for China this summer—and Consultation on People-to-People Exchange, promote an early signing of a bilateral investment agreement, and work to build a mechanism to inform each other about major military actions. The United States welcomed China to participate in its 2014 Rim of the Pacific Exercise.

Da of the CICIR said, "The two countries stepped up their discussion on bilateral cooperation in a wide range of issues, with the aim of fleshing out a new model of relationship with concrete actions and reciprocal cooperation."

Referring to the South China Sea and East China Sea disputes, China reiterated its stance and reaffirmed its determination to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Wang urged the United States to take an objective and impartial stance, and not to "take sides."

Li said that in a widely connected world, the meddling of outside parties can cause undue influence on Sino-U.S. relations. Therefore, Beijing and Washington should approach the issue with a far-sighted view to avoid "being dragged into troubled waters."

During the days before Kerry's trip to China, Washington released some "tough" signals on the territorial disputes around the East China Sea and the South China Sea. Danny Russels, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, even claimed China's nine-dash line, which delineates China's claims in the South China Sea, is contrary to international law, and needs clarification and adjustment. Some Western media and countries with territorial disputes with China then claimed the Obama administration would use Kerry's visit to again exert pressure on China. But, this time, they were disappointed.

Li said that the divergence on one point cannot block Sino-U.S. cooperation in a wider range of fields. Though there are differences, win-win cooperation is still the direction both sides strive for.

Observers claimed that a healthy Sino-U.S. relationship needs both sides to accumulate and unleash positive energy and promote it toward continuous progress on the right track.

Email us at: yulintao@bjreview.com

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