Interview: China, U.S. should "cross river by feeling stones": ex-Australian PM
                 English.news.cn | 2014-08-26 21:48:08 | Editor: Xiang Bo

by Xinhua writers Liu Lina, Sun Shilian

BEIJING, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has proposed a wise notion to build a new type of major-country relations between his country and the United States, says former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Now the focus needs to be placed on operational ways to fulfill the vision, Rudd told Xinhua in a recent exclusive interview here over the weekend on the sidelines of the International Financial Forum (IFF) 2014 Leadership Dialogue.

The political veteran, who twice served as Australian prime minister, said he has noticed increasing tensions between China and the United States in recent months over South and East China Seas, trade and cyber security, among other matters.

But there are also positive areas where the two countries can expand cooperation, including the world economy and the stability of financial markets, stressed Rudd, now a Harvard University senior fellow and co-chairman of the IFF, a Beijing-based non-profit international organization.

Rudd said he supports the idea of forging a new type of major-country relations between China and the United States because it is based on mutual respect, mutual interests and a common commitment to sustained global prosperity.

"I agree with the concept, but personally, the key challenge is how to turn the concept into reality," Rudd said.

In order to do that, the two countries should "cross the river by feeling the stones," the fluent Chinese Mandarin speaker said, citing a famous quote from former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping.

Deng's strategy, which was used to navigate China's reform and opening-up to the outside world, can also be applied in the realm of diplomacy, especially the China-U.S. relationship, added Rudd.

"I'm examining areas where the two countries can work quite closely together," he said, referring to his research project at Harvard, which he said is aimed at helping both sides find the "stones."

He suggested that the two countries work more closely to build "global public products," such as international rules in the fields of economy, trade and security.

"It's far better we have a set of rules. ... Nobody wants chaos," he said. "We welcome China's voice on structuring rules in the future in areas we don't have rules on at present, like in cyber security."

He also firmly rejected the fabrication that China is a threat to the world, saying "I don't believe in anything called a 'China threat'."

As for the Chinese economy, Rudd said positive adjustments and healthier development will give the lie to allegations that the world's second largest economy is going to collapse tomorrow.

"I have analyzed China's economy for 30 years. ... I don't believe" those doomsayers, Rudd said.

He said he believes that China's slower growth, with the pace having decreased from double digits over the past 30 years to about 7 percent to 8 percent, means a healthier model of development.

"It's normal for all countries that have gone through the development cycle to shift from 'fast growth' to 'remarkable growth'," he said.

"The good thing about 'remarkable growth' is that it still can enhance living standards, while providing the opportunity for more balanced growth, including in areas such as the environment," he added.

"China is now the world's largest trade country, and this is good for the world as well," he said.

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