Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses the joint opening ceremony of the Sixth Round of China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue and the Fifth Round of China-U.S. High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange in Beijing, capital of China, July 9, 2014. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
by Xinhua writer Zhu Dongyang
BEIJING, July 9 (Xinhua) -- Forty years ago in the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, then U.S. National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger initiated a clandestine visit to China, beginning a relationship with substance and sway far beyond anyone's imagination at the time.
Decades later, the same quiet place is greeting officials from Beijing and Washington for the sixth round of the China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), a venue for both sides to remove thorn and thistle in their relations and render a pragmatic blueprint for the next chapter.
The meetings came amid increasing noise and suspicion that have lingered over both sides and outside observers.
Washington has undoubtedly harbored misgivings over the nature of China's peaceful development, while Beijing anxiously eyes Washington's "rebalance to Asia" policy and its persisting emphasis on military alliance with its regional allies.
The otherwise progressing China-U.S. cooperation has seen a slowdown lately, as the United States fabricated some cyber-espionage charges against five Chinese military officers in May, to which Beijing responded with strong denial and protests.
However, it's advisable for the two sides to remember that all these distractions -- arising from lacking strategic trust and perception of strategic goals between the two sides -- are as unprecedented as their goal of building a new model of major-country relationship itself.
There is "no ready-made experience" for the two countries to learn from in developing this model, as pointed out by Chinese President Xi Jinping Wednesday morning.
It is thus vital for the two countries to display good sense in forging accurate judgement of each other's fundamental goals, something would otherwise produce disasters too heavy to afford.
Nevertheless, what's gratifying for now is that both sides have come to realize the importance of keeping the big picture in mind through this dialogue, which will add substantial content to the new major-country relationship model.
Beijing and Washington should also be reminded that their common interests and win-win potentials, in areas ranging from carbon emission to climate change, from interest rate to investment agreement, from cyber security to cultural exchanges, from East Asia to South Sudan, are all yet to be tapped.
Any progress on these issues would be of considerable benefit to the world, meaning this dialogue is far more crucial than the empty-talk arena of some outsiders' definitions.
Echoing Xi's initiatives for mutual trust, respect and benefits, U.S. President Barack Obama also said in a statement that bilateral relations are defined by cooperation and the constructive control of differences.
As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said, the new model of U.S.-China relations are not defined in words, but in actions. For Washington, it should fulfill its commitment to respect China's core interests and refrain from any attempt to "contain" the Asian country.
On the other hand, Beijing should keep its strategic goal more effectively conveyed.
With profound stakes in each others' success, China and the United States should extend wisdom in avoiding any misjudgement of each other's strategic goals, the only path to breaking the old rivalry between rising and established powers.