45 years of China-U.S.relations and counting
Editorial  ·  2024-01-02  ·   Source: NO.1 JANUARY 4, 2024

On January 1, 1979, China and the United States officially established diplomatic relations based on the principle of seeking common ground while reserving differences. Forty-five years on, this principle still rings true.

Over the past decades, both countries have gained from cooperation and lost from confrontation.

There are two stabilizers in China-U.S.relations. Number one: people-to-people exchanges. Fifty-two years ago, an encounter between Chinese table tennis player Zhuang Zedong and his U.S. counterpart Glenn Cowan during the 31st World Table Tennis Championships in Nagoya, Japan, kicked off the normalization of China-U.S.relations, followed by U.S. President Richard Nixon's icebreaking visit to China in February 1972, ending more than 20 years of estrangement. Since then, people-to-people exchanges have always played an important role in China-U.S.relations, contributing to broader interactions in education, science and technology, culture, healthcare, sports, media, etc. 

Number two: trade. Despite lingering frictions, China and the U.S. have made breakthroughs in economic and trade cooperation over the past 45 years. The value of trade in goods between the two countries surged from $2.5 billion in 1979 to $754.5 billion in 2022.

Though China and the U.S. have different national conditions, social systems and levels of development, they are both major countries with pivotal positions in the global framework. They complement each other in several fields, such as trade, economic development, and science and technology. Moreover, a stable Sino-American relationship is important for maintaining world peace and development.

In the past few years, the impact of the pandemic, among other things, has seriously affected China-U.S. relations, and people-to-people exchanges in particular. But the more difficult things get, the more important exchanges will be. Only through communication can they effectively resolve differences and problems and enhance mutual understanding and trust.

More than five years after the U.S. started a trade war against China, it is high time for them to return the world's most important bilateral relationship to a state of normalcy. Mutually beneficial trade relations should no longer be damaged in the endless battle between suppression and counter-suppression and between sanctions and counter-sanctions.

Both countries must continue to seek common ground while reserving their differences as they did 45 years ago, and jointly serve the world's common good.

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