Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi vowed to map the development of Sino-US relations for the next 50 years during his talks with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, which Chinese analysts said signals a significant point of transition in bilateral ties following China’s fast development over the past decades.
Wang and Tillerson met on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and at a series of other meetings which are being held in the Philippine capital city of Manila on Sunday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
The importance of the next stage is to plan and prepare for US President Donald Trump’s visit to China within this year, hold the Law Enforcement and Cyber Strategic Dialogue, and the Social and People-to-People Dialogue … and to map the development of Sino-US relations for the next 50 years, Wang said, according to the official website of China’s foreign ministry.
The relationship between China and the US has on the whole maintained stable growth, but there are still some sensitive issues that need to be handled carefully, Wang said.
Tillerson said that the two sides should seriously think about how to define bilateral relations for the next 50 years based on current successes, Xinhua reported.
“China has been open in diplomacy and is actively pursuing interaction with the US, which has been adjusting its recognition of China as a major power,” Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Monday.
“Relations between China and the US, two of the biggest countries that have great global influence, could affect the direction of the international model [of relations]. So a good relationship could ensure stable and peaceful progress in international society,” Li noted.
“To define Sino-US relations for ’50 years’ has made the goal more specific and workable,” he said.
For the foreseeable future, as the economies, societies and people-to-people communications between the two countries are very close, the common interests of China and the US are more consequential than they are divergent, so there will not be any major decline in relations, Li said.
The US currently sees the Korean Peninsula, the South China Sea and freedom of navigation, and cyber security as issues that need attention, while China’s emphasis is on maintaining sovereign integrity and developing economic trade, Li said.
However, Liu Weidong, a research fellow at the Institute of American Studies of the China Academy of Social Sciences believes that the future of Sino-US relations depends more on their domestic policies.
“Trump is now in a terrible fix as he is facing an unprecedented confrontation in US politics, while China will decide its overall policy for the future in the upcoming 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC),” Liu noted.
If China and the US manage their own domestic issues well, then Sino-US relations will also naturally go smoothly, Liu said.
“A roadmap for the next 50 years is a sound goal. Even though the recent relationship will probably have great influence on the future, it is more important to focus on existing issues,” Liu noted.
Trump visit to China
Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 6 extended an invitation to Trump for a state visit to China in 2017. Trump accepted the invitation with pleasure, and hopes to make the trip at an early date, Xinhua reported.
China has invited Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law and special adviser Jared Kushner to visit Beijing later this year, a White House official said in June, Reuters reported.
Also in June, China and the US held a high-level dialogue on diplomatic and security issues, vowing to promote bilateral ties by broadening cooperation and managing differences, Xinhua reported.
The dialogue is one of the four high-level mechanisms established during the meeting between Xi and Trump at Mar-a-Lago, Florida, in April.
“The implementation of the four mechanisms and Ivanka Trump’s visit, as well as many efforts that may not be public, are all in preparation for Trump’s visit to China,” Liu said.
The 100-day plan China and the US agreed on at Mar-a-Lago has made some achievements and has been recognized by both governments, which could pave the way for the upcoming meeting between Xi and Trump, Li said.
“Effective interactions between the two leaders could help build on the Sino-US relationship,” Li said.
“However, Trump may not see his visit to China as China sees it, which is more symbolic than strategic,” Liu noted.
Source: Global Times