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US action key to putting ties back on right track: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-09-10 17:54


The wide attention the telephone call between President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Joe Biden on Friday has drawn speaks volumes of the high hopes the international community has of the two leaders to resolve the two countries' differences and put bilateral relations back on track.

With the two leaders agreeing that it is the responsibility of both sides to ensure their competition does not veer into conflict, their conversation sends a positive signal to the world that the two sides don't want their differences to become unmanageable.

Also, the fact that the two leaders' conversation lasted 90 minutes and their exchanges were "candid" and "familiar", as a senior US official said, highlights the importance of the phone call.

The two leaders touched upon almost all major areas where the two sides' interests "converge", and areas where their "interests, values and perspectives diverge", the White House said in a statement.

Such broad, open and strategic discussions between the two top leaders, apart from helping deepen mutual understanding, can also clear the way for the two sides to explore areas of cooperation. And focusing on addressing more common issues, such as climate change, is what the two sides need to rebuild mutual trust.

The ups and downs the Sino-US relations have gone through since Biden took office in January should make US strategists realize that Washington's strategic misjudgments vis-à-vis China are to blame for the stalemate in bilateral ties, and it is up to the administration to correct its course.

Given the many challenges, from the COVID-19 pandemic to climate change, the world is facing, the international community has been calling on the world's two largest economies to strengthen cooperation, instead of intensifying their disputes. Yet it would be unrealistic of the US to expect unconditional support from China to tackle those issues while it continues to push forward its strategy of containing China's rise.

It takes two to tango. And the US knows it.

Citing an ancient Chinese poem that expresses a person's excitement on suddenly finding an idyllic hamlet at a time he seems lost in the mountains, Xi said he hopes the US keeps the bigger picture in mind and shows more strategic foresight in handling its relations with China.

The phone call, once again, shows China's willingness to improve relations with the US, because it knows the way the Sino-US ties develop will have monumental consequences on the global situation.

Hopefully, the Biden administration will correct its policy mistakes and meet the Chinese side half way in order to put bilateral ties back on track.

That Xi singled out climate change as a possible area for Sino-US cooperation means both sides agree on an important global issue, as Biden has said pretty much the same thing. 

This could be a good start to put the overall Sino-US relations back on the right track.

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