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Establishing boundaries is essential to ensure healthy, not deadly, competition: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-09-25 18:32

US President Joe Biden arrives to speak at a Democratic National Committee event at the headquarters of the National Education Association on Sept 23, 2022 in Washington, DC. [Photo/Agencies]

If the mismatch between the political pledges the Joe Biden administration makes to Beijing and what it actually does continues, it will unavoidably lead to the administration making a grave misjudgment.

There may be a degree of political expediency in what the administration is doing, given that anti-China sentiment has become a bipartisan touchstone for popular appeal among the members of Congress who are competing to be the toughest on China. But primarily, both the administration's hollow promises and the China-bashing of Congress are the product of Washington's persistent and putrefied Cold War mindset, which results in the reality of China-US interdependence being ignored, the history of bilateral win-win cooperation being misrepresented, and channels of dialogue and communication being blocked.

While the Biden administration stresses the "need to maintain open lines of communication and responsibly manage" bilateral ties, "especially during times of tension", the reality is, that continuing the policy of the previous administration, it has reduced communication to the bare minimum, and what communication it does engage in is mainly for show.

That's why State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi threw the following four questions to the US side in his speech on Sino-US relations at the Asia Society's headquarters in New York on Thursday, one day before he met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the compound of the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations.

How will the US deliver on its promise of not aiming to change China's system, when it has framed a false narrative of "democracy versus authoritarianism", a narrative that takes aim at China's political system, development path and governing party?

How can a new Cold War be prevented, when the US has identified China as the US' primary rival and the most serious long-term challenge, and is engaged in an all-ways endeavor to contain it?

How is the US honoring its commitment not to support "Taiwan independence" when it keeps elevating substantive relations with Taiwan, spurring a "gray rhino" to charge the world?

How is it keeping the industry and supply chains between China and the US and of the world stable, when it continues to prolong the trade war with China and lengthens the list of Chinese companies it has sanctioned?

The crux of the matter actually boils down to how the US perceives China, the world and itself. If it had confidence in its own abilities and perceived China rationally, the differences between China and the US could be the foundation for complementarity and mutual respect, rather than being used as justifications for conflict and confrontation.

As Wang said, "neither side is able to take the other down". China will not become another US, and the US cannot mold China to its liking. Mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation represent the right way to handle bilateral ties.

Both sides should make the upmost effort to get along. The two sides need healthy competition as that will bring out the best in each other. But they should establish boundaries so that their competition does not become vying for the other's demise.

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