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China Daily Website

Maintaining Sino-US relations

Updated: 2012-02-10 13:52
( chinadaily.com.cn)

Two opinion polls made public concurrently in China and in the United States Friday indicate that Chinese and Americans do not have a favorable impression of each other's country. Nonetheless, an overwhelming majority of those surveyed in both countries say that maintaining Sino-US ties is very important.

The surveys, released right before Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to the United States on Feb 13, were conducted by China Daily and the Beijing-based Horizon Research Consultancy Group in China, and the Gallup Poll in cooperation with China Daily in the US.

Given the power of public opinion, we hope that the results of these polls will have positive implications for bilateral ties and help decision makers better grasp the dynamics of Sino-US relations and there is no denying that Sino-US cooperation has become wider and deeper in recent years. Exchanges between the two peoples have flourished and the two economies have never been so closely interwoven.

Both countries realize that their cooperation goes well beyond the boundaries of bilateral ties and has now assumed global significance. However, there are still thorny issues arising out of a perceived US disrespect of China's core interests and major concerns. These make for a bumpy road from time to time, and fuel unfavorable public sentiment towards the US in China.

When Chinese President Hu Jintao paid a successful state visit to the US in January 2011, he and US President Barack Obama vowed to "work together to build a cooperative partnership of mutual respect and mutual benefit." Since then, Beijing has been working with Washington to translate this into action.

However, Washington has continued to flout China's concerns and interests with arm sales to Taiwan, Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama, and taking issue with the exchange rate of the RMB. These are among the major impediments that throw bilateral ties off the track from time to time.

People on both sides of the Pacific recognize the importance of continuing to maintain Sino-US relations. The only way to ensure that these are smooth relations is for the US to cease stepping on the toes of its bilateral partner.