With President Barack Obama’s re-election and Xi Jinping set to take power in China, Professor Minxin Pei urges both leaders to reassess bilateral relations and establish strategic trust.
Since the incumbent Barack Obama has won re-election in the US presidential race, more consistency is expected in US foreign policy in the next four years. China has paid great attention to US rebalancing towards Asia and the increasing US presence in the region.
As the US presidential election is now in full swing, China has become a punching bag for both candidates. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney are stepping up attacks on each other in their election campaigns, with China as a frequent topic.
For most of its history, the relationship between China and the US has been defined by the relative asymmetry in power between the two countries. Such imbalance has given rise to complex and often contradictory views of one another between Chinese and Americans. Now however, it is possible to chart a new course forward based on mutual symmetry and respect.
China’s mission is for peaceful development towards a harmonious world. This cannot be accomplished without healthy and stable relations between major countries, especially between China and the US.
When reading about China – U.S. relations or talking with Chinese interlocutors, the common refrain is that China and the U.S. can resolve their differences and overcome the trust deficit. Unfortunately, this is counterproductive because it undermines efforts to find near-term solutions to urgent problems.
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