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A successful summit
The just concluded China-US summit naturally became focus of international attention in the past few days. Whether the summit met expectations? People of different concerns might have different conclusions. But one thing is certain, that is the positive impact on bilateral ties or even international relations generated by the direct dialogue between top leaders of the world's largest developing and developed countries.
From the Chinese side, President Hu apparently reached his goal in strengthening dialogue, expanding consensus, enhancing mutual trust, deepening cooperation and comprehensively pushing forward the constructive cooperative relationship. In less than four days, he attended as many as 32 functions at which he made wide contacts with congressmen, government officials, business leaders, students and scholars. In his talks and speeches, President Hu presented facts and good reasoning to convince the American public that China is not a potential threat but a strategic partner who deserves trust and cooperation.
There is no denying that some Americans want to take the opportunity to put pressure on China, such as by asking China to enhance IPR protection, to guarantee reduce of trade surplus and, particularly, to promise sharp RMB revaluation; they also expect a clear stance from China to support US sanction on Iran.
On these questions, President Hu made proper responses: China has made, and will continue efforts on IPR protection; China will work hard on expanding domestic demands and has taken measures to increase import from the United States, and at the same time calling for wider US hi-tech export to China and the lift of unfair restrictions on Chinese investment in the US; China will also push forward the reform with RMB exchange rate mechanism; regarding international security and anti-proliferation, China is willing to enhance coordination with the US and meanwhile stands for resolving disputes through dialogue and diplomatic means. By showing its stance on these questions, we should say, China both defended its national interests according to established principles and gave full consideration to US concerns, highlighting the Chinese diplomacy as being flexible and pragmatic.
The author noticed a positive change in President Bush's positioning of relations with China. In his address at the arrival ceremony, the president said: "The United States welcomes the emergence of a China that is peaceful and prosperous, and that supports international institutions. As stakeholders in the international system, our two nations share many strategic interests." This is the first time that the president used the concept "stakeholder" after it was raised by Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick, and also the first time that he stated explicitly "our two nations share many strategic interests."
Then, what are the shared strategic interests between the two countries? President Bush mentioned three points. First, "Our two nations share an interest in expanding free and fair trade, which has increased the prosperity of both the American people and the Chinese people." Second, "Prosperity depends on security -- so the United States and China share a strategic interest in enhancing security for both our peoples." Third, "The natural world also generates threats to international security -- and the United States and China share a strategic interest in meeting these challenges as well." Here he mentioned the prevention of natural disasters, bird flu and the development of alternatives to fossil fuels.
At the press conference that followed, President Bush said: the US export to China increased nearly 21 percent last year, which means more jobs (created for the US). Then he said: China is an important voice in international affairs. In his address at the welcoming lunch, he pointed out that China is helping form a modern world. All these showed that Washington has begun to face squarely the fact that China's development is beneficial to the US, and recognized the important international role played by China.
Of course, the two sides didn't reach consensus on all issues. But just as the leaders stressed, the two parties can discuss their differences in a spirit of friendship and cooperation. This marks increasing maturity in China-US relations. From western to eastern coasts, President Hu had been warmly welcomed and closely followed. This is therefore a successful visit viewed from both governmental and non-governmental perspectives, as well as a successful summit devoted to deeper mutual understanding and trust, wider consensus and expanded constructive cooperative relationships.
By People's Daily Online