China, US should seize chance to resolve their trade dispute

BEIJING (China Daily/ANN) - Relations between China and the United States are widely believed to be the most consequential of bilateral ties, so there has been growing concern as their interplay has become seemingly increasingly intractable this year. Thus recent indications the two sides want to rein in their frictions have been met with huge sighs of relief.

In the latest move, Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and US National Security Adviser John Bolton met in Washington on Wednesday, and the two sides agreed to “strengthen communication and cooperation”, and work together to ensure that the talks between the two countries’ top leaders go well when they meet on the sidelines of this month’s G20 summit in Argentina.

This adds to the momentum of the rapprochement that has gained steam since the two country’s leaders had a telephone conversation on Nov 1, in which they agreed that negotiations were only way to realize mutually acceptable resolution to their trade dispute and these were “moving along nicely”.

The two sides’ shared desire to manage their differences has since been demonstrated by the resumption of the second China-US Diplomatic and Security Dialogue, which is to be co-chaired by Yang and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington on Friday.

All this has raised hopes the two sides will be able to find a way to resolve their trade dispute and put their relations on firmer footing.

While it is natural the two sides should have differences of opinion, what’s important is Beijing and Washington remain cool-headed and listen to each other’s concerns. Neither will achieve their goals if they are at loggerheads, and any fractiousness will prove to be self-harming.

Instead of becoming mired in unnecessary competition, they should appreciate that with the digital economy set to take off, there is huge potential to be tapped and greater rewards forthcoming if they view each other as partners rather than rivals.

Both countries should strive to maintain an atmosphere conducive to friendly exchanges of views, so that they can find a way to resolve their difference. Certainly the rest of the world hopes for and expects nothing less.

If progress can be made ahead of the G20 summit, then the two leaders will be able to give good tidings for a better year ahead.

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