Full coverage: 2017 NPC & CPPCC Sessions
By Tom McGregor, CCTV.com Panview Opinion page commentator and editor
China and United States are ranked as the two largest economies in the world. They can become even stronger if Beijing and Washington work together, instead of engaging in "zero sum" games.
The theme was highlighted by China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi when he spoke on the sidelines of the '2 Sessions’ at the National People's Congress on Wednesday (Mar. 9).
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi answers questions on China's foreign policy and foreign relations at a press conference for the fifth session of the 12th National People's Congress in Beijing, capital of China, March 8, 2017. (Xinhua/Cui Xinyu)
"As long as we act on the consensus reached between our presidents, follow the principle of no conflicts and confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation," said Wang. "There is no reason why China and the United States cannot become excellent partners."
Some observers might be surprised Wang remains optimistic over China-US relations. Much of the Western media has portrayed US President Trump in a negative light and warn dark days loom ahead for China-US ties.
T-Rex to visit Beijing
Despite gloom and doom from Western media naysayers, Wang is correct to envision improved relations with Washington.
He believes both countries "can truly rise up over the old ideas, open up new horizons and build a new mature and robust relationship, so that we can put the minds of our two people and the whole world at ease."
And according to media reports, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, plans to visit Asia next week and scheduled to meet Wang and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.
Tillerson is expected to discuss the current state of US-China relations and seek new ways for the two countries to embark on shared peace and prosperity.
Trade challenges & solutions
Trade has been a key topic of concern. Trump vowed to enforce tougher trade and borders protections' measures. Trump calls it, "America First" policies, but Beijing fears US trade nationalism could harm China’s exports to the country.
Nevertheless, every sovereign government deserves the right to decide how to govern its nation, and China would "never interfere in the internal affairs of another sovereign nation."
But, Trump did say the Chinese are the "world’s best negotiators," so we should anticipate the two sides to sign deals and find areas of common ground for prosperous bilateral trade and investments.
Trump had become a self-made billionaire as a New York real estate mogul and he understood the "Art of the Deal." He will see the tremendous value, sooner or later, in making China and US "excellent partners."
Shared vision for peace
Additionally, we should not anticipate a China-US war to flare up under his administration. During the US Presidential campaign, Trump had repeatedly reiterated he doesn’t want to "fight endless wars and conflicts."
Yes, he promised to fight against the scourge of radical Islamist terrorism and just announced plans to raise the US Defense budget by 10 percent. Nonetheless, Trump does not intend to provoke wars against China or Russia.
Some media coverage has claimed flashpoints over territorial disputes in the South China Sea, which could spark war, and that has caused grave misunderstandings for the public.
Some tensions have ignited, but there’s a big difference between a verbal disagreement and military attack. Tough talks on both sides serve a role to ensure sovereign governments are willing to fight for its citizens and territorial claims.
There's an old saying in America, "let's agree to disagree" and it's the proper method for two sides to save face without surrendering their claims. Let's call the tough talks but peaceful ends gestures - 'bluster diplomacy.’
Achieving greatness together
President Trump and President Xi Jinping do have remarkable similarities. When Xi took the helm as China’s president he launched a nationwide "crackdown on corruption."
Trump has entered the White House with a bold ambition to "drain the swamp," rooting out rampant vice in Washington. Trump is discovering that serving as a "transformational" president means facing numerous obstacles and stubborn forces.
Perhaps when the day comes for Trump to meet Xi face-to-face, they can not only talk about the two countries' shared visions, but Xi can offer some tips on how to fight the dragons of corruption.
Tom McGregor, CCTV.com Panview Opinion page commentator and editor
(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com)
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