President Obama reaches out to shake hands with China

Vice President Xi Jinping, in the Oval Office, Feb. 14. Mr. Xi,

slated to become president of China next year, has been on

a week-long visit to the U.S. His last visit was 27 years ago.



Huanqui, People's Republic of China

China and America Will Determine Course of the 'Pacific Century'


With Hu Jintao's heir apparent Xi Jinping visiting the United States, the issue of how to properly direct the course of relations between the United States and China is more pressing than ever. Columnist Ding Gang, Bangkok bureau chief of China's state-run People's Daily, warns that the 'building of military alliances' - a reference to America's strategic return to Asia - is precisely the wrong way to foster economic growth, which he emphasizes depends on stable, peaceful Sino-U.S. ties.


By Ding Gang*


Translated By John Chen


February 15, 2012


People's Republic of China - Huanqui - Original Article (Chinese)

First Contact: Richard Nixon shakes hands with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, February 21, 1972.


AL-JAZEERA NEWS VIDEO: China Vice President Xi 'harvests some heartland diplomacy', Feb. 16, 00:02:42RealVideo

Richard Nixon, as he stepped off Air Force One on his first visit to China 40 years ago, extended his hand to Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai and said, "This handshake comes across the vast Pacific Ocean."


[Editor's Note: Nixon's exact words were: "This handshake comes across the vast Pacific Ocean and many years of no communication."]


Now, 40 years later, as Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (習近平) is on the ground in the United States, the vast Pacific Ocean has become a broad platform for the development of relations between the two great powers. A great "Pacific Century" is approaching. China-U.S. relations will determine the general trend of this century.


The Asia Pacific is the most dynamic part of the world economy today, and in particular, Asia's emerging economies are becoming the new engine of global growth. Asian Development Bank projections indicate that by the middle of the century, Asia will account for half of all global economic activity. Asian GDP will grow from $16 trillion in 2010 to $148 trillion in 2050, lifting more than 30 million out of poverty.


Encompassing multiple layers and a wide range of direct contacts, the interests of China and the United States converge in the Asia Pacific more than anywhere else. The nature of Sino-U.S. relations is of great importance to every country in the region. Sino-U.S. competition and cooperation will be the focus of many hot-button issues, and will have a direct impact on Asia-Pacific stability and development. The fate of the entire region is directly tied to healthy China-U.S. ties.


But one mustn't think that the U.S. and China are the only countries that matter on this huge stage. Other vigorously developing Asian countries account for a major portion of the global economy. Their development is and will continue to be closely associated with, and affect the development of, China-U.S. relations. This interactivity is and will continue to be important in defining China-U.S. ties.


At the moment, what Asia-Pacific countries are most concerned about is maintaining economic prosperity, the momentum of economic growth and regional cooperation. Some countries want to find a balance between China and the United States. But by no means does this mean that they are interested in a Cold War style "balance of terror." They seek a new concept of the balance of power. In essence, Asian nations wish to remain focused on development and draw momentum from both the China and U.S. sides - and not to have to choose between the two in a conflict. No nation wants to exist within an atmosphere of a tense military confrontation, and strengthening military alliances goes against the mainstream thinking on how to develop the region.





BBC News, U.K.: Xi Jinping and America's Nostalgic Self Indulgence

Telegraph, U.K.: Chinas Leader: Wined, Dined ... and Warned

Telegraph, U.K.: Obama and Xi Need an Australian Retreat with Kevin Rudd

Taipei Times, Taiwan: Despite a Renewed U.S. Pledge, Asia Arms Race Heats Up

Global Times, China: U.S. and Beijing Disagree on Obama's Chinese Name

FTD, Germany: Obama's China Trip Announces 'World Without Leadership'

Global Times, China : The Well-Disguised 'Arrogance' Behind Obama's Royal Bow

The Times, U.K.: Obama Bow Shows 'Confidence'; Need for Change After Bush

Global Times, China: Addiction to Growth is China's 'Berlin Wall'

Global Times, China: U.S. and Beijing Disagree on Obama's Chinese Name

Global Times, China: Chinese Netizens Have 'Sharp Words' for President Obama

China Daily, China: Obama Can Teach Shanghai Officials a Thing or Two

China Daily, China: VIDEO - Chinese React to Visit of President Obama

Global Times, China: 'Obscene Postcard' Emerges of Taiwan President and Hillary

Der Spiegel: German Editorials - Obama's Soft Approach to China Won't Succeed

The Times, U.K. Obama's Bow to Japan Emperor Shows U.S. 'Confidence'

The Telegraph, U.K.: Obama 'Breaks Conciliatory Tone'; Criticizes China Censorship

The Australian, Australia: Obama's Personal Story No Substitute for Policy in Asia

Globe & Mail, Canada: China 'Plays Down' President Obama's Visit



Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd made this clear not long ago: "I firmly believe that Sino-American conflict is not inevitable, and that it would undermine the interests of all parties, as well as their fundamental values." History tells us not to allow erroneous forecasts to become realities. The key is not to go around repeating them - and not to allow them to create a particular atmosphere.


Reviewing the course of Sino-U.S. relations over the past 40 years, we could say that despite ups and downs, the results we have achieved are unprecedented. For one thing, the development of China-U.S. ties has created a win-win situation not only between the two countries, but for Asia-Pacific development in general. In a sense, the task for China and the United States is to create win-win opportunities for the purpose of building mutual trust. The more such opportunities there are, the greater the expectations will be for Sino-U.S. ties, and the more the two sides will promote and take account of their responsibilities to the Asia Pacific region and the world at large. We must remember during this "Pacific Century" that peace, development and cooperation are the common aspirations of all peoples in the region.


*Ding Gang is Bangkok Bureau chief for China's state-run the People's Daily




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