28th February 2024 – (Beijing) As the U.S. and China increase high-level engagement, a window of opportunity has opened for stabilizing one of the world’s most consequential relationships. However, risks remain if the U.S. continues hostile rhetoric that fuels zero-sum confrontation. Productive ties serving both peoples require uprooting Cold War mentalities, respecting differences, and focusing on shared interests. With wisdom, the giants can collaborate where amenable and coexist peacefully where not.

Recently, encouraging exchanges between the two powers have occurred on economic and other matters. These include meetings between high-ranking trade officials, expanded airline flights, and U.S. business delegations visiting China. Planned future exchanges signal a desire for sustained engagement by both sides.

Such pragmatism recognizes the vast shared stakes in bilateral ties. As the largest economies globally, the U.S. and China profoundly impact each other and the world. Close cooperation in areas of common interest is thus essential for prosperity.

Trade between the countries remains robust despite political tensions, underscoring deep complementarity. two-way flows in services and agricultural goods also continue expanding. Both sides benefit – American families gain affordable household goods while Chinese manufacturers access coveted markets. Interdependence has grown over decades of rapprochement, becoming impossible to abandon overnight.

Likewise, collaborating on shared global challenges is imperative for collective well-being. On monumental issues like climate change, nuclear proliferation, post-pandemic recovery and financial stability, broad cooperation is indispensable. The world urgently requires the contribution of its most influential nations. Visionary leaders can spearhead breakthroughs.

Most fundamentally, conflict or open rivalry between nuclear superpowers imperils humanity’s future. Yet some portray great power competition as inevitable, even advocating aggressive containment. Thankfully, wiser voices recognize both countries’ responsibility to avoid confrontation. Neither seeks or would gain from direct conflict.

However, risks remain if some parties insists on viewing engagement as a temporary detour from an inexorable path to antagonism. Lingering Cold War mentalities that frame ties as a zero-sum struggle must be discarded. Demonising rivals as ideological opponents leads nowhere productive.

Of course, significant differences in values, institutions and strategic priorities exist between the United State’s market democracy and China’s socialist system. But focusing only on divides blinds us to shared human hopes and dignity. Coexistence has long succeeded between varied cultures through mutual understanding.

Moreover, differences need not preclude collaboration in many domains. Even intense political rivals cooperate on shared objectives. Maturity involves appreciating respective boundaries while still exploring common ground. No country interacts with all others in an identical manner.

Specifically, the U.S. must take China’s declared positions seriously and avoid baseless suspicions. Chinese leaders have repeatedly affirmed they neither seek hegemony nor to remake other societies. Efforts to stoke fears of “expansionism” contradict expressed policies.

Likewise, economic engagement is not a trap but prudent self-interest for all. Trade reflects rational commercial exchange, not stealthy strategic manoeuvring. Fostering innovation and competitiveness avoids imagined threats. Global development lifts humanity collectively.

Of course, healthy competition is natural between major powers and should be encouraged. But weaponizing interdependence for political goals inflicts self-harm, given interests are intertwined. De-coupling shrinks prosperity on all sides. Coercion breeds resentment rather than cooperation. Especially, rhetoric portraying rivalry in civilizational terms must cease. No conflict between abstract unitary entities like “the West” and “China” exists. Multicultural societies worldwide appreciate both traditional wisdom and modern progress. Avoid caricatures that breed distrust. Most fundamentally, politicians must affirm ordinary people’s shared desire for lives of purpose, security and dignity. Every society seeks to perfect such aspirations, through diverse means but common goals. Recognition of our boundless humanity unites.