原编者按：本文是《中国国际战略评论2016》英文版China International Strategy Review 2016 的封面文章，在此发出，以飨读者。
China-Us Relations Have entered a “new normal”
The International Order and China-US Relations Are Still Stable
When judging trends in China-US relations, first we should observe the overall world situation and the overall situations within each country. In recent years, world economic growth has slowed down, but China and the United States remain the two largest engines driving the world economy. Globalization is still moving forward, while its momentum has suffered a setback. Nationalism, protectionism, and populism are generally on the rise in all countries; the gap between the rich and the poor is growing; sectarian and ethnic conflicts are prominent; refugee issues remain serious; and violent terrorist activities have been frequent. Incidents of disorder, which impact global security and stability, are on the rise. All this urgently requires more efforts to strengthen great power coordination and cooperation, consolidate the present international order, promote economic prosperity, address social justice on a global scale, and prevent geopolitical confrontation.
Since the 18th Party Congress, China has adhered to the judgment that peace and development is the mainstream of the times. China’s leadership has persisted in reform and opening up, reaffirmed the path of peaceful development, and continued to pursue a policy of friendship with neighboring countries. China is a beneficiary, defender, contributor, and builder of the current international order, and it does not want to “set up its own system” internationally. Chinese leaders attach great importance to the stability and development of relations with the United States, and they are working hard to deepen contacts with US officials, business circles, and society.
Since the Obama administration took office, there have been clear adjustments to domestic and foreign policies. Its foreign policy has stuck to the principle of “economy first” and stressed multilateral diplomacy and “smart power”; it has been prudent in the use of force overseas, reduced national defense expenditures, and upheld a policy of “don’t do the stupid stuff”; it has improved relations with Cuba and Iran, two countries with which it has deep- seated feuds. However, US-Russia relations have stagnated and the counter-terrorism situation is not bright. President Barack Obama has reiterated that the United States welcomes the rise of a peaceful, stable, and successful China, that China’s political stability and economic success are in the interest of the United States, and that the United States hopes to strengthen cooperation with China.
During the past few years, China and the United States have maintained dialogues in the area of international security. Despite issues such as the US interference in the South China Sea disputes and its plan to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in South Korea, China and the United States have nevertheless avoided direct conflict and serious crisis. The Chinese and US militaries have gradually built multifaceted and multilayered dialogue and exchange mechanisms. China-US bilateral trade is on its way to surpass China’s trade with the EU. Economic and trade cooperation mechanisms between some of China’s provinces and cities with relevant US states has become a new format, and investment by Chinese businesses in the United States is growing rapidly. China’s “13th Five-Year Plan” includes the concepts of innovative, coordinated, green, open, and inclusive development, which provide more opportunities for China-US cooperation. Cultural and educational exchanges have continued to expand between the two countries, and bilateral tourism is increasingly convenient and growing rapidly.
Cooperation by both countries on global governance issues, such as climate change, has become a highlight. Economic cooperation and cultural exchanges help to stablize and boost China-US relations. During President Xi Jinping’s visits to the United States in September 2015 and in March 2016, he emphasized many times that “the common interests shared by China and the United States are far greater than their differences.” This is an important judgment of the facts, and it is absolutely not diplomatic rhetoric.
Three Major Contradictions Highlight the “New Normal”
China-US relations are gradually moving towards maturity,(点击此处阅读下一页)