He Yafei: Sino-US relations crucial to global peace and growth

May 28 , 2017

He Yafei gives a speech in the  CCG-AEI seminar on Sino-US Economic Relations held in Beijing on May 18, 2017.  [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]




Many historic changes are due to globalization and global governance, with uncertainties rising in geopolitics adding to the tensions between major powers. Therefore, many ask the question like what could be done to re-calibrate global governance to fix the woes plaguing the world economy.


Undoubtedly, Sino-US relations have become one of the world’s most important bilateral ties and are closely related to the two countries’ fundamental interests and the future of the world.


The meeting of President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump in April at the Mar-a-Lago in Florida opened a new roadmap and set the right tone for the future of bilateral relations. The leaders were also able to discuss how to tackle major challenges facing current globalization.


To start off with, China and the US reaffirmed the strategic consensus of the peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation, and set guidelines, laying a solid foundation, for a healthier and more stable bilateral relationship.


Under the leadership of US President Trump, the US could acknowledge the weight of ideologies dwindle in diplomacy, as the country concentrates more on revitalizing the domestic economy. Because of this, Sino-US divergences over ideological topics may become less troublesome for bilateral ties.


On another note, China and the US started to install four bilateral dialogue mechanisms, and prepared to hold discussions into other fields and levels. Closer communication and cooperation between governmental departments was also encouraged and discussed.


Lastly, a “10-point plan” was reached between China and the US on trade and economic cooperation, which would not only mitigate trade frictions and avoid trade wars but also benefit the two nations and the world.


However, the uncertainties of the Trump’s administration still haunt the bilateral relations. It’s high time for China and the US to break this “curse” by injecting more certainty and predictability into the Sino-US relations.


Nowadays, the US government believes globalization has deviated from the track of “Americanization” and more benefits are shared by emerging countries like China, instead of US itself. US President Donald Trump issued the “America first” and “make America great again” during election campaign, releasing strong signals to seek to change the rules of the global economic governance.


As we know, globalization itself will not disappear overnight. The destiny of many countries in the world has become closely intertwined, and the discourse, therefore, should be discussed by putting heads together and focusing on optimizing globalization. Our leaders should better manage the international cooperation in a new period of globalization, rather than assuming it’s over.


Moreover, the US should continue to play an important role in global governance, and actively participate in activities of the multilateral organs like the United Nations, G20, APEC and so on. The US should also work together with other countries to cope with climate change, promote global free trade and investment, and acknowledge the goals of the “UN 2030” sustainable development agenda.


Together, China and the US should actively take a leading role over the discussion of global governance, making new rules and creating new concepts and models for international cooperation.


The author is co-chairman of the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) and former vice minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The article is an excerpt from his speech at the CCG-AEI Round table on Sino-US Economic Relations, held in Beijing on May 18, translated by Song Jingyi.

Keyword He Yafei