China, U.S. agree to take action to bring ties back to right track after Switzerland meeting

China, U.S. agree to take action to bring ties back to right track after Switzerland meeting

China and the U.S. agreed to take action and work together to bring bilateral relations back to the right track of sound and steady development during their latest round of key talks in Zurich, Switzerland on Wednesday.

The consensus was reached during talks between Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and the U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

The two sides, in a candid manner, had a comprehensive and in-depth exchange of views on China-U.S. relations as well as international and regional issues of common concern. The meeting was described as constructive, and conducive to enhancing mutual understanding.

When China and the United States cooperate, the two countries and the world will benefit; when they are in confrontation, the two and the world will suffer seriously, said Yang, also director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee.

Whether China and the United States can handle their relations well bears on the fundamental interests of the two countries and two peoples, as well as the future of the world, he added.

The U.S. needs to have a deep understanding of the mutually beneficial nature of China-U.S. relations and correctly understand China’s domestic and foreign policies and strategic intentions, said Yang, adding that China opposes defining relations between the two nations as “competitive.”

He said that China attaches importance to the positive remarks on China-U.S. relations made recently by U.S. President Joe Biden, and has noticed that the U.S. side said it has no intention of containing China’s development and is not seeking a “new Cold War.”

China hopes the U.S. could adopt a rational and pragmatic China policy, and, together with China, follow a path of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, with respect for each other’s core interests and major concerns.

During the meeting, Yang expounded China’s solemn position on issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet and human rights as well as on maritime issues, urging the United States to truly respect China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, and stop using these issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs.

The U.S. expressed its adherence to the one-China policy.

The two sides also exchanged views on climate change and regional issues of common concern and agreed to maintain regular dialogue and communication on important issues.

The meeting follows several important discussions between the two sides. Here are some key points from previous high-level exchanges:

Calls between two heads of states

In their phone conversation on September 10, China’s President Xi Jinping pointed out the two countries’ relationship has run into serious difficulty due to the U.S. policy on China.

He said Beijing and Washington need to show broad vision and shoulder great responsibilities. The two countries should look ahead and press forward, demonstrate strategic courage and political resolve and bring China-U.S. relations back to the right track of stable development as soon as possible for the good of the people in both countries and around the world.

U.S. President Joe Biden said in the phone call that the two powers have no interest in letting competition veer into conflict and the U.S. is prepared to have more candid exchanges and constructive discussions with China to identify key and priority areas where cooperation is possible, avoid miscommunication, miscalculation and unintended conflict and get U.S.-China relations back on track.

On the eve of the Chinese New Year, the two leaders held their first phone conversation since Biden took office in January and the two sides agreed to avoid conflicts and conduct cooperation on areas such as climate change.

One-China policy

China has emphasized the one-China policy and the principle of non-interference in developing China-U.S. relations, especially on issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet and human rights as well as on maritime issues.

Yang said in a phone call with Blinken on June 11 that the Taiwan question concerns China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and involves China’s core interests. He reiterated that there is only one China in the world and that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China.

In March, the two countries held their first face-to-face meeting between high-level officials after the new U.S. administration took office, and adhering to one-China policy is also a keyword.

At the two-day high-level strategic dialogue in Anchorage, Alaska, Yang said that China firmly opposes the U.S. interference in China’s internal affairs and will continue to respond firmly, urging the U.S. to change its zero-sum mentality.

China-U.S. climate cooperation

Addressing climate change is an important part of China-U.S. cooperation and Xi has also elaborated on China’s position on climate change in previous exchanges with the U.S.

During the latest talks with Biden, President Xi pointed out that whether they can handle their relationship well bears on the future of the world, and it is a question of the century to which the two countries must provide a good answer.

Biden said that the two countries have no interest in letting competition veer into conflict, and that the U.S. side has no intention to change the one-China policy.

Last month, China’s Special Envoy for Climate Change Xie Zhenhua held talks upon invitation with visiting U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry and the two sides agreed to continue their dialogue and consultations, take action on climate issues and strengthen pragmatic cooperation.

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