Interview: China, U.S. can create more positive opportunities -- expert

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-17 16:25:41|Editor: Mengjie
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by Xinhua writers Liu Si, Han Liang and Hu Ruoyu

BEIJING, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- China and the United States will be able to create an environment filled with positive opportunities to push forward their relations in the future, a renowned China specialist from the United States has said.

Douglas H. Paal, vice president for studies and director of the Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told Xinhua in a recent interview that Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, reinforced the "warm, personal relationship they started at Mar-a-Lago in April" at their Beijing meeting, with the help of the "very generous hospitality on the Chinese side."

Paal had keenly followed the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) last month. He felt there is the possibility that China will assume a greater and more confident role in managing some of the big issues, which he believed are potential areas of U.S.-China cooperation.

"I think we can create an environment in which all opportunities are positive and reduce the negative opportunities. We will be able to stick our way in next 10 years," he said.

On trade, Paal spoke highly of the unprecedented 253.5-billion-U.S.-dollar-worth agreements reached during Trump's Beijing visit.

However, he obviously looks at bilateral relations from a far broader perspective other than trade deals. He emphasized that the United States should work very closely on the Belt and Road Initiative, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in particular.

The Belt and Road Initiative, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was proposed by China in 2013 with the aim of building a trade, investment and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes.

To support the initiative, China has established the AIIB and the Silk Road Fund to provide finance to infrastructure projects.

Paal said the AIIB has been brought to "very high standards of governance" and the United States "should be willing to partner."

Noting that the Asia-Pacific region "definitely has important infrastructure needs," he said it was necessary for the United States to cooperate with China and "make sure we have coherent infrastructure development plans in Southeast Asian and South Asian regions."

"And it would be very smart for the U.S. and its partners to work with China to get the most sufficient allocation of resources of new infrastructure elements," he said.

In security cooperation, Paal noted that Washington and Beijing have a common purpose to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, believing that through cooperation, China and United States can harmonize the Korean Peninsula issue together.

"There is a very practical way for us to cooperate," said Paal.

As a matter of fact, for quite a while, some U.S. officials tended to voice concerns over "China's ambitions." However, putting emphasis on cooperation, Paal said the United States and China should seek more areas to work together and "remove some of those suspicions."

"We need more common understandings on that, manage these differences and adjust our policies to relieve each other off the suspicions we have," he said. "This is going to take strategic thinking and far-side leadership."

In Paal's opinion, Chinese leaders have already demonstrated this ability of leadership.