File photo shows the national flags of China (R) and the United States as well as the flag of Washington D.C. on the Constitution Avenue in Washington, capital of the United States.(Xinhua/Bao Dandan)
As the Chinese say, the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. The Alaska dialogue could be this very step.
BEIJING, March 17 (Xinhua) -- For China and the United States, whose relations have plunged to the lowest point since their establishment of diplomatic relations in the 1970s, the arrival of the long-awaited official dialogue between high-ranking diplomats undoubtedly sends a positive signal.
The time is right to seek to revive China-U.S. relations from their historic low.
As China's top diplomats will hold a high-level strategic dialogue with their U.S. counterparts in Alaska starting Thursday, many observers are holding their collective breath, eager to see whether their cautious optimism can translate into concrete outcomes.
The latest development comes 50 years after Dr. Henry Kissinger's legendary initial trip to Beijing. The vision and courage of political ice-breaking of that kind are still needed to ensure one of the world's most important bilateral relationships, which now stands at a new crossroads, can return to the right track at an early date.
The Chinese side has been reiterating that China and the United States should build strategic trust, avoid strategic miscalculation and manage differences. Communication and dialogue, on the basis of mutual trust and on an equal footing, are effective vehicles to achieve such aims.
The two countries need to return to normal engagement at all levels. That is the best way to reduce strategic miscalculation and doubts.
The ongoing pandemic coupled with profound changes unseen in a century have made world affairs even more complicated and unpredictable. It is the responsibility of the world's two largest economies to bring certainty to the world.
The choice China and the United States make today will have a huge impact on the future of humanity.
China has sent a clear message at the beginning of the year, calling on the Biden administration to "restore normalcy to bilateral relations and restart cooperation." From the "cooperative competition" between China and the United States proposed by former Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying last year, to the "healthy competition" between the two sides Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi called for this month, China's U.S. policy has been consistent and increasingly pragmatic.
To reset China-U.S. relations, the U.S. government should also be more pragmatic. Its deep-rooted prejudices against China should be discarded.
The short-sighted China approach and old-fashioned mindset of a zero-sum game between major powers adopted by the previous U.S. administration should have long been abandoned.
Striving for the sustained and healthy development of bilateral relations, the two sides should respect each other's core interests and major concerns. They should also refrain from interfering in each other's internal affairs. China's position on its own internal affairs related to Xinjiang and Hong Kong has been consistent and clear. It will unwaveringly defend its sovereignty, security and development interests.
Beijing has called upon Washington to work with China to enhance cooperation in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, restoring the global economy and tackling climate change, and foster bright prospects for the two peoples and the world at large.
As the Chinese say, the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Although resetting China-U.S. relations is difficult and can by no means be done overnight, a first step needs to be taken. The Alaska dialogue could be this very step. ■