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Global Times

China hopes new US govt to get ties back on track: FM

Global Times

By Wang Qi and Zhang Hui Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/5 21:48:41

China hopes new US govt will push relations onto right track: FM

Right ahead of the unveiling of the US presidential election results, remarks by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng that he hoped the new US administration will uphold the spirit of non-confrontation and win-win cooperation to jointly push the China-US relations onto the right track are viewed by analysts as a positive megaphone, sending messages to the new US administration that China is willing to take past irrational and hostile moves by the US as intended to serve the interests of the election, and would love to thaw the relationship with the new US administration.

Le made the remarks at a media briefing on the 20th Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on Thursday, at a time when Joe Biden is leading incumbent US President Donald Trump with 264 to 214 in terms of electoral votes, only six votes away from the White House.

China and the US have differences, but also common interests and broad space for cooperation, said Le, adding that he hopes the ongoing US election will proceed smoothly.

Maintaining and promoting the sound and steady development of bilateral relations conforms to the fundamental interests of the Chinese and American people, and it also serves the common aspiration of the international community, Le said, noting that he hopes the new US government will uphold the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, focus on cooperation, manage differences and push bilateral relations forward onto the right track.

Such a statement suggests that China is actively signaling goodwill. China is willing to kindly take recent US hysteria and anti-China moves as election-oriented, Zhang Shengjun, vice dean of the School of Political Science and International Relations at Beijing Normal University, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Over the past four years, the US government's unilateral actions have seriously undermined China-US relations and world stability.

According to Zhang, Le's remarks are also a reference to the new administration, which might seriously consider taking a different path from the previous administration and not continuing the route of hawkish, extreme and unilateral policies.

China has not taken the initiative to attack the US even in the darkest times of the past four years, and China has long wanted a stable and strong US to cooperate with China for win-win results, said Zhang, adding that China's calm and confidence is conducive to world stability and recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This election is a good example that simply playing the anti-China card will not cover up a US leader's failure and irresponsibility, and confronting China would not necessarily lead to election victory," said Zhang.

If the election continues on the current trend, the new US administration would likely have a Democratic president, a Republican Senate and a Democratic House of Representatives. Such a line-up could be the most positive outcome, in terms of providing the best environment for the improvement and thawing of ties, analysts said.

The incumbent president Donald Trump was still trailing behind Biden in the election race and losing some key states, while the GOP was leading in the Senate elections and the Democrats were leading in the House as of press time.

Considering that bilateral ties have hit historical lows, it will be easy for Biden to take a U-turn and shift them back on a slightly positive path, at least in certain fields. A more rational Democratic Party in power and control of the House would restore some scope for cooperation with China in spheres including climate change, public health and arms control, said Yuan Zheng, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

If the GOP controls the Senate, it will likely be willing and able to constrain Biden's domestic and foreign policies, said Yuan, so that US' domestic partisan confrontation and confusion will become more severe and last considerably longer.

Analysts believe that there is a good chance that the Democrats could be also active on issues like arms sales to Taiwan and meddling in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, though very likely in a mild manner.

However, observers share a common view that confronting China has become one of the few remaining consensus points between the Democrats and the Republicans, and whichever of them dominates the Congress, a downtrend between Beijing and Washington is nearly inevitable.

Due to the impact of Trump's political legacy and the slow change of the American public's impression of China, Biden probably has little room to adjust his China policy, Ni Feng, director of the Institute of American Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"But it would be still good for both sides to slow the deterioration even a little bit," said Ni.

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