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Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 17:56

China-US ties: ‘Geo-economics will trump geo-politics’

By chinadailyasia.com
China-US ties: ‘Geo-economics will trump geo-politics’
Dr Patrick Ho, Deputy Chairman and Secretary of the China Energy Fund Committee, noted that the economic relationship between China and the US strongly anchored the political one. (Photo provided to China Daily)

Washington DC – Stressing the importance of the relationship between China and the United States, participants at a colloquium here said that strengthening the relationship would benefit everyone.

Titled ‘US-China Policy for the Next Administration’, the colloquium sought to explore potential avenues that the two countries could pursue to strengthen their relationship over the course of the next US administration.

Hong Kong-based think tank China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC) organized it Monday, the day of the first US presidential debates.

Scholars, public servants, and journalists from China and the US met in the morning to discuss strengths and challenges in the Sino-US relationship, possible ways to overcome existing challenges and to learn from each other’s experience, according to a CEFC press release.

In the afternoon session, which took place at George Washington University, former Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg shared his remarks.

Prof Tao Wenzhao, a senior researcher at the Institute of American Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that the present international arrangement is a product of the Anti-Fascist War, and has bestowed on China power, benefits, and responsibility.

He stressed that China had no interest in a new arrangement. “China,” he said, “wants to reform, not revolutionize.”

Prof Steinberg said, "The place to start is that we have to succeed at strengthening the relationship. So far, China and the United States have shown that when they work together, the results can be very good."

China-US ties: ‘Geo-economics will trump geo-politics’
Prof Amatai Etzioni, professor of International Affairs, George Washington University, delivers his speech. (Photo provided to China Daily)
Drawing from his own experiences of war, Prof Amatai Etzioni emphasized that “avoiding war is our number one priority, for both countries. Fortunately, although differences exist, the range of real issues is very small, and can be addressed through dialogue and negotiation."

Dr Patrick Ho said that he was optimistic about the two countries’ future, since a mutually beneficial economic relationship strongly anchored the political one. “Geoeconomics will trump geopolitics,” said Dr Ho.

US participation in the One Belt, One Road initiative was one way to accomplish this goal, he noted.

Participants generally agreed that only a few aspects of the relationship were genuinely contentious. They suggested a variety of solutions to overcome issues of disputes between the two countries, said the CEFC press release.

There was agreement among them that more dialogue was the key to resolving disputes in the long term, it added.

The colloquium was the 10th in a series organized by the CEFC since 2012 alternatingly in Hong Kong and Washington DC, aiming at establishing a lasting dialogue mechanism through non-governmental channels.

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