Kerry's trip may help bridge differences
Updated: 2016-01-27 07:32
US Secretary of State John Kerry says goodbye as he boards his plane in Vientiane, Laos, Jan 25, 2016, before leaving for Phnom Penh, Cambodia. [Photo/Agencies]
US Secretary of State John Kerry began a two-day visit to China on Tuesday. His visit comes at an important juncture as both Beijing and Washington need to shore up greater political will to properly handle their differences and ensure the current stable picture of their bilateral interaction remains intact.
During Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the United States last year, the two countries charted the course for their relations, vowing to jointly build a new type of major-country relationship. This reflects their shared resolve to avoid the Thucydides's trap－the likelihood of conflict between a rising power and an existing one.
Following through on this consensus will not only guarantee the right direction for the future development of bilateral ties but also contribute to world peace and stability, as international efforts to tackle global issues now increasingly hinge on cooperation between the world's two largest economies.
Although there is no denying the fact that Beijing and Washington cannot see eye to eye with each other on a number of issues, including some global and regional ones. Past experience indicates they can steer bilateral ties on the right track as long as they improve their risk management and do not let their differences overshadow their cooperation on their common interests.
At present, the South China Sea and the Korean Peninsula are proving headaches for the two countries.
The US should understand its leadership in the region, as pleaded for by some claimants in the South China Sea territorial disputes, can only be maintained if it does more to promote peace instead of stirring up trouble in the sensitive waters.
Meanwhile, after Pyongyang conducted its fourth nuclear test in a decade on Jan 6, denuclearization of the Korea Peninsula looks a more daunting challenge than ever. At this critical stage, it is crucial that all the parties concerned shoulder their due responsibilities and make efforts to defuse the situation.
Finger pointing and unreasonable accusations do not help cultivate the proper atmosphere for peacefully defusing the impasse, while resorting to provocative moves will only risk pushing the situation out of the control－that would serve the interests of no one.
China has repeatedly called for the parties concerned to come back to the right track of dialogue and negotiation. The denuclearization of the Korea Peninsula needs constructive efforts from all parties involved, not just China.