"China and the United States need mutual trust, not misjudgment," said Cui in his speech at the "China-US Engagement: Past Achievements & Future Adjustments" Online Dialogue, organized by the Chinese People's Association for Peace and Disarmament and the Carter Center on Wednesday evening.
"Taking China as a strategic rival and imaginary enemy would be a huge strategic misjudgment. To develop any policy on the basis of that would only lead to grave strategic mistakes," he said.
"It is our firm belief that China and the United States can benefit from the prosperity and development of the other side. We may have competition, but we don't have to be rivals," he said. "Instead, we should strive to be partners."
He said that America would have to ask itself whether it can accept the development and prosperity of another nation, whose history, culture and political system are different, and live peacefully with it.
Throughout its 100-year history, the Communist Party of China has always upheld its mission to pursue happiness for the people and rejuvenation for the nation, said the ambassador.
"Everything we do is to meet the people's aspiration for a better life, not to challenge or displace any country," said Cui, adding "we always believe in harmony in diversity between countries and in a community with a shared future for mankind."
Cui said the United States and China are facing "a consequential choice again" of getting the bilateral ties back onto the right track at a historical juncture on the occasion of the 42nd anniversary of Mr Deng Xiaoping's visit to the United States.
Forty-two years ago, Deng and then US President Jimmy Carter made the historic decision to establish diplomatic relations between China and the United States, and the two countries "were able to break the ice of the Cold War and rise above ideological differences," he said.
"Since then, our ever-deepening cooperation has delivered huge benefits to the two peoples, and contributed enormously to world peace, stability and prosperity. Facts have proved that we have made the right choice and stood on the right side of history," he said.
However, in the past few years, some people in the United States tried to "deny these basic facts," said the ambassador.
"By creating rumors, stoking hatred and fanning confrontation, they attempted to hijack America's China policy and push China-US relations down the precipice of confrontation. This has seriously damaged the fundamental interests of the two peoples and is doomed to failure," Cui said.
There have also been calls recently "for America to adjust its strategy and build an allied and partner coalition, so as to address China's challenge and restore balance and legitimacy in the Asia-Pacific," he said.
"Such an adjustment is just like putting old wine in a new bottle. It may cause the same mistakes made in the past and create new imbalances, which will further disrupt regional order," he said.
"As we speak, COVID-19 continues to put human society to the test, and the China-US relationship has come to a new crossroads," he said. "With the upcoming Year of the Ox bringing in confidence and hope, this dialogue is highly relevant and carries special significance."
"At this historical juncture, we are facing a consequential choice again. I agree with President Carter that China and the United States must remain closely connected, and restore trust, respect and normalcy between them," he said.
"While China wishes America full success in building unity, in healing and in restoration, it is also hoped that integrity, candor, respect and vision will return to its China policy," he said.
Dialogue, not confrontation
The only way for China and the United States to get out of their differences and disagreements is "candid and equal-footed dialogue on the basis of mutual respect," said the Chinese ambassador.
"Our two countries have not a small number of differences and disagreements. The only way out of them is candid and equal-footed dialogue on the basis of mutual respect," he said.
"At the same time, some issues have been raised in China-US relations under the banner of 'values', but in fact they all focus on China's territory, so much so that people cannot but question the real intention behind," he said.
"On issues that concern its sovereignty, reunification and territorial integrity, China will not back down, and it is hoped that the US side will respect China's core interests and refrain from crossing the red line," he said.
Shared common interests
On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a daily press briefing that China and the United States share broad common interests and cooperation space in coping with climate change.
Zhao made the remarks when commenting on media reports that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US climate envoy John Kerry have both expressed willingness to cooperate with China on climate change.
John Kerry, also a former US Secretary of State, said that although the US has serious differences with China, no issues between the two nations would be traded for climate-related cooperation.
Zhao said that climate change is a common challenge facing mankind and bears on its future and the future of the world, and no country can solve it alone, as tackling it requires global action, global response and global cooperation.
Noting that China and the United States have carried out fruitful cooperation in response to climate change, Zhao said the two countries share broad common interests and cooperation space in coping with climate change.
"China and the United States have played a positive and constructive role in promoting the signing and entry into force of the Paris Agreement. China is willing to work with the United States and the international community to address climate change," Zhao said.
He also emphasized that China-US cooperation in specific areas is not "a flower in a greenhouse" and must be closely related to the overall bilateral relationship.
Zhao said that no party should expect to wantonly interfere in China's internal affairs and violate China's interests, on one hand, while on the other hand expecting China to offer its understanding and support on bilateral and global affairs.
"We hope the US side can create favorable conditions for China-US coordination and cooperation in important fields," he said.
Published : January 29, 2021
By : China Daily/ANN