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13 Jul, 2013

China Tells U.S. to “Review the Past” in Defining the Future

by Xinhua writer Wang Fengfeng

WASHINGTON, July 11 (Xinhua) — U.S. and Chinese officials concluded their fifth round of annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) here on Thursday.

In this first annual dialogue held after a leadership change in the world’s two major countries, the two sides forged ahead to find a new path for a new type of major-country relationship, taking the first major step in implementing the consensus reached at last month’s historic summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama.

As the effort to foster a new type of major-country relationship got underway, the two sides were mindful of the arduous journey of the development of bilateral relations, and were sharing the feeling of preserving the hard-won fruits.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, during remarks at the opening session on Wednesday, reminisced about his recent visit to Beijing, in which he went to Diaoyutai Guesthouse and paid tribute to Henry Kissinger’s historic visit to China.

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi, who co-chaired the dialogue for the Chinese side, also said during the plenary session of the strategic track on Thursday that “by reviewing the past, we will be able to examine the gain or loss in the future.”

Mindful of the past, the two sides strived to move beyond the idea of a conflict between rising and established powers, as they tried to find new ways of doing things.

The Climate Change Working Group and the Cyber Working Group made their debut during the dialogue, and the two sides talked candidly with each other on hot-button issues such as cyber security. Furthermore, the two sides also engaged in small-group meetings on energy security and climate change, identifying areas for future cooperation.

For the grand effort of forming a new type of major-country relationship, this round of dialogue may only be a small progress. However, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Just as Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang put it, “candid dialogue and sincere cooperation is the right direction” for the two countries.

This dialogue provided the two countries with an opportunity to explore the way in this direction.