Chinese President Xi Jinping highlighted the role of people in China-US relations at a welcome dinner hosted by friendly organizations in the United States this week.
“The basis of China-US relations was laid by our people,” Xi expressed, emphasizing that “the door of China-US relations was opened by our people”, “the histories of China-US relations are written by our peoples” and “the future of China-US relations will be created by our peoples”.
“We must build more bridges and pave more roads for interactions between people. We must not erect barriers or create an inhibiting effect,” he explained. Xi said he is convinced that the door of China-US relations cannot be closed again once it has been opened and the cause of bilateral friendship cannot be diverted halfway once it has begun.
At the same time, the president emphasized that the United States should not view China as its primary competitor. “I always have one question in my head: How to steer the gigantic ship of relations between the two countries avoiding hidden rocks and sandbars, and sailing through storms and waves without becoming disoriented, losing speed or even having a collision?”, he said .
“In this regard, the number one question for us is: are we adversaries or partners? This is the fundamental and overarching question,” Xi said. “The logic is very simple. If one sees the other side as a primary competitor, a major geopolitical challenge and an imminent threat, this can only lead to ill-informed policymaking, misguided actions and undesirable outcomes.”
China is willing to be a partner and friend of the United States, said the Chinese president. “The fundamental principles we follow in dealing with China-US relations are mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation,” Xi explained.