Speaking on CGTN's "China-U.S. Econtalk" with host Guan Xin and founder of Primavera Capital Fred Hu, Summers admitted that the economic systems of China and the U.S. are too different to converge in the foreseeable future. But he insisted that the two countries have a lot in common to keep the cooperation going.
"They share a common world. They share a common planet in terms of the issue of climate change," he said. "They share a common interest in a world that is stable, and a world that is generally prospering."
Summers also said that the U.S. should not try to stop China from rising, and China should not seek to displace the U.S. from its global influence.
Hu said he shares the same worries with Summers on the current China-U.S. tensions and asked the two countries to "just sit down and talk."
"(The) U.S. controls 70 percent of semiconductors and 90 percent of software that Chinese companies use," he said. "China is responsible of more than 50 percent of IT gadgets and supply chain, 70 percent of EV batteries."
He noted that U.S. actions to restrict Chinese tech companies will make it "a completely unreliable partner" and would lead to China's "sputnik moment," in which the country is left with no choice but to develop its own cutting-edge technologies.
Summers, on the other hand, argued that China should not see all U.S. actions as protectionist, and should admit that there are some companies in the country that use "rather problematic practices."
The two guests agreed that there is still much room for China and the U.S. to seek cooperation.