How China-U.S. relationship is highlighted at Xiangshan security forum

China-U.S. relations, widely seen as the most consequential bilateral relationship in the world, loomed large at China's security and defense forum.

Themed "Common Security, Lasting Peace," the 10th Beijing Xiangshan Forum kicked off on Sunday, bringing together renowned experts and scholars of more than 100 countries for three days of in-depth discussions on world peace and stability.

Here are some key comments from the attendees.

U.S. tech curbs of 'small yard, high fence' slammed

Cui Tiankai, China's former ambassador to the United States, criticized Washington's technology ban on China, in a "small yard and high fence" strategy.

As the name suggests, the strategy aims at building a wall and cutting off links between China and the U.S. in the high-tech field. It trumpets technology blockade against China in the name of national security.

A case in point is that the U.S. restrictions on exports of advanced computing semiconductors and semiconductor manufacturing equipment to China.

"This reminds me of the Chinese idiom 'looking at the sky from the bottom of a well,' Cui told the high-end dialogue on Sunday. The metaphor is used to describe someone without vision or insight.

"There will be nothing good about that," said the former veteran diplomat.

There is no essential difference between the "small yard and high fence" strategy and "decoupling," both being man-made disruptions of normal scientific and technological exchanges and economic and trade practices, added Cui.

"That is something that goes against the rule. I believe it will not succeed in the end," he said.

'China's growth not a threat to Asia Pacific'

Fu Ying, a former vice Chinese foreign minister, rejected the view that a growing China could lead to uncertainties in the prospects of the Asia Pacific region.

Fu's comments came in response to remarks by Michael Swaine, director of the East Asia Program of Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a Washington-based think tank, at the Leading Experts Dialogue about China's role in maintaining security in the Asia-Pacific region.

In his speech, Swaine cast doubts on China's ultimate role in the security of Asia since the country keeps growing strong.

"The U.S. logic that China is a threat because China has grown [and] because China is strong is unacceptable. It's not persuasive enough for the Chinese people," Fu said in English.

"[In your logic,] if China stays poor and underdeveloped, it is fine, and the Asia Pacific is fine. Now, China, which is really the driving force for the Asia Pacific miracle, from which the U.S. has benefited greatly, is a problem?" she asked.

"We're not threatening anybody. We've come all this way through peaceful development," Fu stressed.

She continued that U.S. should review its China policy and Asia Pacific policy, and called on Washington not to define the region's agenda by competition or "hijack" the region's long-term agenda for cooperation, dialogue and economic development that has been successful.

Noting that almost all Asian countries don't want to be involved in a great-power competition or take sides, she said the countries don't want to become victims of power politics.

The U.S. will find itself alone on the road of seeking competition with China, dividing the Asia-Pacific region, and politicizing the region's economic agenda, Fu analyzed.

'Absurd for U.S. Congress to designate China as a developed country'

Zheng Yongnian, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, said China will always be part of the Global South and a member of developing countries.

It is absurd for the U.S. Congress to pass legislation to designate China as a developed country, said Zheng at the high-end dialogue.

China is committed to promoting global development through the Belt and Road Initiative, while the U.S. is manipulating ideological issues, he noted.

Zheng also said the biggest risk in the world for 2024 is American democracy, which will be at risk in the 2024 presidential election.

(Cover: Attendees speak at the Leading Experts Dialogue during the 10th Beijing Xiangshan Forum in Beijing, China, October 29, 2023. /CFP)

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