Our Privacy Statement & Cookie Policy

By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can change your cookie settings through your browser.

I agree

Summit concluded, pillars laid, progress made, actions needed

First Voice

Editor's note: "Stabilizing, avoiding conflict, resuming communications." These have been the key words in international media's reporting on the China-U.S. summit. How has the summit affect the China-U.S. relationships? This episode of First Voice provides the analysis. 

Stabilizing, avoiding conflict, resuming communications. These have been the key words in international media's reports on the China-U.S. summit.

The Financial Times described the summit as two presidents meeting in an "effort to stabilize relations." The New York Times highlighted the goal to avoid conflicts. And across CNN, Reuters and New York Times, resuming military dialogue has been heavily reported.

The summit did meet the expectations. At the Filoli Estate, Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed to resume high-level military-to-military communications on the basis of equality and respect.

Xi also laid out five pillars for China-U.S. relations: Jointly developing a right perception; managing disagreements effectively, jointly advancing mutually beneficial cooperation; jointly shouldering responsibilities as major countries; And jointly promoting people-to-people exchange.

"It is important that both sides appreciate each other's principles and red lines," he said.

However, the first item, the FIRST one, Xi talked about after the five pillars is the Taiwan question. This is "the most important and most sensitive issue in China-U.S. relations" and the U.S. should "take real actions to honor its commitment of not supporting 'Taiwan independence,' stop arming Taiwan, and support China's peaceful reunification."

Very specific demands, aren't they?

Joseph Nye, former Dean of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, said in an interview that "I think the Americans have to keep the policy of one-China" and that "if we keep that policy, then I think we can avoid a war or conflict."

Military-to-military communications were suspended when the then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited China's Taiwan region in August last year. It was a time when China-U.S. relations were inches away from hitting the floor. The Taiwan question is the red line. And at the summit, the United States got an idea of how to proceed in the future.

As an op-ed in the New York Times stated, U.S. leaders and politicians should "recommit – clearly and unequivocally" that only the Chinese mainland and the Taiwan region could work out their differences.

China and the United States are the world's two largest countries with a total of 40 percent of global GDP combined. This is the most important bilateral relationship of the century.

The question is, can the results from the summit be sustained? Like President Xi said, planet earth is big enough for the two countries to succeed. Now, it's time for action.

(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at opinions@cgtn.com. Follow @thouse_opinions on Twitter to discover the latest commentaries in the CGTN Opinion Section.)

Search Trends