Both American and Chinese negotiators are saying the same thing: The game is longer than we thought and harder than we imagined. If we are serious about this, we need more time. And they are cheered on by President Xi Jinping in Beijing and President Donald Trump in Washington.
As Trump's Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow said, the negotiators would soldier on, so will the two countries.
They both have the will to continue.
There is a will, but is there a way?
I think there is.
Fundamentally, it is a choice. Is it a zero-sum or positive-sum game?
It could be a win-lose one: China "capitulates" and agrees to all U.S. demands, or the U.S. backs down and calls off all punitive tariffs unconditionally. This is highly unlikely if not impossible.
It could also be a win-win situation: America wants to sell more soybeans, energy and chips, and China buys more of those. America desires broader access to the Chinese market, and China opens its door to more American businesses.
And it could be a lose-lose scenario. America says no to Chinese products, and China shuts the door to American investors. China and America part ways and become antagonistic in every possible way.
If we are rational, we would try our best to forget the first, work towards the second and do everything possible to avoid the third.
But I think there is even a better way. Forget the impulse to change the identity of the other and instead identify what we can do despite the differences.
In order to have the two countries on the same page, we need a change of perspective.
What really challenges humanity is the disruption of new technologies, the rise of sea water and the absence of global housekeeping.
The U.S. and China should not face off against each other but face together those bigger problems. Before we are Chinese and Americans, we are Earth dwellers.
I am an optimist. Even when we started as rivals, we can still continue as partners. That is my belief. So what counts is whether or not we strike a deal.
A Deal does not lead to a “happily ever after,” and No Deal is not “the end of the world." China and the U.S. have different systems, values and interests, but we do have one thing in common－we all want a better life.
What is threatening us is not each other's existence but our exertions. Two powers sharing one boat to navigate storms; the best strategy is still looking after each other.
In the Disney movie "Frozen," sisters Elsa and Anna argue and fight, on identity, on values, on means and goals. But it is hopeless to lock oneself up in a frozen world.
Nobody is perfect, and we should lift each other up!
Scriptwriter: Zou Yue
Animation: Xu Qianyun
Video Photographer: Wang Yilin
Cover photo: Liu Shaozhen
Video and design: Wan Tingting, Shen Anqi, Ji Jiahui, Li Linxi, Zhao Yuanzhen
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