File Photo: Chinese and U.S. flags are set up for a meeting during a visit by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao at China's Ministry of Transport in Beijing, China April 27, 2018. (Xinhua/REUTERS)
NEW YORK, April 10 (Xinhua) -- China and the United States will overcome difficulties in their bilateral ties and work together for the benefit of humanity, experts and former diplomats said.
Such view was shared by many at a weekend gathering in New York City hosted by the Committee of 50 (C50), a prominent Chinese American organization, which brought together experts, scholars and diplomats to discuss the present state and future of China-U.S. relations.
Despite the almost year-long trade dispute, keynote speakers at the two-day event believed that the two countries are still strongly bonded by growing shared interests and common responsibilities, due to the resilience of such a time-tested relationship.
"When I think about this relationship, I'm still in my heart of hearts and mind of minds, an optimist," said Kevin Rudd, former Australian prime minister and also a long-time China watcher.
"U.S.-China relations go through ebbs and flows, ups and downs," noted Rudd. "And somehow the power of diplomacy, and the power of mutual self-interest, of common values has actually caused this relationship not just to survive, but to prosper."
The two countries should find ways to resolve their differences and continue to cooperate for their own sake and that of the world's, he suggested.
According to Huang Ping, Chinese consul general in New York, over the past 40 years since China and the United States established diplomatic relations, both countries have witnessed bilateral trade, investment and people-to-people exchanges reach stunningly high levels.
"Take my consular area into account, (the states of) Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Vermont achieved double digit growth in their exports to China in 2017," said Huang, adding that some 570 Chinese companies have invested in the 10 U.S. Northeast states, creating thousands of American jobs.
Apart from their intertwined economies, the two countries together address global and regional challenges, such as climate change, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking, said the seasoned diplomat.
Those who believe that China and the United States should disengage have lost sight of how much the two sides can achieve by working together, Huang added.
Lawrence Summers, former U.S. Treasury secretary under the Clinton administration and former director of the National Economic Council under former President Barack Obama, noted that during the past four decades, the world has witnessed China's rapid progress through leadership and the efforts of the Chinese people, while the United States has played a critical leading role in the international community.
Now the two countries should embrace an era of "strategic reassurance," in which they "must each make room for the other, to define their greatness and to flourish as a society in a way that is consistent with their traditions," said Summers.
If the United States and China manage their relationship successfully, added Summers, "this can be the best period in terms of the improvement of the human condition that humanity has ever had."