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September 26, 2019
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the "giant ship" of China-U.S. relations is faced with two very different routes.
"One features calm seas and broad prospects and the other is churning waters and raging waves," Wang said, suggesting turning to history and looking at the past four decades of China-U.S. relations for inspiration and guidance.
Wang spoke at a reception co-hosted by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and the U.S.-China Business Council. He is in New York to attend the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Wang underlined that mutually beneficial cooperation is the only right option for China and the U.S., and neither country has taken advantage of the other.
"There is a claim in the United States that the country has been 'ripped off' in its cooperation with China, Is that really so? Of course not." Wang said.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China as well as the 40th anniversary of China-U.S. diplomatic relations.
Wang said it is a historical moment that means a lot to both nations.
"We need to stand high, look far and take this bilateral relationship forward with vision and conviction," he said.
Wang said that over the past four decades, China-U.S. relations have weathered many twists and turns but "steadily moved forward with progress beyond even the boldest imagination", he said.
"On the other hand, however, China-U.S. relations today have once again come to a crossroads," he added, pointing out that "some people are using every means to depict China as a major adversary, marketing their prophecy that the relationship is doomed to fall into the Thucydides Trap, the Clash of Civilizations Trap, and even clamor for a full 'decoupling' with China."
Wang said that over four decades, the China-U.S. trade in goods surged by 252 times. A USCBC report found that between 2009 and 2018, U.S. exports to China alone have supported more than 1.1 million jobs in the U.S..
Ninety-seven percent of the U.S. companies surveyed reported profits from doing business with China. And trade with China has saved $850 a year for every U.S. family on average.
Wang believes that economic globalization, as the trend of the times, should not and cannot be held back. And issues between nations should be addressed by enhancing global governance through equal dialogue and consultation.
"Neither scapegoating nor unilaterally initiating a trade war is the right prescription," he said.
He said the trade frictions between China and the U.S. in the past year and more have inflicted losses on both countries. He cited data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that estimated that due to additional tariffs imposed on the $250 billion of Chinese exports in 2018, American consumers would have to spend an extra $52.8 billion every year.