U.S., China have much more to gain from cooperation than from conflict: Clinton
WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday rejected a zero-sum formula on U.S.-China relationship, saying that the two countries have much more to gain from cooperation than from conflict.
Delivering a speech on the future relations between the U.S. and China at the State Department, Clinton said it does not make sense to apply zero-sum 19th-century theories of how major powers interact in the 21st century.
"We reject those views," she said, referring to views which depict China's growth as a "threat" or U.S. policy on China as " containment."
The State Department described the speech, delivered to inaugurate an annual forum dedicated to veteran U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke, as setting stage for a state visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao next week.
Clinton said that the world is moving through uncharted territory and needs new ways of understanding the shifting dynamics of the international landscape, a landscape marked by emerging centers of influence, but also by nontraditional, even non-state actors and the unprecedented challenges and opportunities created by globalization.
This is a fact that is especially applicable to the U.S.-China relationship, she said, noting that the engagement between the two countries can only be understood in the context of this new and more complicated landscape.
"We are in the same boat. And we will either row in the same direction or we will, unfortunately, cause turmoil and whirlpools that will impact not just our two countries, but many people far beyond either of our borders," she said.
The secretary said although the United States and China are two complex nations with very different histories, with profoundly different political systems and outlooks, there is a lot about the two peoples that reminds them of each other: an energy, an entrepreneurial dynamism, a commitment to a better future for one' s children and grandchildren.
"We are both deeply invested in the current order, and we both have much more to gain from cooperation than from conflict," she said. "That doesn't mean we will not be competitors ... But there are ways of doing it that are more likely to benefit than not."
"A peaceful and prosperous Asia-Pacific region is in the interest of both China and the United States. A thriving America is good for China and a thriving China is good for America," the secretary said.
"So all of this calls for careful, steady, dynamic stewardship of this critical relationship," she said.
"The choices both sides make in the months and years ahead and the policies we pursue will help determine whether our relationship lives up to its promise, and it is up to both of us to translate high-level pledges of summit and state visits into action, real action on real issues," Clinton said.