top of page


Guanying Xu

Taking President Nixon’s visit to China in 1972 as an opportunity, China and the U.S. broken the isolation of foreign affairs starting from 1949 when the People’s Republic of China was founded. And at the beginning of 1979, China and the U.S. established formal diplomatic relationship, which was a major milestone in the breakthrough of relations between China and Western countries. With unremitting efforts by the leaders of two countries as well as efforts made by the society of both sides, they reached an important consensus on building a new model of major-country relationship together. Historically and realistically, peace brings a win-win condition between great powers, and enduring conflict destroys them in many aspects. So a strategic and stabilized China-U.S. cooperation will be able to benefit both sides and the world significantly. Indeed, we expect a continuous improvement and development of China-U.S. relations and so does the international society.


However, constructing a new model of major-country relationship between China and the U.S is an unprecedented mission, with no existing experience and patterns that can be copied. As a result, it is understandable that some tensions and disputes may temporarily block the process of harmonious relationship. Conflict itself is not unassailable, but how to solve the problem mutually is taken into our consideration. Right now, China-U.S relation is still facing huge challenges. We all know that North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test on September 3rd this year, which has aroused closed attention among international public once again, with the uneasiness and dissatisfaction. Meanwhile, China and the United States took the initiative cooperating together in this issue.

North Korea’s nuclear test has been highly concerned by both China and the U.S. In recent years, the United States had actively taken methods such as initiating joint military exercise and making economic sanction with Japan and South Korea, intending to force North Korea giving up nuclear test under high political, economic pressures. More importantly, President Donald Trump’s latest tweet about the Korean nuclear issue on August 30th said that the conversation is not the answer to solve the nuclear issue. This statement set the situation back into tension. Contrarily, as North Korea’s neighbors, Chinese government has always highly attached importance to the situation in the Korean Peninsula. Beijing insists on solving problems through conversation and consultation peacefully, holding positive and open-minded attitude to whatever the way as long as solution for this issue is helpful. International community has shared a common interest on the issue of nuclear crisis that adhering a denuclearized peninsula through diplomatic strategy is the top priority.


Therefore, how to solve Korean nuclear issue appropriately is a question set in front of China and the United States. The “six-party talks” which started in August, 2003, used to provides a good platform to solve the DPRK nuclear issue, once even made important achievement and was considered to be a milestone of reaching peninsula denuclearization. At the same time, China-U.S. relation achieved a high level of consensus. However, things went athwart because of the strategic tension on Taiwan and other issues, China and the U.S. had lost initiative and flexibility on the nuclear issue. And the nuclear crisis continued. On September 11, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2375, decided to impose a new round of sanctions on North Korea. Western countries, led by the United States and Britain, believed that the economic blockade to North Korea will effectively deter Pyongyang launching the following of nuclear and missile test. Although China has voted in the affirmative, the representative strongly persuaded the Security Council changing part of sanction clauses. Because China took the retaliation by North Korea into consideration if sanctions being too aggressive and this action contributed a lot for maintaining peace process in Korean Peninsula.


Currently, China-U.S. relations has covered areas through politics, economies and security interests. The foundation of China-U.S. relation requires a constant effort to work towards a new type of major-country relationship, including both diplomatic coordination and economic interdependence, as well as the maintenance of security in the Asia-pacific region. China and the U.S. have different national conditions, historical backgrounds, developing ways and stages. We should understand each other, respect each other and seek common interests while shelving differences. Conflict is inevitable between these two countries, but it will not be a mainstream. The two governments should play a stabilizing role and handle conflict properly. The Korean nuclear issue is one of the most important factors which may drive China-U.S. relations further. Under this new situation, China and the United States should continue to expand practical cooperation and create intelligent spots for cooperation. Meanwhile, properly managing conflict must be considered in order to avoid interference of bilateral relations. Hopefully the top leadership between China and the United States will treat the complex situation with a world-wide vision and an overall consciousness based on a win-win and mutual benefit consideration, steadily pushing forward to a new China-U.S. relationship.

bottom of page