The upcoming fourth round of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue between China and the United States will present a good opportunity for Beijing and Washington to explore ways to further develop their relations and promote mutual respect and greater cooperation.
Scheduled to begin on Thursday in Beijing, the annual event will be attended by the heads of more than 20 government departments from both sides. The two days of discussions are expected to address a wide range of bilateral, international and regional issues, including foreign policy, climate change, energy security, the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, and UN peacekeeping.
As a means of discussing issues of overall, long-term and strategic importance, the Strategic and Economic Dialogue now forms an indispensable platform for China and the US to manage their bilateral relations.
Since its inauguration in 2009, the platform has evolved into the most important of the more than 60 dialogue mechanisms between Beijing and Washington, and the two countries have announced more than 200 outcomes from the previous three meetings.
After more than 40 years of pragmatic cooperation, the interests of the two countries have converged to an unprecedented degree. But at the same time, the two have differences and disagreements on issues including arms sales to Taiwan, the trade imbalance and the exchange rate of the renminbi. Each time a major dispute breaks out, it throws bilateral ties off balance.
It is time to have a thorough review of the past and chart the future by building on the hard-earned momentum in their relations.
In-depth consultations on issues of mutual concern can help decision-makers on both sides expand their common interests, dispel suspicion and better manage their differences.
Frequent and pragmatic interaction at high levels will help the two countries promote communication and deepen understanding of each country's bottom line, so they can avoid misjudgments and pursue common priorities.
To pave the way for the building of a cooperative partnership and anchor their relations on smooth terrain, Beijing and Washington should pay heed to each other's core interests and major concerns, deepen mutual understanding and build strategic mutual trust.
As the world's biggest developing country and the world's largest developed country, the international community looks to China and the US to take the lead in finding solutions to issues such as climate change, global governance and nuclear nonproliferation.