China, US forge interconnected ties 45 years after signing of Shanghai Communiqué

By Zhang Mengxu from People’s Daily

China and the US have forged a closer relationship with interwoven destinies 45 years after they signed the Shanghai Communiqué on February 28, 1972, a document ended 23 years of diplomatic estrangement between the two countries.

Forty-five years ago, then US President Richard Nixon started an “ice-breaking trip” to China, which was dubbed by himself as “the week that changed the world”.

On the last day of his visit, both nations issued the Joint Communiqué of the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China, or the Shanghai Communiqué, laying the first cornerstone for bilateral exchanges and cooperation.

Shanghai Communiqué, along with the Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations issued in 1978 and August 17 communiqué issued in 1982, constituted the guideline document governing bilateral ties.

Up till now, China-US relationship has become one of the most important bilateral ties in the world, whose rapid development has brought tangible benefits to both peoples.

Both countries hit a record high in terms of bilateral trade, the stock of two-way investment and personal exchanges.

Data showed that the current China-US trade has exceeded 500 billion dollars, while China invested over 50 billion dollars in the US last year. About 14,000 people traveled between China and the US each day, and a flight would take off or land every 17 minutes.

Over 40 pair of sister provinces/states and more than 200 pair of sister cities have been established between both nations. They are proven to be the best evidence of their inter-connected interests.

The Shanghai Communiqué and other two documents represent not only the ballast and guideline for development of bilateral ties, but also the principles the US follows when dealing with its ties with China, Gary Locke, former US ambassador to China and former US Secretary of Commerce told the People’s Daily.

He added that based on these principles, both countries handled their differences appropriately during his tenure and their relationship was moved forward as a result.

It was the Shanghai Communiqué that opened the door to normalization of bilateral ties, Tao Wenzhao, researcher with the Institute of American Studies under Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said in an interview.

The four-decade-long course has proven that the basic principles both countries clarified when they established diplomatic relations are right, especially the one-China principle, the expert pointed out.

Those principles have been enriched by the diplomatic contacts in the past years as well, Tao furthered, adding that the 40-year-long experience and China’s development and prosperity gave China the faith for a promising relationship with the US.

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi, in a signed article published on the People’s Daily, commented that China-US ties have come to a new starting point.

A healthy and steady development of China-US ties is not only the requirement of the times, but also the expectation of the world, the top diplomat said.

China and the U.S. should, by following through on the spirit of the phone conversation between both heads of state, enhance communication and mutual trust, focus on cooperation, manage disputes, avoid conflicts and confrontations, show respect to each other and seek win-win cooperation, so as to push bilateral ties for greater progress in the new era,” Yang stressed in the article.


US citizens sent off panda “Bao Bao” at Dulles International Airport in Washington DC on February 21, 2017. (Photo by Gao Shi from People’s Daily)

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