High hopes for China-U.S. relations, 45 years after Shanghai Communique

In the phone conversation with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump earlier this month, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that he appreciated Trump's willingness to expand China-U.S. cooperation and develop a constructive bilateral relationship that would benefit both countries and the international community.

In the same month 45 years ago, U.S. President Richard Nixon made a historic visit to China. On Feb. 28, 1972, the last day of the trip, the two countries released the Shanghai Communique, laying the foundation for the two countries to resume diplomatic ties.

Forty-five years on, the spirit and legacy of the historic communique continues.


"In 1972, we Chinese staff, including waiters, doormen and cooks, were shy and curious about the guests from the other side of the Pacific," said Qiu Huanxi, a former employee with Jin Jiang Hotel in Shanghai, which hosted Nixon. "We later found the U.S. staff shared almost the same mentality."

"The ice-breaking visit helped the two countries get to know about each other, clear up misunderstandings and open up further, and this was good for the two peoples," Qiu said.

During the phone call, Xi said that building a sound China-U.S. relationship was in the fundamental interests of the two peoples, and it was also the responsibility that China and the United States needed to assume as two of the world's major countries.

Trump said that developing U.S.-China ties had won wide support from the U.S. people.

As the world's first and second-largest economies, the United States and China now shoulder more global responsibility, particularly in the face of economic uncertainty, uneven development, regional turmoil, terrorism, protectionism, and nuclear and climate issues.

"When the Shanghai Communique was released, the world was in the Cold War. After 45 years, the post-Cold War world pattern is still undergoing adjustment," said Wu Xinbo, director of the Center for American Studies of Fudan University.

Wu said the spirit of the communique was still followed by the two sides and that one of the key legacies was the one-China policy.

"The U.S. government adherence to the one-China policy is responsible for the interests of the peoples of the two countries," Wu said.


In early February, the Walt Disney Company said that the growth of its international parks was largely owing to the success of Shanghai Disneyland, which had received over 7 million visitors since opening in June 2016.

Robert Iger, Walt Disney chairman and CEO, said the number of visitors could potentially exceed 10 million by the first anniversary. He said high satisfaction among tourists and the huge visitor flow during the Chinese New Year had added to their confidence in breaking even in the fiscal year.

The success of Shanghai Disneyland goes against the global economic slowdown, and cashed in on the huge and promising Chinese consumer market.

The United States is China's largest importer and major source of foreign investment. Meanwhile, U.S. exports to China have been growing at an average annual rate of 11 percent during the past decade, with China being the major buyer of U.S. aeroplanes, farm produce, cars and integrated circuits.

The booming trade has helped annual bilateral trade surge to more than 500 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 from only 1 billion dollars in the 1970s.

During his phone call with Trump, Xi said that China was ready to boost mutually beneficial cooperation with the United States in various fields.

Trump said the United States was committed to enhancing win-win cooperation with China in several fields.

The anti-globalization movement in some parts of the world has stoked worries that it could affect the China-U.S. economic and trade relations.

Gao Hucheng, China's former commerce minister, said last week that China's trade and investment had brought huge benefits to the United States.

In January, Xi told the World Economic Forum in Davos that pursuing protectionism was like locking oneself in a dark room.

"While wind and rain will be kept outside, the room will also block light and air," he said.

"No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war," Xi told the forum.


Charles Newman, a professor with New York University Shanghai, said an increasingly more open China would bring prosperity to the world and let more Americans come to work in China.

With doctoral degrees in mathematics and physics, Newman became a faculty member of New York University in 1971. He has been teaching at NYU Shanghai for nearly four years.

Louis J. Demetroulakes, an American student at NYU Shanghai, said that China-U.S. cooperation would definitely be the key stream for world development in the next three decades, and he wanted to be part of it.

As the first Sino-American higher-education institute, NYU Shanghai has received nearly 1,200 students from 60 countries and regions over the past four years.

Yu Lizhong, president of NYU Shanghai, said the conversation between the Chinese and U.S. leaders reminded him of the Shanghai Communique, which called for promoting bilateral cultural and scientific exchanges.

"The Sino-U.S. relationship is set to transcend the communique as the communique still has stigma from the Cold War," said Wu of the Center for American Studies of Fudan University. "The two countries will gradually build a new type of major country relationship that faces the future as well as human civilization."

Source: Xinhua