Vowing BRI cooperation, Pakistan, China and Afghanistan art exhibition for youth starts in Beijing

Echoing the Belt and Road Initiative, the event is aimed at promoting international friendship and mutual learning among the youngsters of Pakistan, China and Afghanistan

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Senior diplomats from China and the US wrapped up their first face-to-face meeting under the Biden administration over the weekend, such high-profile and candid dialogue, with tough exchanges, not only attracted global attention but also offered some clues for the tone of China-US relationship, with experts seeing specific issues on which the two countries will soon work on such as climate change, diplomatic facilities and staff as well as media personnel.

Meanwhile, a “candid, constructive and helpful” dialogue, described by both Chinese and US officials, hinted on major characteristics of the most important bilateral relationship today, which some Chinese scholars considered as keeping high-level communication, focusing on specific issues of common concern and amplifying common ground for cooperation to bring divergences under control.

Despite this, the two sides hoped to maintain such high-level strategic communication to avoid misunderstandings and misjudgments. The article also laid out some specific issues that the two sides hoped to work on, including setting up a joint climate working group and conducting consultation on diplomats’ activities and issue of journalists on basis of reciprocity.

China and the US have differences in many fields, but such differences only justify more effective exchanges and communication in the future, Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai said in a tweet on Sunday, and the two countries can cooperate on the most demanding tasks such as climate change for the good of humanity, he noted.

Beyond the tit-for-tat “war of words” at the Alaska meeting, experts also see possible areas for cooperation, among which on climate change, China and the US could reach a consensus the easiest, after the top leaders of the two countries have demonstrated their commitment to climate action respectively.

 

“Especially when the Biden administration has been correcting the deeds of its predecessor, such as the withdrawal from the Paris Agreement that led to severe consequences, China and the US will have much common ground on this aspect,” Lü Xiang, a research fellow on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Most recently, the Chinese government named a veteran official Xie Zhenhua, as China’s special envoy on climate change, who has established contact, conducted dialogue as well as consultation with US climate envoy John Kerry, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in late February.

Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday a potential meeting between the two-state leaders would not be on the agenda of the Alaska talks, yet some media speculated the first virtual meeting between them could be scheduled in April on the occasion of the international climate summit, the Chinese expert Lü believed communication between the two sides on this topic, including schedule of the two state leaders, would progress smoothly.

Also, consultation could be carried out on some other issues, including resuming people-to-people exchanges and facilitate the work of diplomatic and consular institutions and diplomatic personnel, and journalists-related issues based on reciprocity, according to the Xinhua analysis. In coming months, the two countries are expected to continue communicating with each other at a high level and work on specific matters step by step, Diao Daming, an associate professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Sunday.

“Rebuilding mutual trust, and restarting and expanding cooperation are now the most pressing issues,” he said.

However, it still depends on what concrete action Washington will take in rebuilding this trust and restarting personnel exchanges that had been severely jeopardized by the Trump administration by ordering the shutdown of a Chinese consulate in the US, obstructing normal work of the Chinese media outlets in the US, imposing travel bans on the Communist Party of China (CPC) members and so on, bringing people-to-people exchanges to almost zero, according to Chinese scholars.

“As long as the US government corrects those misdeeds that undermined mutual respect and trust, the Chinese government will take corresponding measures in lifting restrictions. We also believe that there will be frequent ministerial-level communication on those issues,” Lü said.

 

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