Strategic observation

Interview: Asia-Pacific countries to benefit from China's growth, says former U.S. senior diplomat

2017-12-05 14:01:14 (Beijing Time)         English.news.cn

0

by Xinhua writers Liu Si, Sui Lixi

BEIJING, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- "China's growth and influence in the Asia-Pacific region can be a very positive development. The United States can benefit as well as the countries in the region from China's growth," a former U.S. senior diplomat has said.

Daniel Russel, former U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, made the remark during a recent interview with Xinhua that there are "high expectations" for China to act in the best interest of the global community, especially after it made many ambitious commitments and promises at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held in October.

Russel, who joined the Asia Society Policy Institute as diplomat in residence and senior fellow in April 2017, said that U.S. President Donald Trump's administration seemed to "place less importance on multilateral, regional and global governance than previous U.S. administrations had."

At the same time, China's wealth, strength and influence in international affairs has been enhanced, said the former diplomat, adding that more importantly "China's willingness to look beyond its own borders and engage with others has expanded."

"Expectations among Chinese citizens and international partners for China to shoulder more global responsibilities have risen," he said.

Russel highlighted China's growth and greater influence in the Asia-Pacific region, from which he believed countries in the region can benefit.

In regards to the new Asia policy outlined by the Trump administration, the former high official of Asia-Pacific affairs told Xinhua that former U.S. President Barack Obama's rebalance strategy looks similar in many respects to what Trump is doing. In his view, the policy involved very close cooperation among the U.S. allies and security partners, as well as "very close and high-level dialogue and cooperation between the United States and China."

On U.S.-China relations, Russel said that as the United States and China are each in a period of transition right now, there are many areas where bilateral cooperation is necessary.

The former diplomat in Obama's administration was positive on Trump's effort to "establish a close personal relationship" with his Chinese counterpart, which he viewed as "important," citing what Trump praised as "good chemistry between the two leaders."

"The United States and China have many important issues to deal with," said Russel, pointing out that the two sides need to manage and deal with differences "in a clear, honest and constructive manner," and "make common cause to cooperate in the better interest of the entire global community."

Commenting on U.S.-China cooperation on the global stage, Russel said, "It's fair to say that it's hard to imagine big transnational global problems being solved if the United States and China don't cooperate."