Beijing Review: The Time Is Always Right to Do What Is Right

BEIJING, Dec. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — In a move that showed both countries’ keenness to expand air travel after the COVID-19 pandemic, in turn reflecting an implicit eagerness to up mutually beneficial cooperation, China and the United States increased the number of direct regular passenger flights from 48 to 70 per week in the 2023-24 winter and spring seasons.


This year marks the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and the U.S. and the two countries have had extensive cooperation in many fields. Their cooperative efforts serve the common interests of both sides and contribute to the overall wellbeing of people worldwide.

As the world’s two largest economies, China and the U.S. collectively account for more than one third of global economic output, and their populations represent nearly one quarter of the world’s total. Trade between the two comprises about one fifth of the international import and export volume. Suffice it to say their interests are closely intertwined.

While the two major nations’ histories, cultures, social systems and paths of development differ, as long as both sides uphold the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, differences can be transcended and China and the U.S. can prosper together.

A valuable lesson of the past 45 years is that both countries have much to gain from cooperation and much to lose from confrontation.

On September 22, 2015, during his state visit to the U.S., Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at a welcome banquet jointly hosted by the Washington State Government and friendly communities. He said, “The time is always right to do what is right.” 

This is a famous quote by the late Martin Luther King Jr., a leading figure of the American civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968.

Xi quoted this notable saying and called on both nations to join hands and forge a brighter future together.

Fast forward to November 15, 2023, at the Filoli Estate in San Francisco, California, Xi met with U.S. President Joe Biden. It was a fruitful meeting during which the leaders found common ground. At a welcome dinner hosted by friendly organizations in the U.S. later that day, Xi said that “the tree of friendship between the two peoples can surely withstand any wind or storm.”

The tree of friendship between the Chinese and American people has undoubtedly flowered. Inside the exhibition hall of the Central Gifts and Cultural Relics Management Center in Beijing, one particular gift on display testifies to the great ties.

The Ping-Pong diplomacy of 1971, when a group of American table tennis players visited China, helped break the ice between the two countries. Later, in February 1972, the business community in Detroit presented a pair of blue paddles with white lettering to their Chinese counterpart. The paddles feature a white dove carrying an olive branch, symbolizing peace, and have the words “Generation of Peace” inscribed on them. This gift illustrates the deep bond between the two nations.

Starting anew from San Francisco, it is imperative to fortify the foundations of China-U.S. relations, adapting to the circumstances at hand. Both China and the U.S. should act responsibly, prioritizing the wellbeing of their peoples.

By effectively managing and nurturing bilateral relations, the two sides can foster favorable conditions for greater collaboration and exchange.

Planet Earth is big enough for the two countries to succeed. One country’s success is the other’s opportunity.

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