China, US to Achieve Win-win Cooperation

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson greets Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi at the State Department in Washington, U.S., February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson greets Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi at the State Department in Washington, U.S., February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Reuters says in its report “U.S., China discuss ‘mutually beneficial’ economic relationship” on China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi’s US visit at US invitation that Yang met US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson yesterday and according to US State Department they discussed improving and maintaining “mutually beneficial economic relationship” between the two countries.

Obsessed with world hegemony, US media has long been demonizing China; therefore as always, China was attacked by both president candidates in US presidential elections to win votes. However, good relations with China are too important for the US. As a result, when elected, a US president maintains good relations with China in spite of his harsh rhetoric against China in his election campaign.

It is especially so for US new president Donald Trump as win-win cooperation with China is too important for him to realize his goal of bringing jobs back and making America great again. For Chinese President Xi Jinping, good relations with the US are indispensable for realization of his Chinese dream for recovery of China’s greatness.

There was a Foreign Affairs’ article titled “Good Foreign Policy Is Invisible: Why Boring Is Better” by James Goldgeier and Elizabeth N. Saunders that says, “The problem is that successful foreign policy is largely invisible. It often means paying up front for benefits that are hard to see until you lose them, or that will only be obvious when you really need them. Sometimes, successful foreign policy even means keeping real victories quiet.”

What do they mean? Successes in diplomacy are always visible only failures may be invisible if popular media refrain from mentioning them.

The best example is Obama’s failure to contain China by his pivot to Asia.

Obama has tried hard to exploit China’s disputes with its neighbors in the South China Sea to pit them against China. His efforts were plainly visible, but what has he got:

Most ASEAN countries have declared that they would not take side between the US and China.

The US seemed very successful in pitting the Philippines against China. It succeeded in making the Philippines seek and did get an arbitration award against China. However, it failed to scare China into accepting the award in spite of its deployment of two aircraft carrier battle groups to threaten China. China has built seven large artificial islands to defend its interests in the South China Sea due to Obama’s pivot to Asia. The three airfields on those islands can provide much greater fire power than that the US can provide with all its aircraft carriers. As a result, the US dare not attack China to enforce the arbitration award.

That was America’s invisible failure. It was invisible as media failed to draw people’s attention to it.

However, it is obvious as it has seriously upset the Philippines and proved US alliance with the Philippines was useful only to the US in containing China but useless for the Philippines in protecting Philippines’ interests.

Media has tried hard to cover Philippines’ frustration by ascribing Philippines’ 180 degree changes in diplomacy to Philippine new president’s personal factors.

That is why Obama’s failures, though obvious, are invisible.

Such failures are certainly boring for those who are fond of US successes and dislike US failures. Better ignore them.

Trump and Xi’s success in pursuing win-win cooperation between the US and China is obvious now as it is reported by such major world media as Reuters but a major part of the diplomacy seems invisible. That was the daughters diplomacy described by me in my previous posts.

To those who are fond of zero-sum results, the diplomacy is perhaps boring as there is no loser as both Trump and Xi won. It is a victory for Trump to get trade concessions from China and China’s cooperation in dealing with North Korea, but China does not lose in giving the concessions and conducting the cooperation as such concessions and cooperation benefit China.

Reuters says in its report, “China’s state news agency, Xinhua, quoted Yang as saying China was willing to work with Washington ‘to enhance exchanges on all levels from top down’ and to broaden communication and coordination on regional and global issues, while respecting ‘each other’s core interests and major concerns.’”

China has declared that its sovereignty and interests in the South China Sea are among its core interests. Tillerson’s friendly talks with Yang and refrain to repeat his harsh rhetoric about the South China Sea indicate China’s progress in making the US respect its core interests there.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters and Foreign Affairs’ articles, full text of which can respectively be viewed at and


3 Comments on “China, US to Achieve Win-win Cooperation”

  1. Steve says:

    Good Post Good Commentary — In dealing with US, it’s imperative that China holds the handle.

    Nice commentary on the invisibility and visibility aspect. China has being fairly transparent and visible in it’s economic reform, military modernisation, development of free trade, infrastructures
    (e.g.: OBOR), foreign diplomacy and so forth.

    It’s the opposition (US & Japan) stirring up problems in the SCS, ECS, FONOPs, TPP creating prolonged problems as a hinder to China’s growth.

    In foreign diplomacy, the aspects of invisibility and visibility, whether successful or failures are basically two wings of the same bird. Can’t fly with just one wing as both are inherent to one another. The problem lies with the aggressive and at times blunt behaviour of the Trump administration. They just shoot from the mouth insensitively just to arouse centre of attention. This is neither visible or invisible, it’s just plain stupid and ill informed.


  2. Simon says:

    What concession did Trump gave China in exchange for action against N Korea and alleged trade concessions? This was never answerd by you?