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Wang Jisi: a new model of major-country relations between China and the United States may form in 10 years
By Boning Huang
March 1, 2015

Source: http://www.CRNTT.com   2015-01-10 00:32:50


"A new model of major-country relations is actually a mutual respect of two orders, that the United States respects China's domestic order and that China respects the order of the US-led global governance", said Wang Jisi, a renowned scholar of international strategic issues and Dean of the International Institute for Strategic Studies at Peking University, to China Review Agency reporters during the new book ceremony of Major-Country Relations.

Wang Jisi believed that there is no essential difference between China and the US in building a new model of major-country relations, nor is there any fundamental difference at the strategic level, but there are frictions in the specifics, tactics, and local issues. From the overall perspective, China and the US should be able to escape the famous "Thucydides Trap” (referring to Thucydides' famous statement that it was the rise of Athenian power and the fear it inspired in Sparta that constituted the true cause of the Peloponnesian War; the dangers two parties face when a rising power rivals a ruling power — as Athens did in 5th century BC and Germany did at the end of the 19th century. Most such challenges have ended in war; implying similar war may take place between the US and China) and establish a new model of major-country relations.

China defines the new model of major-country relations as "no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation".

Among these, "no conflict, no confrontation" is to avoid the Thucydides Trap between the existing major power and the rising power. The US agreed.

"Win-win cooperation" to both sides indicates that China is willing to cooperate with the US on many issues. The US also had no objection on this concept.

"Mutual respect" is a novel formulation in the new model of Sino-US major-country relations. So what is exactly mutual respect? Respect for what?

Wang Jisi believed that China is at the important stage of deepening reform and opening up to building a country with rule of law. Communist China has found a suitable path for the country and it needs the Communist Party to lead the country to go on. Therefore, China hopes that the US will respect China's Communist Party leadership, will not engage in color revolution, will not excessively render unfavorable opinions internationally against the Communist Party, and will respect the existing Chinese regime.


On the other hand, although China has some dissatisfaction with the current US-led global political and economic order, nevertheless China in essence is the beneficiary. China wishes to have a more equitable global order, but does not need to change the current international order radically. This means that China can respect the US-led international order in exchange for US respect for China’s choice of the country’s path.

Wang Jisi thinks that the US has already accepted the concept of the "new model of major-country relations”. But America is not a country of slogans. It embraces actions, not slogans.

Wang Jisi believes that in 10 years it will be the next generation born in the 1960s to lead the world. They grew up in the post-Cold War era and do not have a strong Cold War mentality. By then, though still a far cry from the US and China ideologies, while facing a similar problem, the two countries should have established a control mechanism for the problems, and may have better cooperation mechanisms in many areas. China and the US have different means of achieving the same end in the world governance. When this situation occurs, a new type of Sino-US major-country relations is basically in shape.

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