Vice-President Wang Qishan said the key to promoting the healthy and stable development of Sino-US relations is following the spirit of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, as well as focusing on cooperation and managing differences.

Wang made the remark in Beijing on Friday in a meeting via video link with representatives of the US side attending the 12th China-US CEO and Former Senior Officials’ Dialogue.

Wang noted that China-US relations are vital to global prosperity and stability.

Over the past 40 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the development of bilateral economic and trade ties has indicated the great complementary advantages and mutual benefits which exist, he said.

Wang mentioned then-US national security advisor Henry Kissinger’s historic visit to China in 1971, which served as a prelude to the normalization of bilateral ties.

Although there have been some low points in this relationship witnessing friction, conflict, divergence and differences over the past 50 years, the two countries have also enjoyed the dividends from working together despite the major differences in their social systems, phases of development, value systems and cultures, Wang said.

This proves that there is more cooperation than conflict between China and the US, and their common interests outweigh their differences, the vice-president added.

In the long run, complex issues will remain in many areas between the two countries, and there will be both contradictions and common interests, Wang said.

The representatives of the US side said that the two countries should move toward each other in the next phase and seek the greatest common ground for bilateral cooperation to ensure the healthy and stable development of US-China relations.

The US business community will continue to encourage the new US administration to strengthen dialogue and exchanges with China, they added.

Friday marked the 42nd anniversary of then-vice-premier Deng Xiaoping’s visit to the US, which took place only 28 days after the two countries established diplomatic relations.

These ties have achieved historic growth, with bilateral investment nearing $240 billion and bilateral trade accounting for one-fifth of the global total, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Friday.

Behind the unprecedented difficulty the ties have suffered in the past few years is the wrong China policy adopted by the Trump administration and its ignoring of the gains made by bilateral cooperation, Zhao said.

“It is never too late to do the right thing,” Zhao said, adding that the relationship is at a crossroads and could open a new window of hope.

At a separate forum, veteran officials also expressed their hopes about further constructive interaction between the two countries.

Zhou Wenzhong, vice-president of the China-US People’s Friendship Association and a former ambassador to the US, called for the US to take a balanced view of the relationship and not to put too much emphasis on its negative aspects.

The two nations need to find the right approach for engagement, Zhou told a virtual conference on Thursday.

“The goal of US-China engagement is not to mold one another in one’s own image, still less to defeat the other side, but to seek and expand common interests,” Zhou said.

Long Yongtu, former vice-minister of foreign trade and former secretary-general of the Boao Forum for Asia, said that with regard to China-US relations, it is important for the two nations to work together constructively within the framework of the multilateral system.

“Within a multilateral framework, the two countries can find much common ground on which to cooperate, support each other and do some constructive work instead of only focusing on some difficulties,” Long said.