By DING ZHITAO
As a well-known Confucius saying reads, "At 30 years old, I planted my feet firm upon the ground." It means a 30-year-old is expected to be mature and established. That is also true for the relations between China and the United States.
January 1, 2009, witnessed the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States. This commemoration came in the wake of another major event on the nation's calendar, which was still being remembered with much pomp and ceremony--namely the 30th anniversary of the reform and opening-up policy.
The two anniversaries were not coincidental, if we place the normalization of diplomatic ties between China and the United States against the backdrop of China's reform and opening-up policy. The diplomatic move definitely helped to shape a favorable international environment for China's modernization drive and vice versa.
Thanks to their political wisdom and resolution, leaders of the two nations made a historic decision to break the thick ice that had accumulated for a quarter century. From ping-pong diplomacy and Richard Nixon's historic handshake with Mao Zedong to the signing of the three joint communiqués, the normalization of China-U.S. ties was not an easy task.
Despite the chilly atmosphere of the Cold War, two countries with profound ideological, political and social differences sat down together and looked for ways to tie diplomatic knots. One can only marvel at the vision, wisdom and courage of the great statesmen from the two sides of the Pacific.
Over the past three decades, China and the United States have made historic achievements. Cooperation has borne fruit in a wide range of areas. Mutual understanding between the two peoples has increased. Bilateral trade has blossomed. The strategic significance and global implications of China-U.S. relations have become all the more evident. Most serious Sino-American observers believe that the relationship between the two countries has never been better.
All this proves that the decision made 30 years ago was correct. It has served the fundamental interests of both nations. It has not only delivered enormous benefits to the Chinese and American peoples, but also has greatly contributed to the peace, stability and development of Asia and the world at large.
Compared to the world 30 years ago, China and the United States are facing new opportunities and challenges. Under new circumstances, China is ready to work with the United States to build on past achievements and remains committed to the development of a constructive and cooperative relationship. Regarding the 30th anniversary a milestone that marks a new chapter in the history of bilateral relations, the two nations have high expectations and the maturity to realize those expectations.