Ambassador on China-US ties


Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai says China has confidence and capabilities to avoid falling into the “middle-income trap” in which a country struggles to push past a certain income level.

Cui adds the country could also avoid the so-called Thucydides Trap of confrontational great-power rivalry seen in the past history.


Cui made the remarks at the closing ceremony of Penn Wharton China Summit in Philadelphia of the United States on Sunday.

The summit is themed with “China’s New Normal”, a term often referring to China’s transition to slower growth but with higher quality.

Cui said China has made great achievements in the past three decades since the country’s reform and opening-up policy.

China is now determined to address an increasing number of problems and risks and is capable to avoid the middle-income trap.

SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): CUI TIANKAI, Chinese Ambassador to the US
“We have kept our heads cool with a long vision. We have foreseen such a trap in development and have started to make structural adjustment.”

Cui says both China and the U.S. must avoid the Thucydides Trap, a metaphor in which a rising power causes fear in an established power that escalates into war.

Cui says the aim of China’s development is to ensure a good life for its citizens and keep surpassing itself. It has no intention to challenge the U.S. and seek hegemony.

SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): CUI TIANKAI, Chinese Ambassador to the US
“The new type of major-country relations we are building is based on the practical concerns and sincerity of China-U.S. ties. It is not an empty slogan nor is making a fool of the U.S.”

Cui stressed that the two sides should respect each other’s differences and deal with them in a constructive way.

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