That the Communist Party of China released the official version of the report of its 20th National Congress on Tuesday night, three days after the seven-day meeting concluded, reflects its prudence in weighing every word of this important historic document that will guide the country's development over the next five years and beyond.
However, that discretion might have been wasted with regard to Washington, as both the White House and the US State Department have responded to questions asking for their views on the report with their now familiar squeeze-the-middle competition-cooperation-confrontation trichotomy. Both also claimed that the Joe Biden administration seeks to manage competition with China responsibly. But it has failed to match words with deeds.
It is the Biden administration that has failed to seek cooperation in areas where the two sides have common interests and smooth communication channels. Despite Beijing's repeated calls for sincerity, the administration says one thing and does another. In doing so, the Biden administration has ruined the mutual trust between the two countries by repeatedly provoking China, hurting China's core interests and threatening its sovereignty and territorial integrity by forming cliques to try and make China a pariah in the international community.
While the Party Congress report said China faces external attempts to blackmail, contain, blockade, and exert maximum pressure on it, it does not mention any specific countries or identify any as being a threat, as Washington has done of China.
On Tuesday, US President Joe Biden and new UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak reaffirmed in a telephone call the two countries' "special relationship" and agreed on the importance of working together to address "the challenges posed by China". The Biden administration frequently accuses China of being aggressive and claims it is a threat to the rules-based order.
The CPC has made it crystal-clear in the report that China advocates and practices true multilateralism, and takes a clear-cut stance against hegemonism and power politics in any form. It is steadfast in its opposition to unilateralism, protectionism, maximum pressure, unilateral sanctions and bullying of any kind.
It has also reaffirmed that China is committed to developing friendship and cooperation with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, promoting the building of a new type of international relations, deepening and expanding global partnerships featuring equality, openness and cooperation, and expanding converging interests with other countries. That includes with the US.
It is to be hoped that the US can correct its strategic understanding of China, work with China to bring China-US relations back onto a sound and stable trajectory. This serves the interests of both sides and the rest of the world. And that is also the common expectation of the international community.