BEIJING -- Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has called for "more and better" communication between China and the United States as they nurture a new type of inter-power relations.
"First, we need to communicate more and better. We need more transparency about one another's motives and intentions. And we need to take steps to get our economies onto a more sustainable and complementary footing through important reforms," said Paulson in a recent written interview with Xinhua.
Paulson made the remarks ahead of the summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama on June 7-8 in California. It will be the first meeting between the two leaders since Xi took office in March.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang highlighted the significance of the summit, saying that it will bolster the long-term, sound and steady development of China-U.S. relations, and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world.
Paulson expressed his appreciation for the concept proposed by Xi of a "New Type of Great Power Relationship," praising it as a "creative and innovative thinking."
"There's no iron law of history that says a rising power must inevitably come into conflict with an established power," Paulson, who is currently in China to attend the 2013 Fortune Global Forum (FGF) held in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan province, from Thursday to Saturday.
More often, he said, relations between major powers are usually "mixed cooperation with competition." China's ties with other countries, which are also a "mix of cooperation and competition," are determined by its leaders' choices, Paulson said.
He pointed out that "China, the United States, and other major powers will need to work toward that new relationship in a concrete way, moving an idea into tangible actions."
Paulson also said that the appropriate handling of disagreements is very important for relations between major powers.
"All countries have some differences," Paulson said. "But today's major powers must not let differences preclude cooperation in the areas where we agree."
"Ultimately, I'm an optimist. The shared interests are present, so what is needed is smart leadership," he said.
As for China, the world's second-largest economy and a global economic leader, Paulson said Beijing's perception of the role it should play in the world has to evolve as well.
The existing global economic institutions also "need to adapt to the new reality in which economic power is more diffused and emerging economies, such as China, India, Brazil, and Indonesia, are increasingly driving global growth," he said.
Taking the G-20 for example, which has supplanted the G-7 as the principle forum for global economic discussion, debate, and coordination, Paulson said "China needs to use its seat at the table to help forestall future crises and assure sustainable growth."