Xie Feng, China's new ambassador to the United States, late Tuesday stressed the importance of the relations between the two countries, saying the relationship is "too important for us to let it fail," hours after his arrival in the U.S. to assume office.
Speaking to Chinese and U.S. media at the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., Xie acknowledged that his appointment comes at "a critical moment" since the China-U.S. relationship has once again come to "a historical crossroads."
"We should keep pace with the trend of the times and reject Cold War mentality and zero-sum game, and open our heart and move forward in the same direction," he said in an appeal to the U.S. side.
"We should take concrete actions to deliver on the common understandings between President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden, and explore the right way to get along with each other in the new era," continued Xie.
"We should uphold the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation," he said. "We should make the two peoples feel assured and set the world at ease."
A sound and stable China-U.S. relationship is not only in the interest of both countries, but also a shared expectation of the international community and a major contribution to world peace and prosperity, said the ambassador.
Though faced with "serious difficulties and challenges," China and the United States have always been able to move the relations ahead, he said.
"The relationship is too important for us to let it fail," he said. "Neither side can change or replace the other."
"Working together, both will come out as winners; fighting each other, both will lose, and the world will be hurt as well," he emphasized.
Xie said, whether China and the United States can manage the relationship properly is consequential to the future of the two countries and the planet.
"The world is watching us," he said.
Xie's message echoed what he had said hours earlier when he delivered brief remarks to media upon arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport, where he urged Washington to work with China to enhance dialogue, manage differences and promote cooperation to put China-U.S. relations back on the right track.
"As a representative of the Chinese people, I have come here to safeguard the interests of China, and I take this as my sacred responsibility," he said in fluent English on Tuesday afternoon.
"As an envoy of the Chinese people, I have come here to enhance China-U.S. exchanges and cooperation, and I take this as my important mission."
He pledged to carry out responsibilities and live up to the mission with diligence and fortitude.
The United States should properly handle "important and sensitive" issues, such as the Taiwan question, in accordance with the principles in the three China-U.S. joint communiques, Xie stressed.
Matthew Miller, spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, said at a regular press briefing on Tuesday that the U.S. side welcomed Xie's arrival.
Washington remains committed to maintaining open channels of communication with China to "responsibly manage competition," Miller said.
Xie, 59, is seen as a veteran diplomat and U.S. expert. He last worked at the Chinese Embassy in the United States from 2008 to 2010.