|Speech by H.E. Yang Jiechi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, at the Luncheon Hosted by the National Committee on US-China Relations and the US-China Business Council|
Ms. Carla Hills, Chairwoman of the National Committee on US-China Relations
Mr. Muthar Kent, Chairman of the US-China Business Council
Mr. Stephen Orlins, President of the National Committee on US-China Relations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I wish to begin by thanking the National Committee on US-China Relations and the US-China Business Council for the thoughtful arrangements and for giving me this opportunity to meet with important personages from various sectors of this country. Over the years, the National Committee on US-China Relations and the US-China Business Council have served as a bridge for enhancing mutual understanding and cooperation between the United States and China, and have made important contribution to the growth of US relations with China. I highly appreciate your efforts.
I have come to New York to attend the 66th session of the UN General Assembly. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations. It is an honor for me to attend the session of the UN General Assembly on behalf of China at this special moment.
China has come a long way over the past four decades. Particularly in the 33 years since the launch of reform and opening-up, the Chinese people have, with unflinching effort, blazed a path of development with Chinese features and in keeping with China’s conditions and made remarkable achievements in economic, political, social and cultural fields.
In the course of its development, China’s future and destiny have been increasingly tied to that of the world. China’s participation in UN affairs exemplifies its continued integration into the world and active involvement in globalization. China is now a member of over 100 inter-governmental organizations and a party to over 300 multilateral treaties, and it plays an important part in them. In fighting the severe international financial crisis, China maintained close coordination and cooperation with other major economies within the G20 and other mechanisms to promote recovery and sustainable growth of the world economy. China has played an important and constructive role in international cooperation on counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, climate change, disaster prevention and reduction, in UN peacekeeping operations, and in addressing and resolving many major regional and international issues.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China’s development and prosperity and its active interactions with the world are no doubt one of the most phenomenal changes in today’s world. It has exerted a far-reaching impact on both China and the world and advanced China’s relations with the United States.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of ping-pong diplomacy and Dr. Kissinger’s secret visit to China. Next year will be the 40th anniversary of President Nixon’s visit to China. These historic events profoundly changed the international strategic landscape and opened a new chapter in China-US relations. Thanks to the joint efforts made by several generations of leaders, statesmen and people with vision in both countries, China-US relations have made major progress against all odds.
President Hu Jintao paid a state visit to the United States at the invitation of President Barack Obama last January. Our two sides agreed to work together to build a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit between China and the United States. The two countries subsequently held the second meeting of the High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange and the third round of the Strategic and Economic Dialogues. Last month, Vice President Biden paid a visit to China. Both sides have stressed that the relationship between China and the United States should be a relationship of mutually beneficial cooperation rather than one of zero-sum competition, that in a profoundly changing and complex international environment, the two sides should stand together in the face of difficulty and carry out cooperation on an equal footing, and that this will not only benefit the Chinese and American people, but also contribute to peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific and the world at large.
Meanwhile, given the differences between the two countries in social system, history, culture and level of development, the China-US relationship is bound to confront some challenges in the course of its development. Frankly speaking, the potential for win-win cooperation between the two countries is yet to be fully tapped due to some constraints and obstacles. The growth of this relationship sometimes suffers from unnecessary setbacks. What we need to do today is to follow through with the agreement between our presidents not only in words, but also in actions. We need to follow the principles set forth in the three Sino-US joint communiqués and China-US joint statements, remove interferences and obstacles, and ensure that our relationship stays on the track of sound and steady growth.
First, it is important to keep the China-US relationship on the right track. The international situation is undergoing complex and profound changes. China is the largest developing country, while the United States the largest developed country. We are the two largest economies. We therefore shoulder major responsibility for world peace and development. Time has changed. The zero-sum game and the Cold War mentality should be discarded. We need to enhance trust and step up cooperation. Only in this way can China, the United States and the rest of the world stand together to meet the challenges, and bring about shared growth and prosperity.
I would like to stress that respecting each other's core interest is the principle underpinning China-US cooperation. We should cherish our cooperation, as it embodies the important common interests of our two countries. When it comes to major issues concerning China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, the United States should handle them with extreme care so as to prevent interference and setbacks in China-US relations.
The Taiwan issue concerns China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, concerns China's core interest and bears on the sentiments of the 1.3 billion Chinese people. It is always the most important and most sensitive issue at the core of China-US relationship. Yesterday, in disregard of China's strong opposition and ignoring the improvement and peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, the US side once again took the wrong decision of making large-scale arms sales to Taiwan. This has gravely violated the principles of the three Sino-US joint communiqués, particularly the August 17 Communiqué, grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs and seriously undermined China’s security, its endeavor to achieve peaceful reunification and China-US relations. It runs counter to the serious commitment made by the US side itself. China is firmly opposed to this decision.
The Chinese side urges the US side to fully recognize that US arms sales to Taiwan is a highly sensitive and harmful issue. The Chinese side urges the US side to take China's solemn position very seriously, correct the mistake of selling weapons to Taiwan, immediately revoke the above-mentioned wrong decision, stop arms sales to Taiwan and US-Taiwan military contacts, and take real actions to uphold the larger interest of China-US relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits.
Second, it is important to adhere to the principle of mutual benefit in China-US business relationship. There are many uncertainties and destabilizing factors in the world economic situation. Both China and the United States need to adjust the economic structure, and both face challenges and difficulties. It is thus particularly important for us to boost confidence, strengthen coordination of macroeconomic policies, deepen economic and financial cooperation and promote sustainable growth of our respective economies and the world economy.
It is normal that some issues may arise in the rapid development of China-US business ties. The US side should properly handle them through consultation in a spirit of equality, mutual understanding and mutual benefit and in accordance with the market and WTO rules. Economic and trade issues should not be politicized and trade and investment protectionism must be rejected. The US side should relax control over high-tech exports to China at an early date, and take concrete steps to create a more enabling environment for Chinese companies to invest in the United States. This will be helpful not only to the sound growth of China-US business relations, but also to economic growth and job creation in the United States. Let me reaffirm that China will continue to be committed to pursuing reform and opening-up and will further improve its foreign trade and business laws and regulations. We will continue to strengthen protection of intellectual property rights, treat Chinese and foreign companies in the same way when it comes to accreditation of innovation products and government procurement, and we will continue to foster an sound investment environment for foreign investors.
Third, it is important to strengthen consultation and coordination between China and the United States in international affairs. Since the beginning of this century, China-US relations have gained increasing strategic and global significance. China-US coordination and cooperation makes important contribution to peace, stability and prosperity in the world. China and the United States should work together to meet global challenges, seek peaceful solutions to the Middle East issue, the issue of the Korean Peninsula and other regional and international hotspot issues through dialogue and consultation and uphold regional and world peace and stability.
Shortly before leaving for the United States, I attended an international seminar in Beijing marking the 6th anniversary of the September 19th joint statement. Yesterday, the heads of delegations of the DPRK and the ROK of the Six Party Talks had a new round of contacts in Beijing. The United States and the DPRK also had some recent contacts. There are signs of relaxation in the situation on the Peninsula. We hope the parties concerned will keep up the momentum of dialogue and produce positive outcomes. The Chinese side consistently believes that the Six Party Talks offer an effective platform to denuclearize the Peninsula and uphold peace and stability there and in Northeast Asia. An early relaunch of the Six Party Talks serves the common interests of all parties. We hope the parties concerned will work in concert to create conditions for resuming the Six Party Talks.
Going forward, the G20 Cannes Summit, the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting in Hawaii and the East Asia Summit in Bali will be held. China and the United States should maintain close consultation and coordination, and work with other parties to facilitate regional cooperation, enhance global governance and promote strong, balanced and sustainable growth of the world economy.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China-US relations concern the well-being of our two peoples and bear on the future of the world. To ensure sound growth of China-US relations is a goal which the Chinese and American leaders and people with insight in both countries have been pursuing over the past 40 years, and it is an unshirkable obligation for our generation. Many of you here have both witnessed and personally involved in growing American ties with China, and you have contributed to our relations in different periods. Your attention, support and involvement will remain an indispensable force in moving forward the China-US relationship.
Ultimately, the growth of China-US relations in the long run will need the involvement and contribution of the younger generation of our two countries. Youth exchanges between China and the United States are thriving. There are now 130,000 Chinese students studying in the United States, while the US side is implementing the “100,000 Strong” initiative to send 100,000 American students to China. I am pleased to see that the National Committee on US-China Relations and the US-China Business Council are actively promoting exchanges and dialogue between young scholars and entrepreneurs of the two countries. I believe that by learning each other’s language, history and culture, more and more young Chinese and Americans will forge a bond of friendship and that will bring our two countries and peoples closer and make China-US relations strong and vibrant.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The China-US relationship has, on the whole, grown steadily in the first decade of this century. And it faces both opportunities and challenges as it grows in the second decade. China and the United States should actively implement what was agreed upon by the two sides, maximize positive factors and minimize negative ones in China-US relations, develop cooperation, remove impediments, and work together to build a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. I believe that with the concerted efforts of the Chinese government, the American government and people of vision from both countries, the China-US relationship will overcome the difficulties and continue to move forward.