Ambassador Cui Tiankai Delivered A Speech on the New Model of Major Country Relationship Between China and the US


On April 10, 2014, Ambassador Cui Tiankai participated in the opening ceremony of the 6th China-US Project on Crisis Avoidance and Cooperation (PCAC), co-hosted by the United States Institute of Peace, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, and the Fudan University, and delivered a keynote speech on the new model of major country relationship between China and the US.


Ambassador Cui said, the key to our success in avoiding crisis is to turn dangers into opportunities for cooperation. We are witnessing fast and profound changes in the world, with foreseeable and unforeseeable challenges almost everyday. No country can confront all these challenges single-handedly. But If members of the international community could have the vision, wisdom, determination and will to work together, we will be able to seize the opportunities and make a better world for all.

Ambassador Cui said, this is the big picture against which our leaders set the goal for China and the US to work together to build a new model of major country relationship. President Xi Jinping and President Obama made that decision at Sunnylands last June, and reaffirmed it in their subsequent communications. There is clarity in the vision of our two presidents and consistency in their commitment to the goal. Guided by the consensus of the two presidents, and thanks to joint efforts by both sides, China-US relations are moving forward in a steady way despite issues and problems every now and then.

It's becoming increasingly evident that that this new model of major country relationship between China and the US is the right choice. That said, there still exist misunderstandings and misperceptions. Some may question the intentions behind the concept. Others may have doubt about its real effect. Still others may believe that it is not attainable.


Ambassador Cui said, there is such interdependence and connectivity in today's world, that relations among countries in particular among major countries are no longer a zero-sum game. And 19th century solutions can no longer work to solve 21st century problems. Likewise, Cold War legacies, either mental or material, are stumbling blocks, rather than building blocks, if our goal is to build a 21st century world order. So new realities call for new ways for countries to interact with each other and build new models of relationship.

Ambassador Cui emphasized, the new model of relations stresses mutual respect. China and the US have very different historical heritage, cultural traditions, political and social systems and are at different stages of economic development. We have to understand and respect them. Mutual respect also means respecting each other's core interests and major concerns. Mutual respect of such interests is the very prerequisite for any meaningful cooperation. Disregard of it would only lead to conflict and confrontation. Such respect is not a favor given by one side to the other. It is a reciprocal process and two-way street. Positive approach will have positive response. Negative attitude will probably get a negative reward. So you reap what you sow.

Ambassador Cui said, the new model of relationship is a framework for cooperation. China and the US are already cooperating in so many areas, including international and regional security issues, non-proliferation, counter-terrorism, Korean Peninsula, the Iranian nuclear issue, global economic governance, climate change, cross-border crime, disease control, and infrastructure building. With the new model as the framework, all these will have a clearer sense of direction, greater incentives and closer coordination and introduce even more tangible results for our two peoples.

Ambassador Cui said, both sides have to be frank and direct in discussing differences, and constructive and pragmatic in managing them, we should make sure the differences do not disrupt the overall relationship. We should always keep in mind that our common interests far outweigh the differences. And our closer and growing cooperation in areas where we can work together will enable us to handle and mange the areas where we differ. We have to be careful that we do not lose sight of the big picture, and do not give anyone the illusion that they could take advantage of and manipulate our differences.

Ambassador Cui said, the new model of major country relationship aims at win-win outcome. Naturally, it is a win-win outcome first of all for our two countries. But our bilateral cooperation clearly benefits others as well. This year marks the 35th anniversary of establishing the diplomatic relations between China and the US. The development of our bilateral relations has made significant contribution to the stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific and the world at large. The new model of major country relationship is not G2. It represents our best efforts to respond to the transformation that is taking place in the world. The new model of relationship will also contribute to the process of building a more balanced international structure.

Ambassador Cui said, what we have achieved in building the new model of major country relationship is truly encouraging. But the journey is not complete. China remains fully committed to this new model of major country relationship, and I hope our US partners will be equally confident.


Ambassador Cui also answered questions from the moderator and the audience on China-US mil-to-mil relations, relationship between China and its neighboring countries, China-Japanese relations, Korean Peninsula, Afghanistan, China's position on the issue of Ukraine and so on.


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