October 9, 2014
Speech by Ambassador Cui Tiankai
at the China-US Economic and Investment Dialogue
& the Annual Gala of the China General Chamber of Commerce-USA
Ladies and gentlemen,
It's a great honor for me to speak at the China-US Economic and Investment Dialogue and the Annual Gala of the China General Chamber of Commerce-USA.
First of all, I want to thank President Yuan Ning and commend the General Chamber for its contribution in advancing business ties between China and the US over the last 9 years since its founding. The General Chamber has been fulfilling its mission to serve its members and to serve as a bridge between Chinese and American business communities. We at the Chinese Embassy salute you for a job well done and will continue to support your valuable efforts.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and the United States. These 35 years, and indeed the 42 years since President Nixon's visit to China in 1972, have not been quiet years in the world. They were decades of profound changes and sometimes global transformation. The domestic situations in our two countries have also changed a great deal. Notwithstanding all this, China-US relations have advanced and grown beyond the imagination of anyone at the beginning.
This is due to the joint efforts of our two peoples, in particular the vision and courage of those who have guided this relationship through all the ups and downs. Successive Chinese leaderships and eight presidents from both parties in the United States have had the vision to identify our common interests in a changing world and the courage to overcome domestic and external obstacles and keep the relationship on the right track.
The evolution of our economic relations is testimony to this. We all remember the days of the 1990s when the US Congress annually debated whether to extend the most-favored-nation treatment to China. We all remember the long years spent on the grueling negotiations for China's accession to the WTO. At such challenging times, our people and our leaders showed the vision and courage to make the right decisions. And the US business community deserves our special commendation for standing up and speaking up. Perhaps we should also thank those who opposed at first, for strong opposition stimulated our best efforts and spurred us on to achieve what we aimed to achieve.
The achievements are truly impressive. The benefits to our two peoples are enormous.
--We are now each other's 2nd largest trading partners. Our bilateral trade exceeded 520 billion US dollars last year, an increase of over 200 times from the beginning of diplomatic relations.
--Our two-way investment started from scratch and now the total amount is more than 100 billion US dollars. US companies investing in China have reaped significant gains along with China's rapid development. An increasing number of Chinese enterprises are selecting USA as the top destination for their outbound investments.
As a result, our two economies are more closely interconnected than ever before. This complementary and mutually beneficial relationship creates new business opportunities and new jobs for both countries and enables both to carry out economic restructurings at home and be more competitive in the world.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today, we are faced with new opportunities and challenges that require the same vision and courage in our response.
The world continues to undergo changes that could affect generations to come. Globalization is making its impact felt everywhere. New advances in science and technology are transforming our daily life. Our two countries, as the world's two largest economies, have a pressing need to work together on a wide and growing range of international issues, from global economic governance to international financial stability, from the G20 and APEC cooperation to the blueprint of Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific, from climate change to infrastructure building, from curbing protectionism to alleviating poverty, and from disease prevention to disaster relief. This is not only our shared interests, but also our shared responsibility to the international community.
Bilaterally, we have started the unprecedented and substantive BIT negotiations on the basis of pre-establishment national treatment and a negative list. It could be said that what the BIT means for us will be no less than what the WTO accession meant 13 year ago. It will unlock tremendous opportunities for both Chinese and US investors with a more stable and predictable environment.
Domestically, China is implementing comprehensive reform measures that will give a fuller play to role of the market and open up new opportunities for innovation and development. These are important steps towards the realization of China's "two centenary goals" and the "Chinese Dream",a dream that will not only bring about a better life to the Chinese people, but also contribute to global peace and prosperity and make the world a better place for all.
This new "big picture" presents a new test to the China-US relationship: do we have the vision to see the historic opportunities it offers and the courage to seize these opportunities for the wellbeing of our peoples?
Our leaders have shown such vision and courage. President Xi Jinping and President Obama made the strategic decision at the Sunnylands June last year that our two countries should work together to build a new model of major-country relationship. This is a wise decision based on full recognition of the new political and economic imperatives. This is a firm commitment to breaking the traditional rule of major-power rivalry. And this is a bold goal that requires joint and persistent efforts by all of us.
For the business community of both countries, success of this new model will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as it will enhance mutual confidence between China and the United States, stabilize the relations and create a much better and more assuring business environment. At the same time, business community is also an important stakeholder in this endeavor. The two governments need your support and participation. You have to help make sure that the relationship keep moving on a steady track and that the vison of a new model become a reality. Indeed, this should be a key part of your corporate social responsibility.
Next month, President Obama will come to China for the APEC and for a bilateral visit. The meeting between the two Presidents will be a good occasion for the two sides to reaffirm the commitment to the new model of relationship and chart the course for future China-US cooperation. Full preparations should be made for the summit so that it will be substantive and productive, strategic and forward-looking.
President Xi has said that building the new model of relationship between China and the United States is like building a great mansion. It has to be built brick by brick. I expect more and more bricks from the business community of both countries. Let's join forces to accomplish this inspiring construction project. Let's work together to make this joint venture a great success.