Remarks by Ambassador Cui Tiankai at the Spring Festival Reception


Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney,

Assistant Secretary Russel,

Ambassador Stuart Holiday,

Dear Friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to the Chinese Embassy. It is a great pleasure to have so many friends with us tonight. According to the lunar calendar, today is the fifth day of the new year, an auspicious day to open business and have friends for celebration. Therefore, it is a great time to welcome you all here in the Chinese Embassy tonight to celebrate the Chinese new year.

As you know, this is the year of the Rooster. In Chinese culture, rooster stands for independence, pride, diligence and pursuit of excellence. There is an idiom in the Chinese language "Wen ji qi wu", meaning a person rises up early in the morning upon hearing the crow of a rooster and practices swordsmanship. This is to encourage people to embrace every new day with hard work.

This is also a year of great significance for both China and the U.S., as well as China-U.S. relations. For our American friends, you have a new government sworn in just a few days ago. For China, the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party will be held in autumn, which will give clear guidance to China's development in the years to come. For China-U.S. relationship, there are new opportunities ahead of us.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the U.S., our relationship has been tested by ups and downs, yet has kept moving forward with great progress. Now our cooperation and exchanges have deepened and extended more than ever before. The global and strategic significance of China-U.S. relationship is greater than any time in the past.

Over these decades, we have learned that we should always respond to difficulties and challenges by cooperation, instead of conflict or confrontation; that we should fully respect concerns of each other and never challenge the core interest of the other side; and that we should work together for win-win cooperation, instead of being misguided by zero-sum or cold war mentality.

As two great countries, it is our shared responsibilities to the international community to continue to develop our relationship on the basis of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. It is our hope that the two sides will keep moving towards the same direction for more progress in growing areas of exchanges and cooperation, so as to facilitate our respective domestic agenda and serve the interest of world peace and development

Cultural exchanges bring people closer as they gain more understanding of other cultures. Here I want to thank the Meridian International Center for your dedicated efforts to promote people-to-people exchanges between China and the U.S. The China Cultural Evening is now a most popular Spring Festival program in D.C. area, thanks to the seven-year long cooperation between the Center and the Chinese Embassy.

I also want to thank the artists and performers from Beijing. They traveled all the way here to celebrate the Chinese new year with us. They brought us Chinese folk music, Peking opera, acrobatics and traditional handicrafts. I hope that our American friends, especially families and kids, will enjoy their wonderful performance.

In particular, I want to thank the Capital Museum of China for bringing us this wonderful exhibition of Chinese New Year Traditions in Beijing. I hope you can see, experience and taste by yourselves how the Chinese people celebrate the Spring Festival.

I wish all of you and your family a healthy and prosperous year of the Rooster. Please enjoy the evening.

Thank you.


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