Remarks by DCM & Minister Li Kexin At the Screening of "Better Angels"
2018/12/13

December 11, 2018

 

Photographer: Noel St. John

Mr. Malcolm Clarke, Mr. William Mundell, Ms. Han Yi,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening. I would like to welcome you to the Chinese Embassy for today's reception and screening of "Better Angels".

First and foremost, I want to pay tribute to Mr. Malcolm Clarke, the director, Mr. William Mundell and Ms. Han Yi, the producers of this documentary film, whom we are so pleased to have tonight. I am glad to learn that "Better Angels" has been very warmly received in Washington DC, Los Angeles, Chicago and other cities in US, providing Americans with a new perspective to China-US relations. Congratulations!

This documentary focuses on the stories of ordinary people through the lens of understanding and patience. From this viewpoint, the film addresses fundamental concerns, such as the simple and daily needs of the peoples of China and the US. The people of both countries pursue better-off lives, a safer and more stable environment, and more decent education for their children. It is through these common wishes that one can see that there are not so many differences between China and the United States, and that what is needed is a better understanding and the willingness to support each other.

The documentary tells a story from a new angle often overlooked by mainstream media. The current media culture is keen to discuss China-US trade frictions or political topics, but this documentary is different. It takes a more optimistic point of view; it tells us that China-US relations should be defined by the two peoples, their common interests and aspirations.

In about 20 days, we will begin celebrating the 40th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between China and the United States. The relationship between the two countries has had its ups and downs over the last 40 years, but its overall stability has been maintained, including by countless "Better Angels" who have made contributions quietly and firmly.

At present, our two countries’ relations have encountered some difficulties, which is both natural and inevitable at a time of development and changes. However, the basis of friendship between the two peoples has never changed, and our goal of pursuing a beautiful and happy life has never changed. The 1.7 billion people of China and the United States have benefited greatly from our cooperation. Their well-being transcends the "political correctness", "the bilateral differences" and various so-called "traps", and will always be at the forefront of China-US relations.

At the beginning of this month, President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump held a very successful meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina. They discussed issues of mutual concern in a friendly and frank atmosphere, and reached new and important consensus, especially on trade, the Korean Peninsula issue, counter-narcotics, and others. The two sides agreed that the bilateral relationship should be centered on coordination, cooperation and stability.

As the late former President George H. W. Bush put it, “International exchanges are not a great tide to sweep away all differences, but they will slowly wear away at the obstacles to peace as surely as water wears away a hard stone.” After watching this documentary, I believe that all the Wharton alumni and other guests present will have a deeper understanding of the need to maintain and enhance close contacts between China and the United States.

Just as the documentary calls for “Better Angels”, we too call for "Better Angels" to continue to strengthen our existing ties, develop new friendship, achieve greater mutual understanding, and jointly blow away the smog surrounding China-US relations. We hope these efforts will guide this relationship to a better future, to the benefit of both our two peoples and the international community.

Thank you again for joining us, and I wish you a happy and memorable night here at the Chinese Embassy.

 

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