Ambassador Cui Tiankai Spoke on China-US Relations and the Future of Asia

On April 8, 2014, Chinese Ambassador to the United States H.E.Cui Tiankai participated in the formal launch of the Asia Society Policy Institute and addressed the topic of “Asia 2025: A Path toward Peace and Prosperity” in New York.

Ambassador Cui said that peace and prosperity in Asia is essential to China. The next five to ten years coincide with a key period in implementing the reform agenda put forward at the Third Plenary of the 18th CPC Congress and the realization of the two centenary goals. The top priority of Chinese diplomacy is to create a favorable surrounding and international environment for China’s development. China is committed to friendly cooperation with all countries in Asia and the world and will stick to the path of peaceful development, as this the logical choice to uphold China’s interests.

Ambassador Cui pointed out that a sound China-US relationship is very important to maintaining peace and prosperity in Asia. This year marks the 35th anniversary of China-US diplomatic relations. Over the past 35 years, China-US relationship has registered great progress nobody could imagine at the beginning. The two countries have enjoyed close cooperation in wide-ranging areas. The two Presidents have reached the important agreement of building a new model of major-country relationship between China and the US. The key is to make real joint efforts to implement this agreement. The new model of relationship between China and the US is not about G2, but a choice based on the reality of the bilateral relationship and aimed at the future of our two countries. If the two sides can reject more firmly the Cold War mentality, can rise above the constraint and confines of outdated military alliances and truly see each other’s success as an opportunity for common prosperity, China-US relations can certainly see greater progress in the future. This not only serves the common interests of our two countries, but is also expected by countries in Asia and the world.

Ambassador Cui stressed that China welcomes a constructive role of the US in Asia. The US presence and alliances with relevant countries in Asia are rooted in history. However, bilateral alliances should not harm the interests of any third party, nor should they affect peace and stability in the region. Military alliances formed during the Cold War are no viable solutions to new challenges of the 21st century. Win-win cooperation points the only way out. China opposes any attempt for an Asian version of NATO.

Speaking on maritime issues, Ambassador Cui emphasized that China is committed to solving territorial and jurisdictional disputes through consultation and negotiation with countries directly concerned in line with the principles established in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) does not apply to issues concerning territorial sovereignty and there are clear provisions in UNCLOS on this point. China has submitted a declaration according to relevant articles of UNCLOS stating that it does not accept international judicial or arbitration procedures on disputes concerning sea boundary delimitation, territory and military activities. And it is the right of any signatory state of UNCLOS to do so. Recently some in the US has made comments on the disputes over maritime sovereignty between China and relevant countries. But as a matter of fact US is not even a party to UNCLOS. If US finally chooses to become a party to UNCLSO, it may well make more reservations.

Ambassador Cui gave interviews to Chinese and foreign press after the event and answered questions on China-US relations, China-Japan relations and maritime issues.

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