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The Embassy Hosted Farewell Reception for Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong And Mme. Xie Shumin


On the evening of February 16, the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States hosted a farewell reception for Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong and Mme. Xie Shumin. Over 400 people attended the event, including Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg, Under Secretary of State Robert Hormats, Under Secretary of State Patrick F. Kennedy, Special Representative for Global Partnerships for the Secretary of States Ambassador Elizabeth Bagley, Director of Policy Planning Dr. Ann-Marie Slaughter, Chief of Protocol Ambassador Capricia Penavic Marshall, Deputy Assistant Secretary David Shear, Assistant Secretary of Energy David Sandalow, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce Ira Kasoff, Director of International Visitors Program of the Department of Education Sambia Barclay, Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Inez Moore Tenenbaum, former US Senator Ted Stevens, Birch Bayh, President of US-China Business Council John Frisbie, President of University of Maryland Dan Mote, and Publisher of the Washington Post Katherine Weymouth. It was also attended by representatives of foreign diplomatic missions in Washington DC including the UK, Russia, Japan and India. The reception was presided by Minister Xie Feng. Minister Liu Guangyuan also attended the event.



In his remarks, Deputy Secretary Steinberg spoke highly of the consistent efforts and outstanding contribution Ambassador Zhou has made in promoting China-US relations and friendship between the Chinese and American people. He pointed out that over the past year since President Obama took office, the two sides have established open and effective channels for communication and the bilateral relationship has completed the transition smoothly. The two Presidents agreed to work together to build a positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-US relationship for the 21st century. The first round of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue was held in Washington DC and achieved productive results. President Obama paid a successful visit to China in November last year and the two sides issued a Joint Statement which outlines the important progress in bilateral cooperation in various areas. In the meantime, the United States and China do disagree on certain issues, but such disagreement should not stand in the way in bilateral cooperation. The US side is ready to work with the Chinese side and advance the China-US relations toward the positive, cooperative and comprehensive direction.



Ambassador Zhou reviewed the progress in China-US relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties, particularly in the past five years. He pointed out that under the new circumstances, the global outreach and strategic significance of China-US relations are growing. China and the United States share more converging interests, broader prospect for cooperation and important common responsibilities on a series of issues crucial to peace and development of mankind. The two countries should and can transcend differences, continue to add more value to the strategic dimension of the positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-US relationship for the 21st century and work together to create a better future for the world.



Ambassador Zhou stressed that what has happened in the past 31 years shows that both countries will gain from cooperation and mutual trust and lose from confrontation and misgivings. The benefit of cooperation, dialogue and partnership far outweighs that of containment, confrontation and rivalry. Being two big nations, it is natural that China and the United States are not always on the same page. Sometimes they have seen conflicting interests. It is important that both sides continue to proceed from a strategic and long-term perspective, bear in the mind the larger picture, follow the agreement reached by the leaders of the two countries, the three China-US joint communiqués and the China-US Joint Statement, respect and accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns and handle differences properly so as to advance the China-US relations in a sound and steady manner toward greater success.



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