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Endeavor to Build a Positive, Cooperative and Comprehensive China-US Relationship for the 21st Century

Address by H.E. Hu Jintao
President of the People's Republic of China
At the Opening Session of the Second Round of
The China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogues
Beijing, 24 May 2010

Secretary Clinton,
Secretary Geithner,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Friends,

The second round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogues (S&ED) opens in Beijing today. Let me first of all extend a warm welcome to our American friends coming from afar.

The second round of the S&ED takes places at an important moment when new developments are unfolding in the international political and economic landscape and when China and the United States face new opportunities to further the bilateral relationship. It is of great significance for both of our two countries to achieve positive outcomes at this round of dialogues. I hope that through candid and in-depth discussions on overarching, strategic and long-term issues of mutual interest, the two sides will enhance trust and dispel misgivings, and further push forward China-US cooperation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Over one year ago, President Obama and I met for the first time in London. We agreed to work together to build a positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-US relationship for the 21st century, setting up the goal for the development of China-US relations in the new era. Since then, President Obama and I have met on many occasions. During President Obama's successful visit to China last November in particular, the two sides issued the China-US Joint Statement, offering a policy framework for the development of our bilateral ties. In a spirit of solidarity, China and the United States have worked together to counter the extremely severe international financial crisis. We have coordinated macroeconomic policies and facilitated efforts to bring about positive outcomes at the G20 financial summits, making important contribution to world economic recovery. We have furthered our economic and trade ties and stepped up mutually beneficial cooperation in new and clean energy, energy conservation, emissions reduction and energy efficiency enhancement to solidify the foundation of our exchanges. China and the United States have maintained communication and coordination on major regional and international issues. We have worked with other parties to properly address regional hot-spot issues. The two countries have worked with other parties to manage a growing number of global issues and played a positive role in putting up an international response to such challenges as climate change, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and natural disasters.

Admittedly, China and the United States differ in national conditions, and it is only natural that the two sides may disagree on some issues. What is important is to respect and accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns, appropriately handle the sensitive issues and strengthen the foundation of mutual trust.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The world is in the midst of major developments, major changes and major adjustments. The trend toward a multi-polar world and economic globalization is gathering momentum, the impact of the international financial crisis continues to be felt, global issues are becoming more pronounced, and regional and international hot-spot issues keep cropping up. To further advance mankind's noble cause of peace and development requires greater cooperation among people of all countries. As permanent members of the UN Security Council and the largest developing country and the largest developed country, China and the United States face common tasks and shoulder important responsibilities ranging from promoting full recovery and sustainable growth of the world economy to managing regional hot-spots, meeting global challenges and safeguarding world peace and security. China attaches great importance to its relations with the United States. To develop a long-term, sound and steady China-US relationship is a shared desire of our two peoples, accords with the trend of our times and contributes to peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region and beyond.

– We need to stick to the right direction of China-US relations. No matter how the international situation may evolve and what difficulties and interferences we may encounter, we should always follow a strategic and long-term perspective and stick to and safeguard the goal of working together to build a positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-US relationship for the 21st century. We should foster strategic mutual trust, strengthen strategic cooperation, appropriately handle differences and step up communication, coordination and cooperation on bilateral, regional and global issues.

– We should respect each other's core interests and major concerns. Sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity are a country's most basic rights recognized by the norms governing international relations. To the Chinese people, nothing is more important than safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity. I trust it is not difficult for the American people, who went through the American Civil War in their history, to understand how important and valuable unity is to a nation.

– We should respect the right of each and every country to independently choose its development path. We should recognize differences in countries' cultural traditions, social systems, values and development concepts, and encourage different civilizations and development models to learn from and reinforce one another so as to achieve common development. It is not advisable to use one model to measure the diverse and colorful world we live in.

– We should maintain close interactions at the top and other levels. Full communication is an important basis for enhanced cooperation. Not even the most sophisticated telecommunication technology can replace face-to-face exchanges. In my meeting with President Obama in Washington on 12 April this year, we both agreed to stay in close touch through meetings, phone calls and correspondence. We should also step up strategic dialogues and consultations to deepen understanding, expand common ground and promote cooperation.

– We should develop a pattern of mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation. China and the United States should step up macroeconomic policy coordination and promote sustained world economic recovery. The two sides should increase exchanges and cooperation in such areas as economy and trade, energy, the environment, counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, law enforcement, science and technology, education, agriculture, health and quality inspection, and actively develop cooperation in such new areas as civil aviation, high-speed railway, infrastructure construction and space exploration. In this way, we will lend fresh impetus to the growth of China-US relations and enable our peoples to reap tangible benefits from China-US cooperation.

– We should strengthen coordination on regional hot-spot and global issues. China and the United States should step up communication and coordination on regional hot-spot issues through bilateral channels and multilateral mechanisms. The two sides should increase consultations and cooperation on such global issues as climate change, nuclear security, energy security, food security, disaster reduction and preparedness, fighting trans-national crimes, and prevention and control of serious communicable diseases. China and the United States should work with the rest of the international community to make the international system more just and equitable.

– We should deepen mutual understanding and friendship between our peoples. This provides an enduring driving force and broad foundation for the growth of state-to-state relations. China and the United States will establish a mechanism of people-to-people exchange. I believe this mechanism will contribute to the cultural, scientific, technological and educational exchanges and cooperation between our two countries. The two sides should support youth exchanges so that the cause of China-US relations will be carried forward by the younger generation. We should also scale up exchanges and cooperation between the business, academic and media communities and between local authorities and institutions to build a broad bridge of friendship between our two peoples.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Since the founding of the People's Republic of China over 60 years ago and particularly since reform and opening up, earthshaking changes have taken place in China. Yet we are keenly aware that China remains the world's largest developing country. We still have a very long way to go before we can fully build a moderately prosperous society of a higher level that will benefit over one billion people and achieve basic modernization and bring common prosperity to all our people. We will continue to pursue reform and opening up so that our economy will register greater growth, our democracy will be further enhanced, our science and education will make bigger strides, our culture will get more prosperous, our society will become more harmonious and our people's life will be better-off. China will continue to pursue a win-win strategy of opening up. We will expand market access in keeping with established international economic and trading rules, support the improvement of international trading and financial systems and advance trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. China will accelerate the transformation of its economic development pattern. We will make great effort to expand domestic demand and increase household consumption, vigorously promote sound and balanced growth of external trade, and reject protectionism in all manifestations. China will continue to steadily advance the reform of the formation mechanism of the RMB exchange rate under the principle of independent decision-making, controllability and gradual progress. China will remain committed to the path of peaceful development and pursue friendly cooperation with all countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. We will not interfere in other countries' internal affairs or impose our own will on others. We will work with all other countries to build a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

To build a positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-US relationship for the 21st century is in the fundamental interest of our two countries and our two peoples. It also meets the need to promote world peace and development. Let us work together to open up even broader prospects for China-US relations.

 

 


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