(March 7, 2012)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I want to start by expressing my sincere thanks to the United States Institute of Peace and the Richard Nixon Foundation for hosting this Conference in commemoration of the historic visit by President Nixon to China 40 years ago. I want to thank all the participants for making your time available to the event. I also want to pay special tribute to Dr. Kissinger, General Scowcroft and all others who worked hard to make President Nixon's visit happen.
The historic initiative by President Nixon and Chinese leaders has not only heralded the normalization of China-US relations, but also a new international landscape. Their vision to see beyond horizon, their courage to overcome all difficulties, and their resolve to keep in pace with the trend of the times are still relevant today. As we work together to further enhance mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation between our two countries, the significance of the historic visit cannot be exaggerated.
Four decades later today, China-US relationship has become one of the most important and dynamic bilateral relations in the world. Our economies have never been so closely interconnected. Last year, bilateral trade reached 446 billion US dollars, and it is expected to exceed 500 billion US dollars this year. Our people-to-people exchanges have reached such a level that every year, more than three million visits are made between us. We have a strong shared interest in maintaining world economic recovery and international financial stability and in addressing many of the regional and global issues.
In the era of globalization and given the size and the degree of interconnectedness of our two countries, China and the United States can be regarded as a community of interests. This relationship is not, and should not be a zero-sum game relationship. Conflict and confrontation do not serve our mutual interests. We both emerge as winners if we work together as true partners. There is every reason to believe that if we manage our differences well, China and the United States can establish a new model of relationship under which two big countries can coexist peacefully and develop together.
We must be as visionary, courageous and resolute as our leaders 40 years ago, and do all we can to ensure that China-US relationship continues to grow on the path of cooperative partnership that best serve the interests of our two peoples, our two countries and the world at large.