Ambassador Cui Tiankai's Remarks at the 2017 Gala Dinner of
The U.S.-China Policy Foundation



Thank you so much, Ambassador Roy, for your very kind words. Let me thank the U.S.-China Policy Foundation for honoring me tonight. It is a great encouragement and motivation for me. My colleagues and I myself will continue to do our utmost to help build a strong and stable relationship between our two great countries.

At the same time, we should never forget so many others that have played key roles and made valuable contributions to this important relationship. This year marks the 45th anniversary of President Nixon's visit to China. Even before President Nixon's visit, there were already people who advocated for reopening and normalizing relations with China.

In the 45 years since President Nixon's visit, successive Chinese leaders and 9 Presidents of both parties in the United States have all committed themselves to this relationship and numerous people have made great contributions to it.

With such longstanding and joint efforts from both countries, China-U.S. relations have been developing on a stable track and maintained positive momentum over the years. The latest development is President Donald Trump's first state visit to China just a few days ago. President Trump was the first foreign head of state visiting after the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. He was also the first head of state to call President Xi Jinping at the conclusion of the Party Congress, and it was indeed the first time for an American President to do that. We appreciate that.

During the visit, President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump held in-depth exchanges of views and reached important consensus, which set the tone and direction for our relationship. The two Presidents agreed to stay in close contact with each other to provide strategic guidance for the China-U.S. relationship. The two sides decided to enhance high-level exchanges and make best use of high-level dialogue mechanisms. The two sides agreed to expand mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields and manage possible differences on the basis of mutual respect. The two sides agreed to promote mutual understanding and friendship between our two great peoples and promote even better cooperation at sub-national levels. The two sides agreed to join hands in response to various global, international and regional issues, in particular the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. The two sides also signed a number of business deals of over 250 billion dollars. The visit was constructive and fruitful, and was positively received by the public of both our countries and the international community.

Of course there are always complaints or doubts. For instance, some people question the warm hospitality President Trump received in Beijing. Honestly, I don't quite understand. Why would people in the U.S. frown upon the warm hospitality their President got in China? Something is even more important than protocol arrangements - the depth and breadth of the communication between our two Presidents; their reaffirmation of expanding common interests; and their recognition of the need of even better and closer cooperation between China and the U.S. for the benefit of our two peoples.

Some people also believe that there was little progress on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue during the visit. But our two Presidents reaffirmed their commitment to a denuclearized and peaceful Korean Peninsula, and their determination to implement all the United Nations Security Council resolutions and seek a diplomatic solution to the problem. I believe this is a very important and strong signal, and hopefully a solution to this difficult and sensitive issue can be found and stability on the Peninsula can be restored.

Some others think that the economic outcomes of the visit were below their expectation. I don't think 250 billion dollars is a small number. Of course some of the deals will have to be implemented. But such a long list is the impressive outcome of the joint effort of the two governments and the two business communities. With sufficient political will, these deals will be implemented and benefit our two peoples.

Some people in the government may think that it's their job to fight with other countries over trade disputes, but I believe it should be their responsibility to build a strong and stable economic relationship between our two economies. Indeed we all owe it to our people that their aspiration for a better life not be affected by any trade war or shortsighted, narrow-minded political schemes.

As for those who accuse the economic and trade relations between China and the U.S. to be harmful, I suggest them to revisit elementary economics and have a closer look at the merit of comparative advantage, the virtues of competition, the function of international production chain and value-added chain, and the fundamental changes taken place in the global economic structure. Actually, we learnt all these from our friends in the developed world. However, the problem today seems to be that the preachers no longer believe in their own preaching.

As for what China wants from President Trump's visit and from the China-U.S. relationship, I think the answer is clear and simple. We want to build a strong partnership with the U.S. based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. This partnership will enable each of us to better accomplish our domestic goals. This partnership will put both countries together in a stronger position to respond to so many challenges in today's world. This is the essence of China's policy towards the U.S. This is what we actually want to have in this relationship.

As for China's domestic and foreign policies, there is no better presentation than President Xi's keynote report in the 19th Party Congress. The 19th Party Congress formulated the blueprint and action plan for China's development in the new era. It set the goals for China in 2020, 2035 and 2050. It adopted a development strategy base on China's national condition and at the same time in keeping with the global trend of our times.

This is a people-centered development. As President Xi said, people's aspiration for better life should be our mission. China aims at all-round human development and shared prosperity among its people. This is a development with integrated progress in economic, political, cultural, social and ecological fields. This is a development that is guided by greater emphasis on innovation, coordination, green growth, openness and inclusiveness. This is a development that continues to follow the strategy of reform and opening up.

As President Xi said when he met with the press at the conclusion of the Party Congress, the great goal of the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation will be achieved in the process of reform and opening up.

China will deepen all-round reform, improve our system with Chinese characteristics and modernize China's system and capacity for governance. China aims at a globalization that is more open and inclusive, more balanced, more equitable and beneficial to all. China will work together with other countries to create new drivers of common development through the Belt and Road Initiative. China will adopt policies to promote high-standard trade, and investment liberalization and facilitation. China will implement the system of pre-establishment national treatment plus negative list across the board, significantly ease market access, further open the service sector, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors. All businesses registered in China will be treated as equals.

As an integral part of this development strategy, China follows a foreign policy that aims at a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, with a view to building a community of shared future for mankind. We are ready to make greater contributions to world peace and development, and help to improve and enhance global governance through consultation and collaboration with others. We seek global partnerships, and we are ready to expand convergence of interests with other countries.

Of course China will never give up its own legitimate interests. But we would never pursue our own development at the expense of others. China will never seek hegemony, nor will we adopt expansionist policies. I believe this is the backdrop against which we build our relations with the U.S., and this is the future direction where our relations should be going.

In his book World Order, Dr Henry Kissinger said: Each generation will be judged by whether the greatest and most consequential issues of the human condition have been faced. Today we are confronted with such a test. Are we able to build a more stable and prosperous world for the benefits of all countries? Can China and the U.S. take the lead in this joint effort? I hope and I believe our two countries will make the right choice to confront the challenges and seize the historic opportunities. But this is not only a task for our two governments. We need the support and participation of our two peoples. In this regard, I hope the U.S.-China Policy Foundation will continue to take the lead in promoting supportive public opinions for this great relationship.

Thank you all very much.


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