Remarks by Ambassador Cui Tiankai At the 15th Anniversary and Lunar New Year Gala of China General Chamber of Commerce - USA
2020/01/09

 

Photo Courtesy: Liao Pan

January 8, 2020

New York City

Chairman Xu Chen,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Good evening! It is my great pleasure to attend the 15th Anniversary and Lunar New Year Gala of China General Chamber of Commerce - USA (CGCC). At a time when we bid farewell to the past year and ring in the new one, let me extend festive greetings and warm regards to all of you. I wish you a successful and prosperous Year of the Mouse!

Over the past 15 years of CGCC history, China-US relations and, in particular, our economic and trade cooperation have experienced both sound and steady growth and considerable difficulties. But no matter how the situation changes, the CGCC and its member companies are always committed to building a bridge of friendship and cooperation between Chinese and American companies and peoples, and to promoting our economic and trade cooperation and the overall relations. Your contribution and hard efforts deserve acclaim and recognition from all of us.

As you all know, China and the United States have concluded the phase one trade agreement. Facts have proved that for China and the United States, dialogue and consultation on the basis of equality and mutual respect will eventually lead to a win-win outcome. In a highly complex and fluid international environment, such a deal will be conducive to China, to the United States and to the whole world.

Win-win is always the hallmark of our economic and trade cooperation. As long as we bear in mind the fundamental interests of the two peoples and respect each other's dignity, sovereignty and core interests, no difficulty is too formidable to surmount. Despite the trade dispute and other external complexities, China has made steady strides in reform and opening-up over the past year. Last October, China revised its Regulations on the Administration of Foreign-funded Banks. According to the revised version, foreign banks are allowed to set up both wholly-foreign-owned banks and foreign bank branches in China, which means more opportunities for them to expand their presence in China. Last November, China released the Opinions on Strengthening the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights, which provides for equal treatment of Chinese and foreign companies and more strict and swift law enforcement for IPR cases. In the future, IPR infringement will come at a higher price in China. The new Foreign Investment Law that came into effect on January 1 has further broadened market access for foreign investment. In addition, China has also lowered tariffs for some imported goods, which will open up new prospects for its economic and trade cooperation with the United States.

 

Photo Courtesy: Liao Pan

Over the past four decades, China and the United States have had their fair share of challenges and difficulties in their relations. But the real strength of this important relationship lies in their ability to overcome the challenges and difficulties. As we know, our ties are now faced with a difficult situation rarely seen in the past 40 years. Some forces are going all out to demonize China and provoke confrontation between us. What they are doing has seriously damaged our relations and put world peace and prosperity in real peril. If you ask me, what is your New Year Resolution? My answer is, I hope that China-US relations will move forward in the right direction and in a sound and steady manner.

- In the new year, we hope that no matter how America's domestic politics may change, its real statesmen will keep to rational and practical China policies, reject extreme rhetoric such as "decoupling" and "new Cold War", and work with China towards a relationship based on coordination, cooperation and stability. This is for the good of the people of both countries and the whole world. Some people are obsessed with "political correctness". In my view, to take up the responsibility to the people and to history is the only correct political choice to make.

- In the new year, China and the United States need to strengthen strategic communication and take an objective and rational view of each other. China follows the path of peaceful development and stands firm on world peace and common development. We hope to build a community with a shared future for mankind. We do not develop to overtake or displace other countries, nor do we have any interest in global or regional hegemony. The Communist Party of China has put in every effort along its way over the past century or so with only one goal in mind: to pursue happiness for the people and rejuvenation for the nation. Some people are making up the so-called China's "Hundred-Year Strategy". For them, I can think of no better explanation than that ill-intentioned people tend to see the world from a dark perspective.

- In the new year, China and the United States need to base their relations on facts and not let lies and "fake news" have their way. There are people who claim that China took advantage of the US in its development. In fact, China's development has only come from the hard work of the 1.4 billion Chinese people, and the people are entitled to pursue a better life. This year will be decisive for China to eliminate absolute poverty across the country, and China's right to development allows no challenge. If you look at Hong Kong, the problems besetting Hong Kong society, such as wealth polarization and social division, are rooted in the blind faith in and indiscriminate application of capitalist dogma. But some people are using Hong Kong's problems to stir up violence, and their ultimate scheme is to contain and split up China. In the case of Xinjiang, our counter-terrorism efforts there have ensured the safety of people of various ethnic groups, and curbed the spread of extremism. However, we have seen facts distorted and sensational numbers fabricated about Xinjiang to justify terrorism. Lies are lies. No matter how many times they are repeated, they will not become truths. Instead, they will only lay bare the sinister intention of these rumormongers.

- In the new year, China and the United States need to respect each other and not challenge each other's core interests. Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Taiwan and Tibet are all China's territories far away from America. On the issues concerning China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, we urge the US not to put our bottom line to test. China will never back down on its core interests, and the attempt to split up China will never succeed.

- In the new year, China and the United States need to be future-oriented and work together for a better tomorrow of our planet. As we speak, some regional tensions are escalating, economic and financial risks are building up in world markets, climate change poses imminent threats to mankind, and scientific advances such as artificial intelligence are coupled with hazards brought by inadequate international governance and rules. All these problems require concerted efforts and stronger cooperation of China and the United States.

The business communities of our two countries have played an important role in the growth of China-US relations. You were deeply involved every time this relationship went through ups and downs. Let me take this opportunity to extend my deepest congratulations to Mr. James Quincey, Coca Cola Chairman and CEO, on the Goodwill Ambassador for China-US Exchange Award. Coca Cola entered the Chinese market as early as in 1927. But due to estrangement and confrontation between China and the United States, it was "decoupled" from China for almost 30 years. Today, Coca Cola has become not only an exemplar of our economic and trade cooperation, but a bond of friendship between the two countries.

A new year brings new hope. I believe it is also a good time to share with you some thoughts about the future.

First, I hope that you will stay confident. "Decoupling" is not an option for China and the United States, nor can a "new Cold War" find popular support anywhere in the world. No attempt that goes against the historical trend will ever prevail. In the final analysis, a China-US relationship that enjoys long-term, sound and steady growth will continue to provide historic opportunities for Chinese and American companies and peoples.

Second, I hope that you will live up to the corporate social responsibility of supporting the friendship and cooperation between our two countries. I hope that you will see the historical trend and side with justice. I hope that you will stand against anyone trying to create confrontation and hatred and undercut our relations, and that you will lend positive impetus to our friendship and cooperation.

Third, I would like to quote President Xi Jinping in his New Year message, "we are not afraid of storms and dangers and barriers". No one can stop the friendly exchanges between the 1.7 billion Chinese and American people, and no one has the power to lead our two great nations astray to conflict and confrontation. I believe that as long as we pull together, the giant ship of China-US relations will break the waves, navigate out of choppy waters and sail on towards better shores. Let's work together in the new year to make this come true.

Thank you very much.

 

Photo Courtesy: Liao Pan

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