Hu Jintao Holds Talks with Obama and Raises Five Proposals to Develop China-US Relations

On January 19, 2011, Chinese President Hu Jintao held talks with US President Barack Obama in the White House. The two heads of state unanimously agreed to follow the trend of the times and remain committed to build a win-win China-US partnership of cooperation based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. They comprehensively planned the priority direction of bilateral relations and key areas of bilateral cooperation in the next stage, reached important consensus and achieved fruitful results.

Hu said that he visited the US carrying the friendship of the 1.3-billion Chinese people with the US people. What kind of China-US relations should be brought into the future is a key task in front of both sides. He pays the visit at the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century. China is willing to work with the US to promote the welfare of the people and the common interest of the international community from a strategic height and long-term perspective, enhance dialogue, increase mutual trust, expand exchanges, deepen cooperation and open new prospects of bilateral partnership.

He pointed out that the two heads of state had met with each other 8 times and exchanged visit within a period of less than 2 years since their first meeting in London in 2009. The two sides successfully held two rounds of strategic and economic dialogue and established the high-level consultation mechanism on cultural exchanges. The two countries joined hands in tackling the international financial crisis and pushing forward the reform of international financial system, which exerted positive influence in the international community. China and the US enjoy ever deepening cooperation on trade, economy, energy, environment, anti-terrorism, anti-proliferation and law enforcement, dynamic people-to-people contacts and effective communication and coordination on such regional hot-spot issues as the Korean Peninsular situation and Iranian nuclear issue as well as global issues such as climate change.

He stressed that facts had and would continue to prove a sound China-US relationship serves the fundamental interest of the Chinese and US people and is beneficial to peace, stability and prosperity of Asia Pacific and the world at large. The international situation today continues undergoing complicated and profound changes. As two big powers with important influence in the world, China and the US should actively promote the progress of positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-US relationship. The development of the relationship needs new way of thinking, new actions and new climate, on which he raised five proposals.

First, China and the US should develop the political relations of equality, mutual trust and seeking common ground while putting aside differences. Whether China and the US can build strategic mutual trust is critical to the relations between big powers and world peace as well. The two sides should firmly maintain the mainstream of dialogue and cooperation, enhance understanding and trust through dialogue, reduce misunderstanding and concerns through communication, promote development and prosperity through cooperation and consolidate the foundation of common interest. Because of different history and culture, social system and development level, it is natural that China and the US have some differences. So long as they view each other objectively and rationally, respect each other’s choice of social system and development path and respect each other’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and development interest, China-US relations will not divert from the normal track.

Second, both sides should deepen the win-win economic relations of comprehensive cooperation and mutual benefit. The recovery trend of world economy is already clear, but uncertain factors still exist. This year, China will start the implementation of the 12th five-year plan with focus on accelerating the change of economic growth mode. The US is also implementing the development strategy of readjusting the economic structure. China and the US should continue with macroeconomic policy coordination, seek and expand mutually beneficial cooperation and continue to send positive and powerful signals to the global market. China expects to conduct economic cooperation comprehensively with the US, make efforts hand-in-hand to address trade imbalance, jointly promote free trade and oppose trade protectionism, boost the healthy and stable progress of bilateral trade relations and push for substantial progress of Doha round of talks as quickly as possible. China will, as always, provide fully fair national treatment to the US companies investing in China and hopes the US takes positive measures to relax limitations on high-tech product exports to China, creates a fair playfield for the Chinese enterprises investing in the US and recognizes China’s full market economy status at the earliest date possible. Both sides should give top priority to deepening new energy cooperation within the bilateral energy and environment cooperation ten-year framework, promote cooperation on infrastructure construction such as high-speed rail and smart grid upgrading and make such cooperation new bright spots of bilateral relations.

Third, the two countries should cooperate worldwide to cope with challenges. China and the US should play a responsible and constructive role as big powers, push forward the reform of international financial, trade and economic systems, step up cooperation to handle the regional hot-spot issues like the Korean Peninsular situation and Iranian nuclear issue and the global challenges of climate change, terrorism, cross-border crime, communicable diseases and serious natural disasters, maintain world peace and boost common development. China supports the US in hosting the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Hawaii, welcomes the US to officially become a member of East Asia Summit, expects to strengthen policy dialogue and position coordination with the US on major issues of Asia Pacific and work with other countries in the region to build an open and inclusive Asia Pacific pattern featured by effective interaction and win-win cooperation.

Fourth, people should be encouraged to participate widely in the undertaking of China-US friendship. A sound China-US relationship depends upon the understanding and support of the people of both countries. The two sides should encourage relevant government agencies and civil organizations to make their people, especially their youth better understand the importance of China-US relations through various means, increase their mutual understanding and friendship, motivate their enthusiasm about China-US relations and cement the social and public opinion foundation of bilateral ties. The dialogue and communication mechanism of governors between China and the US will be launched soon, which is an innovative move of expanding the bilateral cooperation at local levels. It is hoped that relevant preparations of both sides are well underway.

Fifth, the two countries should forge a model of high-level contacts based on deep communication and candid dialogue. The two heads of state will continue to keep close contacts through meetings, talks and letters. Both sides should fully use the mechanisms of China-US strategic and economic dialogue, high-level consultation on cultural exchanges, joint commission on commerce and trade and joint commission on science and technology to reinforce dialogue, exchanges and consultation. We should keep communications on the bilateral relations and major sensitive issues in a timely manner through innovative ways in order to deepen understanding and expand common ground.

Obama expressed welcome to Hu’s state visit to the US. He believes that the visit will inject vigor into the development of US-China relations. Since he took office, the bilateral relations have achieved impressive progress. The size and speed of development of bilateral relations are unprecedented since the two countries established diplomatic ties 32 years ago. It is the result of joint efforts of both sides. The US attaches great importance to the bilateral relations and is willing to further develop such relations on the basis of mutual respect and common interest.

He fully agrees on Hu’s important proposals on further developing the bilateral relations. He noted that the US is willing to make concerted efforts with China to strengthen high-level contacts, increase strategic mutual trust and enhance cooperation to promote the sustained growth of world economy, boost prosperity of Asia Pacific and the world at large, prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and tackle global environmental and climate change issues. It is very important to step up the non-governmental exchanges in order to increase the mutual understanding of the two peoples. The US admires the major progress of bilateral trade and economic cooperation and believes that the close bilateral trade and economic relations benefit both peoples. It will view China’s major concerns in the trade and economic fields carefully and try to achieve positive progress. It is glad to see the development of bilateral strategic and economic dialogue and will continue to use the mechanism to enhance bilateral understanding and solve differences through dialogue. To solve the multilateral issues in the 21st century needs the cooperation between the US and China. The US appreciates the important role China has played in coping with climate change.

Obama said that the US highly appreciates China’s huge development achievements over the past several decades and believes such achievements are outstanding in human history. The bilateral cooperation complies with each other’s major interest. The US welcomes the rise of China. China’s peaceful development is beneficial to the US and the entire world.

Hu emphasized that the Taiwan question is related with China’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and core interest and remains the most sensitive issue of China-US relations. To handle the question well will make the bilateral relations develop stably and bilateral cooperation prosperous. Otherwise, the bilateral relations will suffer fluctuations. In recent years, exchanges and cooperation across the two sides of the Taiwan Straits have developed considerably. Both sides of the Taiwan Straits oppose “Taiwan independence” and adhere to the “1992 Consensus”. We will continue to boost exchanges and cooperation between the two sides and jointly open a new prospect of peaceful development of relations across the two sides of the Taiwan Straits. China attaches importance to and admires the fact that the US reiterates adherence to the one-China policy repeatedly, observes the three joint communiqués and refrains from supporting any forces or their activities aiming at splitting China. He hopes that China’s efforts of promoting the peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Straits receive clearer support from the US.

Obama reaffirmed that the US sticks to the one-China policy and observes the three joint communiqués. The US is glad and encouraged to see the improvement of relations across the Taiwan Straits and hopes such relations continue to move forward.

The two heads of state also exchanged views on the Korean Peninsular situation, Iran’s nuclear issue and the issue of Sudan. They indicated willingness of strengthening communication and coordination in order to jointly promote peace and stability in Asia Pacific and the world at large.

Following the talks, they jointly met the press and answered questions of journalists.

Wang Qishan, Ling Jihua, Wang Huning and Dai Bingguo were present at the above-mentioned activities.

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