Minister reviews a year of diplomacy

By : Dong Leshuo in Washington(China Daily USA)


President Xi Jinping's visit to the United State in September and his historic meeting with Taiwan's leader were two milestones in China's diplomacy in 2015, said Li Kexin, minister at the Chinese embassy in Washington.

"President Xi's visit to the US was one major thing in developing the relationship between China and the US," Li told Chinese community leaders in the greater Washington area on Dec 18.

Xi made his first state visit to the US in September to promote a new partnership of "equality and mutual trust" between the two countries.

 Minister reviews a year of diplomacy

Li Kexin, minister at the Chinese embassy in Washington, talks about the milestones in Washington on Friday. Photos by Dong Leshuo / China Daily

 Minister reviews a year of diplomacy

Li Kexin (center), minister at the Chinese embassy in Washington, chats with guests at the Chinese embassy on Friday.

"Both history and reality show that China and the United States stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation," Xi said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal prior to the visit.

The meeting between Xi and Taiwan's Ma Ying-jeou in Singapore on Nov 7 was the first such meeting since 1949.

"The meeting attracted worldwide attention," Li said. "The meeting has combined the consensus and effort, between mainland and Taiwan, of realizing the revival of the Chinese nation. It also shows that we, the Chinese people both in mainland and Taiwan, have the wisdom to solve our own problems."

"No grand bargains or binding statements resulted, but the meeting highlights the importance of highlevel discussions and constructive dialogue," Eric Gomeze, research associate for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, wrote in his piece The Xi-Ma Meeting: A Small Victory for Peace.

"US government officials should encourage steps that reduce the possibility of armed conflict such as the Xi-Ma meeting," Gomeze wrote.

During Xi's visit, the US and China reached agreements in areas of bilateral relations, economic, cyber security, international and regional issues, education and culture , Li said.

"President Obama has emphasized many times that we shall make sure to maintain a stable China-US relation to the next government," Li said. "It is a long term goal for China and US to build a new relationship between the super powers."

Minister reviews a year of diplomacy

"President Xi has articulated China's perception of peaceful development and global order. He also responded to some of the critical issues that greatly influence the relationship between China and the US, like the South China Sea and cyber security," he said.

Li said he thinks there is still a lack of understanding and dialogue between China and the US on the issue of South China Sea. "The stable and peace of the South China Sea should be maintained among China and ASEAN countries," he said.

Li thinks China and the US have been building effective communications on cyber security. "It was heavily clouded between China and US on cyber issues before President Xi's visit," he said.

In June, a data breach at the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) caused the exposure of personal records for more than 20 million current and former federal employees. US government officials suspected that Chinese hackers were behind the breach, according to the Journal. The Washington Post also reported that the attack originated in China.

Meng Jianzhu, secretary of the Party Central Political and Legal Affairs Committee, responded by paying a visit to the US in early September to improve communications with the US side.

At the end of November, China told the US that the OPM data hacking was done by an individual and not supported by the Chinese government. The US agreed with the Chinese finding, according to a report in China Daily.

The year of 2016 will see many developments in China-US relations, Li said.

"A high-quality Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) is likely to be agreed on in 2016," he said. "The year of 2016 is going to be the China-US Tourism Year, which will likely boost tourism in both countries."

(China Daily USA 12/25/2015 page14)