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Full text: President Xi's speech on China-US ties


Updated: 2015-09-24 02:36:29


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

In our Sunnylands meeting in 2013, President Obama and I reached the important agreement to jointly build a new model of major country relationship between the two countries. This was a major, strategic choice we made together on the basis of historical experience, our respective national conditions and the prevailing trend of the world.

Over the past two years and more, the two sides have acted in accordance with the agreement, steadily moved forward bilateral coordination and cooperation in various fields and made important progress. We worked hand in hand to cope with the aftermath of the international financial crisis and promoted global economic recovery. We deepened pragmatic exchanges and cooperation in all fields which brought about tangible benefits to the two peoples. Last year, bilateral trade, two-way investment stock and total number of personnel exchanges all hit a record high. We maintained closer communication and coordination on such international and regional hotspot issues as the Iranian nuclear issue, the Korean nuclear issue, South Sudan, Afghanistan, the Middle East as well as such global issues as fighting against Ebola and countering terrorism. As an old Chinese saying goes, "Peaches and plums do not talk, yet a path is formed beneath them." These worthy fruits of cooperation across the Pacific Ocean speaks eloquently to the vitality and potential of China-US relations.

This leads to the question: what shall we do to advance the new model of major country relationship between China and the US from a new starting point and how can we work together to promote world peace and development? The answer, in my view, is to stick to the right direction of such a new model of relationship and make gradual yet solid progress. An ancient Chinese said, "A decision can be properly made after taking into account the past, the future and the normal practices." A number of things are particularly important for our efforts.

First, we must read each other's strategic correctly. Building a new model of major country relationship with the United States that features non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation is the priority of China's foreign policy. We want to deepen mutual understanding with the US on each other's strategic orientation and development path. We want to see more understanding and trust, less estrangement and suspicion, in order to forestall misunderstanding and miscalculation. We should strictly base our judgment on facts, lest we become victims to hearsay, paranoid or self-imposed bias. There is no such thing as the so-called Thucydides trap in the world. But should major countries time and again make the mistakes of strategic miscalculation, they might create such traps for themselves.

Second, we must firmly advance win-win cooperation. Cooperation is the only right choice to bring about benefits. But cooperation requires mutual accommodation of each other's interests and concerns and the quest of the greatest common ground of converging interests. If China and the United States cooperate well, they can become a bedrock of global stability and a booster of world peace. Should they enter into conflict or confrontation, it would lead to disaster for both countries and the world at large. The areas where we should, and can, cooperate are very broad. For instance, we should help improve the global governance mechanism and work together to promote a sustained growth of world economy and maintain stability in the global financial market. We should conclude as soon as possible a balanced and high-quality bilateral investment treaty (BIT), deepen the building of a new type of mil-to-mil relations between the two countries, expand pragmatic cooperation on clean energy and environmental protection, strengthen  exchanges   on law enforcement, anti-corruption, health and local affairs and tap the cooperation potential in infrastructure development. We should deepen communication and cooperation at the United Nations, APEC, G20 and other multilateral mechanisms as well as on major international and regional issues and global challenges, so as to make a bigger contribution to world peace, stability and prosperity.

Third, we must manage our differences properly and effectively. As a Chinese saying goes, "The sun and the moon shine in different ways, yet their brightness is just right for the day and the night respectively." It is precisely because of so many differences that the world has become such a diverse and colorful place, and that the need to broaden common ground and iron out differences has become so important. A perfectly pure world is non-existent since disagreements are a reality people have to live with. China and the United States do not see eye to eye on every issue, and it is unavoidable that we may have different positions on some of the issues. What matters is how to manage the differences. And what matters most is that the two sides should respect each other, seek common ground while reserving differences, take a constructive approach to enhance understanding and expand consensus and spare no effort to turn differences into areas of cooperation.

Fourth, we must foster friendly sentiments among our peoples. People-to-people relations underpin state-to-state relations. Though geographically far apart, our peoples boast a long history of friendly exchanges. Some 230 years ago, Empress of China, a US merchant ship, sailed across vast oceans to the shores of China. Some 150 years ago, tens of thousands of Chinese workers joined their American counterparts in building the trans-continental Pacific Railway. Some 70 years ago, China and the United States, as allies in the World War II, fought shoulder to shoulder, to defend world peace and justice. In that war, thousands of American soldiers laid down their precious lives for the just cause of the Chinese people. We will never forget the moral support and invaluable assistance the American people gave to our just resistance against aggression and our struggle for freedom and independence.