Yang Jiechi Holds a Briefing for Chinese Media Summarizing Xi Jinping's Visit to the US
A successful visit of promoting China-US cooperative partnership
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi held a briefing for Chinese media summarizing Vice President Xi Jinping's official visit to the US
On February 17, 2012, as Vice President Xi Jinping's official visit to the US approached the end, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi who accompanied Xi during the visit received the interview of accompanying journalists and introduced the significance and fruitful results of the visit.
Yang said that Xi, at the invitation of US Vice President Joe Biden, paid an official visit to the US from February 13 to 17. As a major event of China-US relations, the visit aimed at further implementing the important consensus President Hu Jintao reached with President Barack Obama during Hu's visit to the US January last year and promoting the building of China-US cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit.
Xi paid the visit on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of President Nixon's visit to China and the issuance of Shanghai Communiqué. The bilateral relations in general have moved forward despite twists and turns over the past 40 years. The international situation at present is undergoing complex and profound changes. China and the US, as two major powers in the world, share wide common interests and shoulder important common responsibilities. The two countries should step up mutual trust, strengthen cooperation, handle differences properly and maintain the momentum of stable development of bilateral ties, which not only serves the fundamental interest of the Chinese and US people but also complies with the expectation of the international community. The visit was paid at a critical timing and very significant.
During the visit, Xi stayed in four cities, i.e. Washington DC, Muscatine and Des Moines of Iowa and Los Angeles of California and attended altogether 27 official activities. The US side arranged grand, warm and high-level receptions. Xi held long meetings and talks with Obama and Biden. The two sides reached many important consensuses on promoting the building of China-US cooperative partnership. He also met with Speaker of the House John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey and exchanged views with former US politicians including Kissinger as well as state governors and city mayors.
Reaching out to the US people was one of the priorities of Xi's visit. He especially went to Muscatine which he visited during his first tour to the US in 1985 to meet his old friends and held cordial exchanges with the US middle school students in Los Angeles.
Xi also made speeches on many public occasions. He delivered one speech entitled Jointly Create a Better Tomorrow of China-US Cooperative Partnership to the welcome luncheon hosted by the US friendly organizations, one entitled Join Hands to Open A New Stage of China-US Cooperation to the opening ceremony of US-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum and one entitled Write a New Chapter of Mutually Beneficial Agricultural Cooperation Between China and the US to the opening ceremony of US-China High-Level Agricultural Symposium. He stressed that China-US friendship and cooperation are the call of the time and the desire of the people. China is willing to work with the US to earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, push forward the building of China-US partnership and make efforts to build the bilateral relations into a new type of relationship between major powers in the 21st century in order to benefit the two peoples and safeguard and promote peace, stability and development in Asia Pacific and the world at large. All sectors of the US society responded positively and agreed that it is the mainstream public opinion in the US to develop relations with China.
Yang said that Xi made sound interactions with the US side at different levels and in a wide range of areas during the visit. Having achieved the goals of deepening understanding, enhancing mutual trust, expanding cooperation and promoting friendship, the visit was a full success.
To put it specifically, Xi's visit achieved major results in the following aspects, said Yang.
First, the important consensus on promoting the building of China-US partnership was deepened.
Xi conveyed Hu Jintao's letter in reply to the letter of Obama, noting that China expects to increase trust, consolidate consensus and broaden cooperation with the US and push forward the bilateral relations in the correct direction of building China-US cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit determined jointly by the two heads of state. To strengthen mutual understanding, step up cooperation and deepen mutual benefit are the only choice for both sides. Agreeing upon Hu and Xi's important opinions, Obama and Biden said that US-China relations are one of the most important bilateral relations in the world. The US is willing to work with China to promote the bilateral partnership. The two countries can engage in cooperation not only today but also throughout the entire 21st century.
Both sides stressed the importance of enhancing strategic mutual trust through dialogue. Xi pointed out that China unswervingly follows the road of peaceful development and has sincere desire to develop relations with the US. He hopes the US views China objectively and rationally, takes practical actions to enhance mutual trust and joins hands with China to blaze a trail of harmonious coexistence, healthy interactions and win-win cooperation between big powers. There is enough space along the two sides of the vast Pacific for both China and the US. He also mentioned that China always attaches importance to developing military relations with the US. It is willing to make concerted efforts with the US to promote the healthy and stable development of military relations in the spirit of respect, mutual trust, reciprocity and mutual benefit in order to effectively support the bilateral strategic trust. Obama and Biden indicated that the US welcomes China's peaceful development and believes a strong, prosperous and stable China is in line with the interests of the US and beneficial to peace, stability, prosperity in Asia Pacific and the whole world. The US hopes to see the continuous success of China in the future and looks forward to promoting the bilateral relations on the track of cooperation established over the past 3 years. It is willing to strengthen high-level military exchanges with China and vigorously develop the military relations beneficial to the bilateral ties. During the visit, the two sides reached principled consensus on the arrangements of meetings between leaders of both countries on multilateral occasions within this year and the 4th China-US strategic and economic dialogue, the 23rd session of the JCCT, the 3rd round of China-US high-level consultations on cultural exchanges, the 2nd round of China-US strategic security dialogue and the 3rd China-US consultations on Asia Pacific affairs. They also expressed positive attitude to further strengthen the exchanges between the legislative bodies and political parties of the two countries.
Both sides recognize the importance of handling sensitive issues prudently and properly. Xi pointed out that the building of partnership can only be fundamentally guaranteed by respecting each other's core interests and major concerns and refraining from making trouble to or crossing the bottom line of each other. He stressed that the problems concerning Taiwan and Tibet involve China's core interests. He hopes the US pays great attention to China's concerns about those problems, acts according to the three China-US joint communiqués and avoids repeated interferences in and damages to the bilateral relations. He emphasized that because of different social, historical and cultural background and ideologies it is normal China and the US hold some differences on the issue of human rights. The key is mutual respect and equality. "Only those who wear the shoes know whether the shoes fit." There is no perfection on the issue of human rights. What is important is to make improvement. China is willing to follow the principle of equality and mutual respect to conduct sincere and constructive dialogue and exchanges on human rights with all countries in the world, including the US in order to increase understanding, narrow down differences, learn from each other and progress together. Attaching great importance to China's position and views, Obama and Biden stressed that the US government adheres to the one-China policy based on the three joint communiqués and does not support "Taiwan independence". The US government would like to see the continuous peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Straits. They expressed willingness to maintain dialogue with China on human rights. The two sides should properly handle sensitive issues in the bilateral relations, which is very important to the healthy and stable development of bilateral relations.
Second, mutually beneficial and pragmatic cooperation in the fields of economy and trade was expanded.
Xi emphasized that economic and trade relations are always the "ballast" and "propeller" of China-US relations. In response to the incorrect argument some time ago that the US "was disadvantaged" in China-US economic and trade relations, Xi explained the complementary, mutually beneficial and win-win nature of China-US economic and trade cooperation with detailed data and examples and convincingly elaborated the significance of maintaining the stable development of bilateral economic and trade relations. He pointed out that the two sides should handle economic and trade frictions through equal dialogue, open communication and cooperation rather than protectionism. The most fundamental way of easing trade imbalance is to expand US exports to China. He hopes the US relaxes restrictions on exports of high-tech products to China and takes tangible steps to create a fair environment for Chinese enterprises to invest in the US. He stressed that faced with the international financial crisis the two sides should continue to help each other to overcome difficulties, strengthen macroeconomic policy coordination, speed up the construction of all-round mutually beneficial economic partnership and foster new growth points of cooperation on clean energy, environmental protection and infrastructure in order to benefit the two peoples and make contributions to the stable recovery and growth of world economy.
Obama and Biden agreed upon Xi's opinions. They expressed the hope that the US and China deal with economic and trade issues in a pragmatic and constructive attitude for win-win results. The US will take China's economic and trade concerns seriously and expects to seek appropriate solutions through dialogue and cooperation. The US welcomes investment from foreign enterprises, including Chinese ones and is willing to discuss with China the possibility of Chinese enterprises' participation in the infrastructure projects of the US. Leaders of California, Iowa and Los Angeles all expressed hope to share China's development opportunities and extended warm welcome to the investment of Chinese enterprises. They hope to strengthen cooperation with China on trade, investment, environment and agriculture.
During the visit, the economic groups of both sides released the joint statement on strengthening China-US economic relations. The two sides agreed to jointly take effective measures to push for strong, sustainable and balanced growth, boost cross-border trade and investment, promote development of financial sector and strengthen international cooperation. During the visit, China-US economic and trade forum, agricultural symposium and business seminar were also held. Related government departments of the two countries signed several cooperation documents involving investment, agriculture, inspection and quarantine. Businesses of both sides also entered into a series of trade and investment agreements on electronics, communications, agricultural products, energy, environmental protection, machinery, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and light industry, including both projects of Chinese procurement from the US and exports to the US, Chinese investment in the US and US investment in China, which fully demonstrates the mutually beneficial nature of China-US economic and trade relations. For instance, the agricultural departments of China and the US signed the agricultural strategic cooperation plan which defined the next stage of cooperation goals and priorities. A company established jointly by Chinese investors signed the agreement with the US DreamWorks Animation on forming Shanghai Orient DreamWorks TV and Film Technology Co., Ltd. Those plan and agreements will significantly deepen the bilateral economic, trade and cultural exchanges.
Third, friendship between the two peoples was consolidated and regional cooperation promoted.
Xi contacted the US people of all walks of life extensively in order to promote China-US friendly cooperation, cement and expand the social and public opinion foundation of bilateral relations. The scene that he met his old friends in Muscatine and the story that in 1992 he helped an old US woman return to Guling of Fujian province to fulfill her husband's last wish were very moving. He stressed that people shall never forget old friends and should be good at making new ones. He encouraged the two peoples to make friends and consolidate friendship. His old friends in Iowa said excitedly that the 3 million of Iowa people all cherish very much this special bond with Xi.
Xi conducted face-to-face exchanges with the US students when visiting the international study center in Los Angeles. He told them earnestly that youth is the future of a nation. China and the US should reinforce cultural and educational exchanges and make more youth of the two countries understand and know each other and join the undertaking of building China-US partnership.
Xi also held cordial talks with representatives of overseas Chinese and Chinese students abroad in different places and encouraged them to actively play a role of promoting China-US friendly exchanges and cooperation.
Xi's visit effectively promoted regional cooperation between the two countries. Iowa took the reception of Xi as a big event once in many years of the state and an opportunity of strengthening cooperation with China. Xi and Biden jointly met with the Chinese and US province and state governors attending a meeting in Los Angeles. 7 Chinese provincial officials and 5 US state governors conducted specific consultations on stepping up cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, culture, tourism and education amid a warm atmosphere and achieved productive results. Xi fully recognized the important contribution of regional cooperation to the progress of China-US relations and encouraged both sides to further boost regional cooperation based on their complementary advantages.
Fourth, China-US communication on regional and international issues was enhanced.
Xi made it clear to the US that China always follows the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, abides by norms governing international relations, pursues the independent foreign policy of peace and is committed to safeguarding world peace and promoting common development. He exchanged views with the US side comprehensively on the current international political, economic and security situation, the cooperation on such global issues as climate change, anti-terrorism, network security, security in outer space, energy resources, public health, food security, disaster prevention and mitigation and the hot-spot issues of Korean Peninsula situation, Syrian situation and Iranian nuclear issue. He pointed out that the two sides should coordinate and cooperate to handle challenges and play a constructive and responsible role of maintaining and promoting world peace and stability in the face of a growing number of global and regional challenges. The two countries should conduct healthy interactions in Asia Pacific. He hopes the US respects the interests and concerns of China in the Asia-Pacific region. The US side stressed that US-China cooperation is the indispensable factor to solve the challenges faced by the world today and has tremendous influence on the development of the world in the 21st century. The US is willing to make joint efforts with China to strengthen communication, increase trust and enhance cooperation.
Yang said lastly that Xi's visit to the US comprehensively promoted the exchanges and cooperation between the two countries and two peoples, fully demonstrated the prospects of China-US win-win cooperation and effectively boosted the building of China-US partnership in the new era. Looking into the future, the two sides still have a long way to go. China and the US should double efforts, continue to faithfully implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state and promote the building of China-US partnership in order to bring more benefits to the two peoples and people around the world.