Remarks by Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo at Dinner Reception Held by U.S. Ambassador Clark T. Randt, Jr. to Celebrate the Thirty-Fifth Anniversary of President Nixon's Groundbreaking Visit to China and the Signing of the Shanghai Communiqué
6 November 2007
Your Excellency Ambassador Randt and Mrs. Randt,
Today, we are gathered here to mark the 35th anniversary of President Nixon's groundbreaking visit to China and the signing of the Shanghai Communiqué. Mr. Ambassador, thank you for your kind invitation. I want to pay tribute to all those who have contributed to the resumption of exchanges and the growth of relations between China and the United States.
Thirty-five years ago, leaders of the older generation from China and the United States - Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai, President Richard Nixon and Dr. Henry Kissinger – opened the door of relations between the two countries with strategic and statesmanlike vision. A handshake across the Pacific Ocean changed the world.
On 21 February 1972, Chairman Mao met with President Nixon in Zhongnanhai. The two leaders had a strategic discussion on the direction of Sino-U.S. relations. They agreed that China and the United States "can find common ground, despite our differences, to build a world structure in which both can be safe to develop in our own ways on our own roads".
During that visit, China and the United States affirmed in the Shanghai Communiqué the basic principles guiding relations, including one-China, mutual respect, treating each other as equals, and mutual non-interference in each other's internal matters. Reaffirmed and developed in the subsequent Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations and the 17 August Communiqué, these principles form the foundation for the growth of Sino-U.S. relations.
Over the last 35 years, Sino-U.S. relations have come a long way. They have encountered many challenges, overcome numerous difficulties, and continued to move forward.
Today, the common interests that bind us and underpin our relationship are not weaker but much broader and deeper. We are coordinating and cooperating with each other in far more areas than before. Our communication and coordination have been deepening with regard to major international and regional issues. And the strategic nature and global significance of our relationship are more evident than ever.
It should be pointed out that, in Sino-U.S. relations, issues such as Taiwan still require proper handling. The Taiwan question is China's core concern. It involves the national feelings of the 1.3 billion Chinese, and it has always been the most important and sensitive issue in Sino-U.S. relations. Adhering to the three joint communiqués and properly handling the Taiwan issue is crucial to the stable and long-term growth of our relations. This we must never forget.
The recently concluded Seventeenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China has drawn up a grand blueprint for the future development of our country. The principles and policies set at the Congress will provide fresh impetus and opportunities for deepening the mutually beneficial relationship between our two countries. They will also create new scope for joint Chinese-American efforts to promote world peace and development.
As today we pay tribute to the outstanding contribution of leaders of the older generation and appreciate the rich and colorful chapter they wrote in the history of Sino-U.S. relations, we must bear in mind our own mission. We should draw on past experience, fully recognize the strategic significance of Sino-U.S. relations, properly handle frictions and differences, and work together to safeguard and promote the long-term, stable and healthy development of the constructive and cooperative Sino-U.S. relationship. With our efforts, we should and will make this relationship a model for the harmonious coexistence of countries with different social systems, historical traditions, cultural backgrounds and development levels.
I wish to use this opportunity to thank Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte for his congratulatory message. We have only met twice, but we have become good friends through co-chairing the Fourth Round of the China-U.S. Strategic Dialogue. Soon we will meet again for a new round of the dialogue.
To conclude, I would like to offer my best wishes for further growth of the relationship between our two great nations in the next 35 years and beyond, which will benefit not only our two countries and peoples, but the whole world.