Remarks by State Councilor Dai Bingguo At Joint Press Conference of the Second Round of The China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogues
Remarks by State Councilor Dai Bingguo
Distinguished members of the press,
Thanks to the personal attention of President Hu Jintao and President Obama and the joint efforts of both sides, the second round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogues (S&ED) has come to a successful conclusion. Just now, President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao have had very substantive and in-depth meetings with Secretary Clinton and Secretary Geithner. And let me say I fully agree with Vice Premier Wang Qishan’s comments on the dialogues.
The S&ED is a rare, if not unique, mechanism in the world. Our dialogues lasted two days, during which we discussed many issues, signed a number of agreements, and advanced China-US cooperation. Both sides decided to continue developing, improving and making the best use of this mechanism to serve the goal of building a positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-US relationship.
Counting the strategic dialogue which started in 2005, and the first round of the S&ED which we had last year, China and the United States have had over 100 hours of strategic discussions. In this round of the strategic dialogue, Secretary Clinton and I reviewed the achievements of previous strategic dialogues, had candid, in-depth and substantive discussions and consultations on advancing China-US relations in the new era, respecting each other’s core interests and major concerns, strengthening coordination on major international and regional issues and jointly promoting transformation of the international system and development of Asia-Pacific cooperation mechanisms, among other things. Various departments of our two countries also held consultations and side meetings on issues ranging from energy security and climate change to UN peacekeeping operations.
Although we did not reach agreement on every important issue, the strategic dialogue enabled us to move toward a positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-US relationship for the 21st century. Both sides realized that the situation we face and responsibilities we shoulder in the post-financial crisis era require that China and the United States enhance mutual trust through frequent consultation, pursue mutual benefit through greater cooperation, meet common challenges through better coordination and continue to ride out storms together as passengers in the same boat.
Both sides recognized that China-US relations are of great significance to our two countries and the world and that cultivating and deepening mutual strategic trust between us is extremely important for the sound and steady development of China-US relations in the new era. The Chinese side emphasized that while it may not be possible for China and the United States to agree on every issue, it is important that both sides observe the spirit and principles of the three Sino-US joint communiqués and the China-US Joint Statement, respect and accommodate each other’s core interests and major concerns, and properly handle our differences and sensitive issues, especially those concerning China’s core interests such as Taiwan and Tibet-related issues, so as to consolidate the foundation of mutual trust. If we keep to this right direction, we can overcome interferences, difficulties and obstacles, and take forward our relationship.
The two sides reaffirmed that we would respect each other’s core interests and major concerns and continue to properly handle differences and sensitive issues between us on the basis of mutual respect and consultations on an equal footing, so as to ensure the sound and steady development of China-US relations. The two sides expressed a shared commitment to develop a more stable bilateral relationship and agreed to enhance dialogue, consultation, coordination and cooperation on bilateral, regional and global issues.
During the dialogue, the two sides exchanged views on the current situation on the Korean Peninsula. Both sides believe that it is crucial to maintain peace and stability on the Peninsula and in Northeast Asia. The Chinese side believes that under the current situation, the relevant parties should proceed from the larger interest of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia, remain cool-headed, exercise restraint, prudently handle this issue and prevent escalation of tensions.
During the dialogue, we further discussed the issue of building a positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-US relationship for the 21st century. The Chinese side believes that China-US relationship should be one between partners, not rivals, still less enemies; one of peaceful coexistence, not mutual suspicion and containment; one of mutual benefit, not pursuing one’s own interests at the cost of the other; one of equality, not submission, or even subordinating of one side to the other. It should be a relationship in which we can have candid discussions, understand and trust each other, view each other’s strategic intention in a rational and objective manner, respect and accommodate each other’s core interests and major concerns, and skillfully handle disagreements and differences. It should be a non-aligned relationship not directed against any third party that is highly responsible for and beneficial to the people of China, the United States and all other countries.
To conclude, I want to sincerely thank Vice Premier Wang Qishan, Secretary Clinton and Secretary Geithner for your cooperation. My thanks also go to all members of the Chinese and US delegations, and to all friends who have shown care and support for the S&ED.