Remarks by State Councilor Dai Bingguo at the Opening Session of the Third Round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue
Washington DC, 9 May 2011
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,
It is a great pleasure for me to join you at the third round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogues (S&ED) here in Washington. We meet at a unique point in the history of China-US relations, as this year marks the 40th anniversary of the ping-pong diplomacy and of Dr. Kissinger's secret visit to China. Forty years ago, the desire of the Chinese and American people for friendly interactions, together with the decisiveness and courage of our political leaders, produced an unstoppable force of history. It pushed open the door of engagement between our two countries that had remained shut for over 20 years. Since then, no force in the world has ever had the power to close that door again. Today, as we review the past and look ahead to a better future of China-US relations, we cannot but pay high tribute to those ice-breakers, pioneers and builders of China-US relations. More importantly, we shall learn from their foresight and pioneering spirit, because we have to bring China-US relations forward.
The China-US relationship, too, is at an extremely important point in history. President Hu Jintao and President Obama met in Washington this past January, a time when we have just entered the second decade of the 21st century. Together, the two Presidents decided to build a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit, charting a clear course for the future of China-US relations. History will show that the decision they made is a historic one that accords with the tide of history and serves the benefit of the people of China, the United States and the world.
Admittedly, it is no easy task to make this major decision a living reality and turn commitment into real actions, as we face all sorts of difficulties, obstacles and interference on the way ahead. I am confident, however, that so long as both sides grasp the right trend of the world and of China-US relations in the 21st century, stick to the direction set by our Presidents with resolution, and never waver in our determination to overcome whatever difficulties coming our way, we will blaze a new path of major-country relations featuring mutual respect, harmonious coexistence and win-win cooperation, so that our people and our future generations will live in the sunshine of lasting peace, friendship and cooperation.
I am standing here addressing you as a 70-year old man, an age when I should have gone home and enjoy the company of my children and grandchildren. Why then am I still flying across the Pacific and sitting in round after round of candid and heart-to-heart dialogues with my American partners? I am doing this to implement the consensus of our Presidents for the achievement of one lofty goal: to make our two countries and peoples forever good friends and good partners, and to enable our children and children's children to live in peace and happiness. Could we ever let them down? The answer is no, a definite no. If we do, we would be failing our duty, and that would be unforgivable.
(Dear friends, the people of China and the United States live in the same "global village", you on the west side and we the east. I welcome more American friends to visit China to see and feel for yourselves the friendship of the Chinese people and the importance of China-US relations. You may also learn first-hand the enormous progress China has made in various fronts, including in human rights.)
To conclude, I wish this round of dialogues full success.