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For China-US Friendly Cooperation, For Global Peace and Development

2015/09/16

By Foreign Minister Wang Yi
At the Lanting Forum

Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Dear Friends,

Good Afternoon, and welcome to the Lanting Forum.

In a week's time, President Xi Jinping will visit the United States upon invitation and attend a series of summits commemorating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. This will be President Xi's first state visit to the United States and his first visit to the UN headquarters. The visit will attract great attention from people in China, the United States and the wider international community. Taking place at this special year of the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and the founding of the United Nations, it thus takes on greater historical significance. President Xi's visit is aimed to enhance friendly cooperation between China and the United States and contribute to global peace and development. It will surely be a major milestone for China-US relations and world peace and development.

Distinguished Guests,
Dear Friends,

China and the United States face each other across the Pacific Ocean. The history of exchanges between the two countries may not be long, but it has many important moments and memorable events.

About 150 years ago, tens of thousands of Chinese crossed the vast ocean and arrived in the United States. They became builders of the railway across North America, and many of them even gave their lives. What they did helped build America in the early years, and their contribution will be long lasting.

Over 70 years ago, facing the scourge of fascism, China and the United States joined each other in the just cause for peace and, standing alongside other peace loving countries in the world, won the victory in the war that determined the future of mankind.

More than 40 years ago, leaders of China and the United States, with extraordinary courage and vision, made the handshake across the vast Pacific Ocean. It put an end to years of no contact between the two countries and opened the door to normalization of relations and establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Two years ago, President Xi Jinping and President Obama had their historic meeting in Sunnylands, California. They agreed to build a new model of major country relations. A new chapter was opened in the history of China-US relations.

History sheds light on the future, and the future depends on what direction we shall take. President Xi's state visit will be a historic opportunity for China and the United States to review the past, examine the present and chart the course for the future.

As we endeavor to grow China-US relations, we may draw inspiration from the countless stories of Chinese and Americans working together hand-in-hand, from the journey that China-US relations have traveled and more generally, from the overall trend of history. Our goal is to ensure sound and steady growth of China-US relations and deliver more tangible results in the building of a new model of major country relations.

Since President Obama extended the invitation to President Xi for a state visit, the two sides have been making careful preparations for this historic visit. I wish to use today's opportunity to brief you on the priorities and highlights of the visit. I have the following four thoughts to share with you.

First, President Xi's visit will help enhance trust and reduce misgivings between China and the United States. China is the biggest developing country and the United States the biggest developed one. Relations between the two countries go far beyond the bilateral context and take on a global strategic implication. China and the US working together benefits both countries and the world at large. Frictions in relations undermine both countries' interests and affect the wider world.

China and the US are both aware of the important responsibilities on their shoulders. The two countries have in recent years maintained high-level exchanges, and opened more channels of communication. Over 90 intergovernmental dialogue and cooperation mechanisms have been set up. President Xi's visit this year will be the third visit exchanged between the two presidents in the past three years. It shows just how much both sides value this relationship and how much willing both sides are to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation. At the same time, we must recognize that the different history, culture, social system and development stage make it just natural for China and the United States to have differences and disagreements. As the relations continue to grow, there may be more questions and challenges for the two countries to handle. What is important is for both sides to maintain strategic communication, increase strategic trust, dispel strategic misgiving and avoid strategic miscalculation. That is why I believe that to build trust and reduce misgiving will be one focus of President Xi's visit to the United States.

While in the United States, President Xi will hold talks with President Obama and meet with people both in and outside the government. These will be occasions for President Xi to explain China's concept of peaceful development and win-win cooperation, and to relate to the American people the importance of having China-US cooperation, not confrontation. They will also be opportunities to address US concerns about possible conflict with China regarding the current international system and order in the Asia-Pacific. We hope that the two sides will use such opportunities to reaffirm their respective development direction and strategic intentions, their growing common interests and their common responsibility for peace, stability and development.

I wish to reaffirm here that China is a staunch supporter of the current international order.

Seventy years ago, fighting against fascism alongside people of other countries and suffering a casualty of 35 million people, China achieved victory in the war for peace and became a founding member of the United Nations and a permanent member of its Security Council. Later, with 22 years of persistence and thanks to the support of other developing countries, China's lawful seat at the United Nations was restored. And by surmounting obstacles through 15 years of negotiations, China joined the WTO. China is now party to almost all intergovernmental organizations and has acceded to over 400 international multilateral treaties. A growing number of Chinese nationals are working on important posts in international agencies. China is now a major player and supporter of the current international order and system. There is no reason why China should challenge the international order that is based on the victory against fascism. And there is no incentive for China to overturn the international system, in which it is a full member.

Of course, the international order and system also need to keep abreast of the times. It should go through reforms and be adaptive to development and progress in international relations. It should better reflect the legitimate call of developing countries and better enable countries to address emerging global challenges. China will work with other countries and play its due part in making the international order and system more just and equitable.

China is also a staunch supporter of peace and development in the Asia-Pacific region.

Asia is key to China's development and prosperity. The United States is a global power as well as an important member of the Asia-Pacific. China and the United States both have major responsibility for peace and prosperity in the region, where they share growing common interests. Positive interaction and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the US in the Asia-Pacific are absolutely possible and necessary. It serves the need of both countries and meets the expectation of other countries in the region.

China is committed to good neighborliness and a neighborhood diplomacy of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness. China's development is not about moving the cheese of others. It is about making the pie bigger for win-win cooperation so that more countries could stand to benefit. China's goal is not to create spheres of influence but to build communities of common interests and shared future. By putting forward initiatives such as building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, China does not intend to seek dominance over regional affairs but to offer more development opportunities to other countries. And China's proposal on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is not meant to start something new, but to improve the existing financial system and remove bottlenecks for financing in the region. The necessary construction activities by China on its own islands and reefs in the South China Sea are not directed against anyone. Rather, they are designed to improve logistic conditions on the islands and reefs and enable China to fulfill its international obligation as the largest littoral state of the South China Sea.

I wish to reiterate that the Nansha Islands are China's territory. This is backed by historical and legal facts. It is simply understandable for a sovereign country to uphold its own territorial sovereignty and prevent its legitimate rights and interests from being undermined. At the same time, China is committed to finding peaceful solution to disputes through dialogue and consultation on the basis of international law. China is committed to advancing COC consultations toward early agreement and to rule-based and proper management of differences. China is committed to peace and stability in the South China Sea and to freedom of navigation and overflight by all countries in accordance with law. These are China's positions that will stay unchanged.

Efforts to enhance trust and reduce misgivings between China and the US are aimed to promote sound growth of bilateral relations and deepen win-win cooperation between the two sides at the regional and global levels.

We believe that as long as China and the United States could work to enhance mutual respect and hold firm to the bottom line of no conflict and no confrontation, it will lay the ground work for even greater progress in win-win cooperation.

We hope China and the US could work together to uphold the UN-centered international order and international system. Both countries could act as strong supporters of the norms governing international relations that are based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

Secondly, President Xi's visit will focus on cooperation between China and the United States. Over 200 years ago, a US merchant ship loaded with specialties arrived in China. That marked the beginning of trade between the two countries. Within the past decades following the establishment of diplomatic ties, bilateral trade had grown from nothing to 555.1 billion US dollars. Two-way investment increased from almost zero to more than 120 billion US dollars. Chinese companies made direct investments in 45 US states in growing amounts. China-US interaction and cooperation in international and regional affairs continued to expand. Such cooperation included hotspot issues like the Iranian nuclear issue, the Korean nuclear issue, the question of Afghanistan, as well as global challenges ranging from climate change and counter-terrorism to peace-keeping and poverty reduction and development. It is fair to say that the all-dimensional and strategic cooperation between China and the US has provided new drivers to boost not just bilateral relations, but also the cause of global peace and development.

President Xi's visit will take China-US cooperation to a new level. The two sides are expected to reach important agreement in economy and trade, energy, people-to-people exchange, climate change, environmental protection, finance, science and technology, agriculture, law enforcement, defense, aviation and infrastructure development. A large number of cooperation agreements that will have far-reaching impacts will be signed. The two sides will have in-depth exchange of views and step up coordination and cooperation on regional and international hotspot issues. This visit will expand the scope of common interests and add more substance to the new model of major country relations between the two countries.

The two sides will endeavor to bridge differences and strive for new and important progress in BIT negotiations, which will open up new prospects and create new sources of growth for China-US cooperation.

The two sides will work together to deepen economic cooperation and trade, and set higher and more ambitious targets for two-way trade and investment.

The two sides will expand cooperation on climate change and, while adhering to their respective basic positions, push forward multilateral negotiations to fulfill their due responsibilities as major countries in the world.

The two sides will have a deep-going discussion on the current global economic and financial situation, and step up communication and coordination on domestic economic policies. We expect a positive signal to be sent by the two sides that they will work together in real earnest to uphold stability and growth of the global economy.

The two sides will actively advance development cooperation that is based on the consent and participation of third countries. They may tap their respective strengths to contribute to balanced global development and attainment of the UN post-2015 development goals.

The two sides will step up dialogue on cyber issues, work together to combat all forms of cyber-crimes according to law, uphold cyber security and carry out cooperation in cyberspace. They could both play a constructive role and jointly make global cyberspace peaceful, secure, open and cooperation-oriented.

The two sides will step up cooperation on a broad range of regional and international issues, such as cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, implementation of the Iranian nuclear agreement, counter-terrorism, law enforcement, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, global governance, international peacekeeping, wildlife protection, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. This will underline the two sides' commitment to world peace, stability and development.

Thirdly, President Xi's visit will be a people-first visit. China-US friendly relations are powered by the people, and rooted in the people. Forty-four years ago, the visit of the US table tennis team to China opened a new chapter in China-US friendly relations and contacts. Reform and opening up in China led to a new wave of thriving exchanges among the people and regions of the two countries.

Today, the two countries have established 43 sister province/state relations and 200 sister city relations. Last year, about 4.3 million mutual visits were made across the Pacific, and there is a flight between the two countries every 17 minutes. The number of students studying in each other's country has exceeded 500,000. China and the US are now each other's No.1 and No. 2 sources of international students. More than 100,000 American students have studied in China and more than 10,000 American scholars and academics have made exchange visits to China. The US is now home to 100 plus Confucius Institutes and hundreds of thousands of American school graders are studying Chinese. Last year, during the meeting of the two presidents in Beijing, the two sides announced reciprocal visa arrangements for business, tourism and study purposes. This went a long way to promoting people-to-people exchanges and was warmly welcomed by the people of both countries.

A major highlight of President Xi's visit to the US will be his extensive outreach to the American people.

President Xi's visit will start from Seattle on the west coast where he will meet people from all walks of life. Throughout the visit, President Xi will devote a lot of time to reaching out to people in American cities and states, the business community, friendly groups, and a broad cross-section of American society. The President will deliver speeches to the general public, hold meetings with representatives of business leaders and have cordial exchanges with school faculties and students. The two sides will also announce a series of major measures, which will bring some further good news to students, tourists and other people traveling between the two countries. President Xi's visit will generate a new wave of interest in China and take people-to-people exchange to new heights.

Let me add that China's sustained development and growing cooperation between the two countries in economic, trade and other fields will continue to benefit the two peoples and make a tangible difference for them. For instance, in trade and investment, it is estimated that by 2022, China will become the world's biggest importer and China and the US are on track to becoming each other's biggest trading partner. US export to China is expected to surpass 530 billion US dollars and generate more than 3.34 million new jobs. According to the China-United States Exchange Foundation, by 2020, China's investment in the US will reach 200 billion US dollars and create 4 million new jobs for US workers.

Fourthly, President Xi's visit will be future-oriented. During the visit, the two sides will not only take stock of the past and enhance mutual trust, but more importantly, they will work together to articulate a vision for the future.

China and the US are two permanent members of the UN Security Council and the world's biggest and second biggest economies. The direction of China-US relations not only concerns the vital interests of the two peoples, but also bears on the future of the Asia-Pacific and the whole world. Therefore, many countries will follow the visit closely, hoping to understand more about China's development orientation in the future and get clues for reasonable expectation for China-US relations. They will be looking for signals on whether the two countries are competing or cooperating, and whether they will live together in peace or get stuck in friction or even confrontation.

President Xi will bring a clear message to the government and people of the United States and to people of the world. That is, China, a big country in the East with a 5000-year-old civilization, will continue to follow the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, its independent foreign policy of peace and the win-win strategy of opening-up. What China stands for is peaceful development, not hegemony; greater democracy in international relations, not power politics; win-win cooperation, not zero-sum game; and a right approach to interests and principles, not a pursuit for selfish interests. Following its comprehensive four-pronged strategic agenda, China is committed to continuing reform and opening-up, improving rule of law and fostering a more mature market. This will certainly open up broader prospects for cooperation with the United States and the rest of the world.

American leaders have emphasized many times that they welcome a strong, prosperous and stable China which plays a bigger role in international and regional affairs. We hope the US will match this important statement with concrete actions and follow it earnestly in its interactions with China. We hope people could hold such expectations that whatever changes at home, both sides will stay on the track of building a new model of major country relationship; whatever problems that may crop up in the relationship, both sides will respect each other, enhance trust and reduce misgivings and seek common ground while removing differences to maintain healthy and steady growth of the bilateral relationship; and whatever issues and challenges the international community might confront, the two sides will strengthen cooperation to safeguard world peace and promote development of mankind.

Diplomatic Envoys,
Dear Friends,

This year is the 70th anniversary of the victory of the world anti-fascist war and the founding of the United Nations, and will also witness the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda. Seventy years ago, the founding of the UN opened a new page in the history of international relations. Peace and development of mankind has since made profound progress, though daunting challenges still exist. During this visit, President Xi will join leaders of other countries at the UN Headquarters to renew the spirit of the UN Charter and galvanize the synergy of the "united nations" into action to further promote peace and development of mankind.

China was directly involved in the historical process of the founding of the UN and was the first country to sign on the UN Charter. China has worked actively for the settlement of major hot-spot issues in the world. It has sent a total of over 30,000 military personnel, police and civilian personnel to UN peacekeeping missions, which makes it the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the permanent members of the Security Council. Some young Chinese laid down their lives for peacekeeping. Having lifted 500 million people out of poverty, it is among the first countries to attain the development goals set by the UN. China is also the top performer in attaining the Millennium Development Goals.

President Xi's visit to the UN will focus on peace and development and the building of a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation. At the high-level UN events, he will, on behalf of China, put forward initiatives to contribute to the advancement of the welfare of the "peoples of the United Nations".

China will join other countries in exploring new visions for international relations. The world has changed so much since the UN was founded 70 years ago. Today, it is necessary to think about what kind of international relations can better reflect the spirit of the UN Charter and adapt to the needs of the current international community.

At the end of last year, President Xi put forward the vision of building a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation. This vision means, first and foremost, to carry forward the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and is also an innovation beyond traditional international relations and a source of inspiration to the international community. During this visit, President Xi will give a comprehensive elaboration about this new vision for the first time at the UN Headquarters. He will also outline, in a systemic way, the path towards a community of shared future for mankind, thus offering new ideas and visions for the development of international relations.

China will work with other countries to lend new impetus to world peace. Peace is the foundation for human survival, while justice is what world peace is built upon. The common understanding and conclusions about the tragic history of the world anti-fascist war represent a red line that cannot be crossed. There must be no confusion on this matter of principle in the international community.

Not long ago, China commemorated the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. The purpose was to learn from history and embrace a future where justice and peace prevail. At the high-level events marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the UN, President Xi will review, together with other state leaders, mankind's arduous journey in pursuit of peace, outline China's principled positions on major and immediate international issues and announce important measures China will take to support the UN which will demonstrate China's commitment to shoulder its responsibilities and uphold world peace. President Xi will also expound on the principles that guide China's active support to and participation in UN peacekeeping missions and express China's willingness to contribute to the UN efforts in fulfilling its mandate of peace and security.

China will work together with other countries to draw a new blueprint for global development. The UN Sustainable Development Summit will put international development on a new journey. The international community looks forward to a Summit that will set ambitious development goals, boost global confidence for development, promote global development partnership and allow more developing countries to benefit from global development.

At the Summit, President Xi will take part in the discussions on how to promote global development, expound on the vision of equitable, open, all-round and innovation-driven development, and put forward new initiatives for greater international development cooperation for ensuring a good start for the post-2015 development agenda. President Xi will chair the High-level Roundtable on South-South Cooperation to be co-hosted by China and the UN. He and leaders of other developing countries will review past experience, plan for the future, and formulate an action plan for deepening South-South cooperation in the world of today, aiming to bring South-South cooperation to a new height. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the World Conference on Women in Beijing. China and the UN have put forward a joint initiative of convening a Global Leaders' Meeting on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment, which has received warm responses from many member states. This will be the first time that commitment is made at the leaders' level on issues concerning women worldwide, which will open a new historical chapter for the empowerment of women. President Xi will also attend an event on climate change where he will have in-depth discussions with leaders from other countries on ways to address climate change and realize sustainable development.

Diplomatic Envoys,
Dear Friends,

As a Chinese saying goes, the fire burns high when everybody brings wood to it. We believe that President Xi's visit to the United States and the United Nations will surely strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation between China and the US, advance world peace and development and open up a better future for China-US relations and mankind!

Thank you.

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