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Speech by Chinese Consul General in New York Huang Ping at the 25th Harvard College China Forum

(From Chinese Consulate General in New York)

2022-04-18 10:34

(April 16, 2022, Harvard Business School)

Dear friends,
Good morning!

It’s my great pleasure to be invited to attend the 25th Harvard China Forum. Over the past 25 years, generations of Harvard students have worked hard to make the Harvard China Forum a valuable platform for promoting communication and dialogue between China and the United States. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the forum, I would like to express my sincere thanks and heartfelt congratulations to the organizers of the forum!

The theme of this year’s Harvard China Forum is “Extraordinary Times”, which I think is very great, because we are living in an extraordinary era. Today’s world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, entering a new period of turbulence and transformation. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the issuance of “Shanghai Communiqué” and President Nixon’s visit to China, China-U.S. relations are going through new adjustments. Last year, China celebrated the centennial of the founding of the Communist Party of China, and we are now embarking on a new journey to build a great modern socialist country. Looking ahead, where is the world heading? Where will China-U.S. relations go? How will China continue its development? These are questions that generally concern everyone. 

Dear friends,

Fifty years ago, the leaders of the older generation of China and the U.S. made a historic and strategic choice to end the prolonged estrangement between the two countries, started the process toward normalization of China-U.S. relations and brought structural changes in international relations. Over 50 years, the development of China-U.S. relations has not only delivered tangible benefits to the two peoples, but also made important contributions to world peace, stability and prosperity.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 300 flights shuttled between the two countries every week, over five million travels were made across the Pacific every year, and about 400,000 Chinese students studying in the U.S.. Last year, China-U.S. trade volume expanded to U.S.$750 billion and the two-way investment between our two countries reached U.S.$240 billion. From combating terrorism, coping with the financial crisis, and preventing the Ebola virus, to providing leadership in the signing of the JCPOA and the Paris Agreement on climate change, China and the U.S. have jointly accomplished many great things that are beneficial to the world.

Fifty years later, China-U.S. relations have come to a crossroads again, and the two countries have reached a critical moment when they need to make a choice. China and the U.S. are the world’s largest developing and developed country respectively, our bilateral relations will have a significant impact on the future of the world.

As President Xi Jinping said during the virtual meeting with President Biden, the most important event in international relations over the past 50 years was the reopening and development of China-U.S. relations, which has benefited the two countries and the whole world. The most important event in international relations in the coming 50 years will be for China and the U.S. to find the right way to get along.

In this regard, China’s view is clear and unswerving: we believe that the way for our two countries to get along is through mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation. In this context, let me share with you four watchwords with initials of “TIME”, for a better China-U.S. relationship in the new era, which also echoes this forum’s theme “Extraordinary Times”.

“T” is for “Together”. As a Chinese old saying goes, “When people are united with one heart and one mind, success is assured.” The world today is undergoing rapid changes, and various global challenges and regional hotspots are emerging one after another. Whether we admit it or not, China, the U.S. and all other countries in the world are closely linked for a shared future, and we must pull together in times of trouble. Although there is competition between China and the U.S., the scope of cooperation is far greater than that of competition, and in many aspects, it is cooperation that makes China and the U.S. achieve a leap in their respective international competitiveness. There is a proverb saying “do not learn from spiders who make their own webs, but learn from bees who make honey together”.

China’s development will provide extensive opportunities for the U.S. and all other countries around the world. It is estimated that China will import 2.5 trillion dollars worth of goods and services annually in the coming 15 years, its middle-income group will swell to 800 million by 2035, and its airlines will need 8,700 new aircraft by 2040. In this context, the two sides should continue to uphold the concept of mutual benefit and win-win results, and deepen cooperation in a wide range of fields such as trade and investment, medical care, and clean energy. The two sides should also demonstrate their responsibility as major countries, strengthen communication and coordination in fighting the pandemic, recovering the economy, addressing climate change and regional hotspot issues, and making more contributions to world peace and development.

Even if there will be competition sometimes, the competition should be like the track and field games, where we improve together by catching up with each other, rather than playing the “squid game” which is full of mutual suspicion and deception and life-or-death struggles.

“I” is for “Inclusiveness”. Ancient Chinese philosophy teaches us to be tolerant to diversity just like the sea admitting hundreds of rivers for its capacity to hold. American society has always advocated the spirit of diversity and inclusiveness, but there are also some narrow-minded people who find it difficult to accept those countries with different histories, cultures and systems from the U.S. They always point fingers at those countries and want to change them.

A single flower does not make spring while one hundred flowers in full blossom bring spring to the garden. Human civilization is wonderful because of its diversity. Only by learning from each other and coexisting harmoniously can different civilizations maintain progress.

The U.S. has rapidly developed into a superpower within two hundred years since its founding. The American people should be proud of this. China wishes the U.S. to keep prospering. The path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is rooted in the 5,000-year-old Chinese civilization. It is the choice of the 1.4 billion Chinese people. The development and progress China has made in the past few decades has fully proved that this is the right path that suits China’s national conditions. We will follow this path unswervingly. A poll conducted by the Harvard Kennedy School on China for 10 consecutive years shows that the Chinese people’s satisfaction with the government has remained above 90% year after year. We hope that the U.S. side will respect the path independently chosen by Chinese people and accommodate a peaceful and prosperous China.

“M” is for “Management”. As two major countries, it is inevitable for China and the U.S. to have differences, but what matters is how we properly manage and control them, for fear of letting differences dominate the relationship between the two countries, just as Chairman Mao Zedong wrote in his poem “one needs to take a longer view”.

Not long ago, President Biden reiterated in his virtual meeting with President Xi Jinping that the U.S. does not seek a new Cold War with China, it does not aim to change China’s system, the revitalization of its alliances is not targeted at China, the US does not support “Taiwan independence”, and it has no intention to seek a conflict with China. President Biden also said that the U.S. is ready to have candid dialogue and closer cooperation with China, stay committed to the one-China policy, and effectively manage competition and disagreements to ensure the steady growth of the relationship. The Chinese side take these remarks very seriously and hopes that the U.S. side can act on it. The Taiwan question concerns China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as China’s core interests. Mishandling of the Taiwan question will have a disruptive impact on the bilateral ties. It is hoped that the U.S. side will handle relevant issues carefully and properly.

“E” is for “Endeavor”. As Chinese proverbs goes, “the going is difficult when doing it alone; the going becomes easier when doing it with many others”. The development of China-U.S. relations in its final analysis depends on the joint efforts of the two peoples and all walks of life of both countries. As long as the hearts of the people are united, no difficulties or challenges can stop us from jointly building the magnificent edifice of China-U.S. relations.

The Chinese people have always been friendly towards the American people. From Hollywood and Broadway to McDonald's and Starbucks, from Disney and Universal Studios to Yellowstone Park and Times Square, American culture is very popular in China. Similarly, after working in the U.S. for many years, I have personally felt the kindness of the American people towards the Chinese people. In the past few days, photo exhibitions commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Flying Tigers and the history of the U.S. Air Force helped China during World War II have been held in Washington D.C. and New York. The time we fought together shoulder by shoulder with each other for the common good of humanity should be valued and remembered forever.

Whether in the long history or in current challenging moment, Chinese and American people have been keeping writing glorious stories of friendship through joint efforts. We should comply with public opinion and pave the way for more exchanges and cooperation between the two peoples. In particular, we should provide more platforms for mutual communication and understanding for the young people of the two countries because you are shouldering future missions.

Dear friends,

Last year marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. Over the past 100 years, the CPC has united and led the Chinese people to achieve world-renowned achievements in developing our country and improving people’s lives. Last year, we achieved the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects as scheduled, and solved the problem of absolute poverty historically. Now we are embarking on a new journey toward building a modern socialist country. China will unswervingly be a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of the international order, and will continue to make unremitting efforts for human development and progress.

Now, the world is going through unprecedented profound changes. On the one hand, with the development of globalization and science and technology, peoples from all countries are more closely linked than ever before for a shared future. On the other hand, the international order is facing unprecedented shocks, and the crisis of global governance is becoming increasingly prominent.

As President Xi Jinping pointed out when he addressed the World Economic Forum, “The momentum of the world either flourishes or declines; the state of the world either progresses or regresses.” Facing the drastic changes of the times, only by advancing hand in hand can all countries lead all mankind to overcome the difficulties and create a better future.

China advocates and promotes the building of a community with a shared future for mankind with profound feelings of the world, proposing China’s wisdom and plan for world peace and development. China stands ready to work with other countries to jointly promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and will set an example in this regard and achieve three adherences:

First is to adhere to peaceful development. The Chinese nation has always been a peace-loving nation, and believe, starting with our forefathers, that “the strong and rich should not bully the weak and poor”. China has benefited from the peaceful development of the world, and meanwhile has been making unremitting efforts to maintain the peaceful development of the world. Adhering to the path of peaceful development has been enshrined in the Constitution of the Communist Party of China and written into the Chinese Constitution, which reflects China’s unswerving determination to achieve national development and national rejuvenation through peaceful means.

Second is to adhere to reform and opening up. This is the most important experience China has achieved in the past four decades. China’s reform and opening up is always on the way, and our door will only open wider. We have set out to foster a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other. What we envision is not a development loop behind closed doors, but more open domestic and international circulations. A few days ago, we proposed to speed up the construction of a unified domestic market, which will have an important impact on further deepening the reform under the new situation. China will continue to improve the business environment, further reduce the negative list for foreign investment access, and strengthen the construction of free trade zones and intellectual property protection.

Third is to adhere to mutual benefit and win-win results. China will continue to put its own development in the trend of world development, continuously expand common interests, and share opportunities with the world. We will actively promote global development initiatives, work with countries to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and pursue more robust, greener and more balanced global development. We will follow the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, jointly promote high-quality “Belt and Road” cooperation, and further enhance connectivity and practical cooperation of all countries. We will strengthen macro policy coordination with other countries, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and maintain the security and stability of global industrial and supply chains.

Dear friends,

Now, standing here reminds me of the late Professor Ezra Vogel, who was dedicated to greater mutual understanding between the Chinese and American people throughout his lifetime. He called for a rational China policy till the last days of his life and co-authored the open letter, entitled “China is not an enemy”, which was co-signed by many far-sighted people. Most of you present today are the younger generation. The future of the world will be in your hands, and the development of China-U.S. relations needs your efforts. I sincerely hope that through this forum, you can have candid exchanges, build consensus, and contribute wisdom for the future of China-U.S. relations and the world.

Dear friends,

When President Nixon visited China 50 years ago, he quoted Chairman Mao Zedong’s poem “Ten thousand years are too long;seize the day, seize the hour”. In the face of today’s rapidly changing world, I believe this is the hour and this is the day for our young people to have the world in mind, bravely shoulder the heavy responsibilities and forge ahead in the “extraordinary times”, blossoming youth and opening up new opportunities for China-U.S. relations and human development!

Thank you!

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