Address by H.E. Hu Jintao
President of the People's Republic of China
At the Opening Session of the Fourth Round of
The China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogues
Beijing, 3 May 2012
Secretary Hillary Clinton,
Secretary Timothy Geithner,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, after two years, a new round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogues (S&ED) is opened here in Beijing. During the dialogue, our two sides will discuss ways to advance China-US relations under the new circumstances. I wish to extend congratulations on the opening of the fourth round of the S&ED and welcome to our American friends coming from afar.
President Obama and I agreed to establish the S&ED when we met in London in 2009. This is the highest-level mechanism between our two countries that involves the most extensive participation by our government departments and has a most wide-ranging agenda. Over the past three years and more, the S&ED has facilitated high-level strategic consultation between our two countries. We have increased understanding of each other's strategic intentions and policies and expanded consensus on the future course of China-US relations. The S&ED has given a strong boost to our mutually beneficial cooperation and contributed to the mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples. And it has enriched exchanges and consultations between the two countries in various fields and at various levels.
I hope that the two sides will continue to make concerted efforts during this round of the S&ED. We need to both focus on the present and look ahead to the future. We should make the S&ED a long-term mechanism for us to intensify strategic consultation, enhance strategic mutual trust and promote strategic cooperation, a mechanism that helps us explore ways to build China-US cooperative partnership.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Forty years ago, the Chinese and American leaders of the older generation opened the door of China-US relations with "a handshake across the Pacific Ocean". And they started the process of exploring how two major countries different in social system, history, culture and development stage should treat each other. Today, 40 years on, China-US relations have grown well beyond what people could have imagined at that time.
A year ago, I paid a state visit to the United States and reached the important agreement with President Obama on working together to build a China-US cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. China and the United States are respectively the largest developing country and the largest developed country. The sustained, sound and steady growth of our relations will not only deliver real benefits to our two peoples, but also make valuable contribution to world peace, stability and prosperity.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The world today is seeing deepening economic globalization and rapid scientific and technological advances, and we face both opportunities and challenges. People of all countries hope that the 21st century will be the first century in human history in which we can all enjoy peace, stability, development and prosperity. People believe that cooperation between China and the United States will bring enormous opportunities to the two countries and the whole world, while confrontation between the two will bring grave harm to all. Whatever changes may take place in the world and no matter how the domestic situations in our two countries may evolve, China and the United States should be firmly committed to advancing the cooperative partnership and build a new type of relations between major countries that is reassuring to both our two peoples and people across the world.
To build such a new type of relations between China and the United States as two major countries, we need to think creatively. Forty years ago, China and the United States made a creative move by issuing the Shanghai Communique. The Communique, which both affirmed the shared views of the two countries and listed their differences truthfully, established the basic principles guiding China-US relations. We are now in the second decade of the 21st century, and we need to advance with the times in our thinking, policies and actions. We should, through creative thinking and concrete steps, prove that the traditional belief that big powers are bound to enter into confrontation and conflicts is wrong, and seek new ways of developing relations between major countries in the era of economic globalization.
To build a new type of relations between China and the United States, we need to trust each other. The world we live in is big enough for China, the United States and all other countries to achieve common development. Over the past 30 years and more since its reform and opening-up process started, China has, through the hard work and wisdom of the Chinese people and win-win cooperation with the people around the world, pursued peaceful development. This is a right path to development that we have embarked on. To follow the path of peaceful development is our strategic choice which will never change, and it is a solemn commitment China has made to the world.
To build a new type of relations between China and the United States, we need to act in a spirit of equality and mutual understanding. Given different national conditions, it is impossible for China and the United States to see eye to eye on every issue. The two sides must know how to respect each other, be good at expanding common ground and make the pie of our converging interests bigger. We should approach our differences in a correct way, and respect and accommodate each other's interests and concerns. We should properly manage differences through dialogues and exchanges and by improving mutual understanding so that these differences will not undermine the larger interests of China-US relations.
To build a new type of relations between China and the United States, we need to work actively. As an old Chinese saying goes, "Only by working diligently can one achieve his goal, and only by walking tirelessly can one reach his destination." We need to take solid and effective steps to implement what we have agreed upon. We should enhance practical cooperation in a wide range of areas, step up coordination on regional and international issues, promote peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific and beyond, and bring the benefits of China-US cooperation to the people of our two countries and the whole world.
To build a new type of relations between China and the United States, we need to nourish our friendship. Friendship between people holds the key to growing good relations between states. We should actively promote exchanges between Chinese and Americans from all walks of life and encourage greater public participation in the cause of promoting China-US friendship and cooperation. I am glad to note that the third meeting of China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange will be held at the same time of the fourth round of the S&ED. I hope that this meeting will further enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The room in which we are having this meeting is called Fangfeiyuan, or the Hall of Flowers. The name of the hall reminds me of a line in a poem by China's Tang Dynasty poet Han Yu describing late spring? "The plants know spring will soon wave them goodbye, hundreds of red and violet flowers in beauty vie." It shows that time waits for no man, and one must work hard and keep advancing. China and the United States now face new opportunities to further grow our relations. We are also confronted with new challenges. Let us seize opportunities, remove interferences and work together to build a new type of relations between major countries featuring mutual respect and win-win cooperation.
In conclusion, I wish the fourth round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogues every success.