Ladies and Gentlemen,
This wonderful event is jointly organized by National Committee on US-China Relations, US-China Business Council, US Council on Foreign Relations, Asia Society, American Chamber of Commerce, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce—US, Committee of 100, US-China Policy Foundation, US Forum on China, Asian Roundtable Meeting, as well as China Institute in America. First of all, I would like to begin by thanking you all for hosting this event, which brings together friends, both old and new, for a delightful gathering.
I cherish the fond memory of the gracious dinner you held for me in Washington during my official visit to the United States back in 2003. On that occasion, I made a speech entitled "Working Together to Write a New Chapter in China-US Relations", in which I drew three conclusions. First, China and the United States both gain from peaceful coexistence, and lose from conflicts. Second, the two countries have the foundation for cooperation and common interests. Third, China-US cooperation is conducive to stability in the Asia-Pacific region as well as peace and development in the world.
Five years have passed since then and I am happy to see that these three conclusions have stood the test of time. China-US relations have made significant progress.
First, our high-level contacts are more frequent than ever before. There are now over 60 dialogs and consultation mechanisms between our two countries. The Strategic Economic Dialog and the Strategic Dialog have, in particular, played an important part in increasing strategic mutual trust between the two sides.
Second, our bilateral trade grew from 126 billion in 2003 to 302 billion US dollars last year, an increase of nearly one and a half times within five years. China and the United States are now each other's second largest trading partners. Dialog and cooperation have extended to a number of new areas, such as energy resources, climate change, product quality and food safety. The US-China Ten Year Energy and Environment Cooperation Framework signed not long ago stands out as a good example of such cooperation.
Third, China and the United States have maintained communication and coordination on global security issues such as counterterrorism and non-proliferation and on regional and international hotspot issues such as the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. Our joint efforts have contributed to world peace and stability.
Ladies and gentlemen. As a Chinese saying goes, "amity between people holds the key to sound relations between states." The ever-deepening friendship between our two peoples is an integral part of our growing relations. Scenes of China-US friendship also touched us deeply during the Beijing Olympic Games last month. Here are a few examples. President Bush and three generations of the Bush family travelled to Beijing and joined Chinese spectators in cheering for Chinese and US teams. The US women's volleyball team and gymnastics team that competed with the Chinese teams both had Chinese coaches, while Chinese players who play in NBA were very popular. The US synchronized swimming team unfurled a banner with the words "Thank you, China" on it by the pool side and received thunderous applause from the Chinese spectators. These examples show once again that there exists a deep affinity and a strong bond of friendship between our two peoples. I wish to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the American people from all walks of life for your abiding commitment to China-US friendship and extend heartfelt gratitude to the US government and people for your strong support to our earthquake rescue and relief work and our efforts in hosting the Olympic Games.
Ladies and gentlemen. With the US presidential election less than two months away, many people have asked me how I would see China-US relations after the election. I told them that China hopes to maintain and develop the constructive and cooperative relations with the United States whoever becomes its next president. And we are confident that China-US relations will continue to move forward, as the trend of history will not turn back. I say this because:
First, China and the United States have never enjoyed so extensive common interests as they do today. We have worked together to uphold world peace and stability and tackled growing global economic and financial challenges. Our cooperation has gone beyond the bilateral context in terms of both its substance and significance and such cooperation is having a growing impact on the world. Steady growth of China-US relations serves the fundamental interests of our two peoples and meets the trend of the times.
Second, due to differences in social system, development level, history and culture, China and the United States may not see eye to eye on certain issues. This is nothing terrible. As long as we engage in dialog and consultation on the basis of equality and mutual respect, we will be able to gradually dispel misgivings and enhance mutual trust.
Third, both the Chinese people and the American people are open, innovative, and eager to learn. In just over 200 years, the United States has developed itself into the strongest country in the world with brilliant achievements in the economic, scientific and technological fields. The Chinese civilization, stretching back five thousand years, is showing greater vitality in the new era. What is behind the splendid achievements we both scored though our histories are different? I think it is openness, inclusiveness and the spirit of drawing upon the strengths of others. Two countries that appreciate each other and learn from each other can live together in amity and achieve common progress.
Fourth, China's development will not harm anyone, nor will it be a threat to anyone. China has taken an active part in the building of the international system and will not do anything to undermine it. China is a big responsible country. The Chinese economy now contributes more than 10% to the world economic growth. China has taken an active part in the settlement of major international and regional issues such as the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the Iranian nuclear issue. China is ready to work together with the rest of the international community to jointly meet global challenges of financial volatility, energy and food shortage, and climate change.
China and the United States are not rivals. We are partners in cooperation, and we can well be friends. During his stay in Beijing for the Olympic Games, President Bush said to me that US-China relationship was not one in which "I win you lose" or "you win I lose". Gains for China do not mean losses for the United States, and gains for the United States do not mean losses for China. The United States can benefit from China's prosperity and development and our two countries can prosper together. I am pleased to see that both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party attach importance to China-US relations. I believe this shows the strategic vision and political wisdom of President Bush and the two political parties. It also represents the wish of the entire American people.
I want to stress that the Chinese government always attaches importance to China-US relations. We sincerely hope that through friendly cooperation, our two countries will blaze a bright path of harmonious coexistence and common development between big countries with different cultural backgrounds.
Ladies and gentlemen. We will soon celebrate the 30th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up and the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the United States. Over the past 30 years, profound changes have taken place in China and tremendous progress has been made in China-US relations. We should not see this as a sheer coincidence but a historical necessity. President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said that, "The times call for bold belief that the world can be changed by man's endeavor, and that this endeavor can lead to something new and better." Today, we have every reason to expect and believe that the largest developing country and the strongest developed country on earth will show enough courage and wisdom to overcome any difficulty and obstacle and, building on past achievements, work together for an even more splendid future.