Remarks by Ambassador Cui Tiankai At the Gala 2019 of the US-China Business Council


December 4, 2019

Washington DC

Chairman Evan Greenberg,

Ambassador Robert Zoellick,

Ambassador Craig Allen,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


Good evening. It is my great pleasure to attend the Gala Dinner of the US-China Business Council (USCBC) and join so many old and new friends at this annual event.

We sometimes hear people say, business is business. But far too often, business is not just business, as economy and politics are always interwoven and interdependent. Our friends at the USCBC and American business community know this very well. The USCBC was founded as early as in 1973, six years ahead of the establishment of China-US diplomatic relations, and since then it has been a pioneer and pathfinder for our economic and trade cooperation and for the overall bilateral relations. Over the past four decades, your wisdom, vision and commitment have turned into concrete and fruitful achievements in China-US relations, which will always be remembered by the Chinese and American people.

Today’s China-US relations are at a critical crossroads. Over the past year or so, our two countries have been overshadowed by the trade frictions, and our two sides are working hard to address our differences. We believe that as long as we engage in dialogue and consultation on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and mutual respect, we will be able to tide over the difficulties and return to the right track of win-win cooperation.

At the same time, we must be alert that some destructive forces are taking advantage of the ongoing trade frictions. Extreme rhetoric, such as decoupling, a new “Cold War”, and clash of civilizations, are having their way here. Some people in this country are pointing fingers at the governing party and national system of China. They are trying to rebuild the “Berlin Wall” between China and the US in the economic, technological and ideological fields. They are trying to spread hostilities and even create conflicts between us. In this context, we cannot help but ask, is this a China-US relationship for which we have worked so hard for the past 40 years? If suspicion, animosity, estrangement and confrontation are allowed to grow without any constraint, what consequences will the two peoples and the whole world have to suffer?


As President Xi Jinping pointed out, China and the United States need to get the basics of their relations right and strengthen communication on strategic issues. There is no “Thucydides trap” in the world, and the real trap will only come from misunderstanding, misjudgment and obstinate prejudice.

Since the People’s Republic of China was founded 70 years ago, led by the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese people has paid painstaking efforts to develop the country and blazed a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We have taken the people’s aspiration for a better life as our goal, and we have worked tirelessly to address the problem of unbalanced and inadequate development. Not long ago, the Fourth Plenum of the 19th CPC Central Committee took a major decision to uphold and improve the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and modernize China’s system and capacity of governance. This is for us to better cope with the risks and challenges on our way ahead, and to ensure the success of reform and opening-up, so that we will meet the goal of national rejuvenation.

At the same time, China develops to be a better self, not to displace others, and it has not the slightest interest in global or regional hegemony. Instead, a developing China is making greater contribution to human progress and will continue to do so. We hope to work with other countries to build a community with a shared future for mankind. In this context, we look forward to working with the United States to develop a relationship based on coordination, cooperation and stability and achieve its sound and sustained growth. This is for the interests of the two peoples, for the world and for our shared future.

Facing today’s China, will America opt for mutual respect and win-win cooperation, or will it go for zero-sum game and a lose-lose scenario? Facing the collective rise of developing countries, will America choose to welcome more cooperation partners, or will it be single-minded about rivalry and resist this historical trend? I hope that our American friends will make a wise choice.

Here, I feel it necessary to mention the situations in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, issues of widespread attention. What is happening in Hong Kong and Xinjiang has been seriously distorted. For Hong Kong, it is most urgent to stop violence and restore order there. I believe that the business community feels such a need. However, there are people out there who are trying to challenge the bottom line of “One Country Two Systems”, and their real intention is to overthrow the country and ruin the two systems. The well-being of the Chinese citizens either on the mainland or in Hong Kong, or the interests of American companies and citizens there mean nothing to them. As for Xinjiang, it used to be a heavy victim of terrorism. Thousands of terrorist attacks happened there. But thanks to our resolute fight against violent terrorism, and thanks to our education efforts to help the people affected by extremist and terrorist ideas, no terrorist attack has taken place in the past three years. The life of local people of all ethnic groups has returned to normalcy. Facts are facts. No matter how much “fake news” is generated, no matter what absurd numbers are fabricated by those rumormongers, facts will always prevail over lies. Whatever happens, China stands firm on safeguarding its sovereignty, security and development interests. China stands firm on achieving national reunification, ethnic solidarity and the people’s happiness.


Ambassador Zoellick raised the notion of “responsible stakeholder” in 2005, which has drawn extensive discussions around the world. On this planet, China and the United States are key stakeholders for world peace, stability and prosperity, and each of us is a stakeholder for the development of China-US relations. It is the social responsibility of both Chinese and American companies to stand up against anyone who tries to stir up confrontation and hatred. It is our shared social responsibility to thwart the attempt to undermine our relations, and create positive impetus to our friendship and cooperation. This is also the shared mission for people from all sectors of both countries, as it concerns the well-being of the 1.7 billion Chinese and American people, and bears on the future of our shared planet. Let’s pull together, and work for a better future for all.

Thank you very much.

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