Remarks by Minister Xu Xueyuan at the Executive Committee Meeting of National Conference of State Legislatures

Nashville, August 4, 2019

Honorable State Legislators,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great honor to meet with you in the Music City –Nashville, Tennessee. I wish to express my deep thanks to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) for giving me this opportunity to address such a distinguished audience.

I understand that one of the topics for the 2019 NCSL Legislative Summit tomorrow will be “Misinformation in the 21st Century”. This topic is certainly relevant today. As policymakers and consumers are exposed to an ever-growing amount of information, the ability to distinguish accurate information from misinformation can be challenging. Face-to-face communication remains an effective way to avoid misunderstanding and misjudgment. Currently, China-U.S. relations face some difficulties and challenges. Some hawkish people within Washington view China as a threat or an adversary, and thus have been advocating for a “decoupling” of the two countries or a “clash of civilizations”. We should not be misled by such misinformation. We must make sure that common sense will prevail in policy shaping and decision making.

The Chinese people love peace; it is deeply rooted in our cultural DNA. The goals behind China’s development have never been to challenge or replace other countries. This development is to meet the aspirations of the Chinese people for a better life, which is no different than the aspirations of the American people. In this regard, China is pursuing a people-centered development strategy, and it strives to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

The China-U.S. relationship is one of the most consequential bilateral relationships in the world. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties four decades ago, both countries have made great achievements in development, bringing enormous benefits to the people of both countries and the world. History has proven that both China and the U.S. benefit from cooperation and lose in confrontation. Cooperation and dialogue are better than friction and confrontation. Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump had a successful meeting in Osaka, Japan, in June of this year, during which they had an in-depth exchange of views on the fundamental issues concerning China-U.S. relations. Our two leaders agreed to continue pursuing a China-U.S. relationship based on coordination, cooperation, and stability. They also agreed to re-start consultations on trade. The trade war will only hurt both countries, and bilateral cooperation is the only right choice. The two sides should adhere to the principle of equality and mutual respect, keep to integrity and sincerity, and address each other’s concerns through consultations, so as to narrow down our differences, expand our common interests and contribute to global economic stability and development.

Sub-national cooperation and people-to-people ties are the foundation of China-U.S. relations. Last May, I joined a 100-person delegation from China to the Golden Spike 150 Festival in Utah. Together with thousands of Americans, we commemorated the contribution and sacrifices made by Chinese railway workers for building the American Transcontinental Railroad. We were also together to open up new prospects for our future cooperation. During the Fifth China-U.S. Governors Forum in Lexington, Kentucky, and the Fourth China-U.S. Sister Cities Conference in Houston, Texas, several hundred representatives from states, provinces, and cities of both sides explored practical cooperation and reached agreements in various areas. By the end of this year, the Fourth China-U.S. Sub-national Legislatures Cooperation Forum will take place in Hebei Province, China. These exchanges fully demonstrate that the Chinese and American people have amicable feelings towards each other, and they are ready to strengthen the friendship and cooperation between our countries.

The Chinese side is grateful for the commitment of the NCSL to support greater exchanges with China. State legislators come from various local communities and represent the real interests of local people. It is my sincere hope that you will continue to promote people-to-people ties so as to lay a solid foundation for China-U.S. relations. As the saying goes, wealth is not a friend, but friends are wealth. I hope the friendship between the Chinese and American peoples will last forever, and I wish the 2019 NCSL Legislative Summit a great success!

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