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Yang Jiechi Holds a Video Conversation with the National Committee on United States-China Relations

On February 2, 2021, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi held a video conversation with the National Committee on United States-China Relations in Beijing.

Yang Jiechi said, China and the U.S. are the two largest economies and permanent members of the UN Security Council. Effective cooperation between the two sides has a direct bearing on the well-being of all people as well as peace, development and prosperity of the world. For the past few years, China-U.S. relations have encountered its most difficult period since the establishment of diplomatic relations. Some in the U.S., sticking to Cold War thinking, perceived China as a threat. Their rhetoric and actions have interfered in China's internal affairs, undermined China's interests, and disrupted exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation between the two sides. Such moves, going against the trend of the times, have seriously damaged China-U.S. relations as well as the fundamental interests of the two peoples.

Yang Jiechi said, there are so many shared and interconnected interests between China and the U.S. and the cooperation between China and the U.S. is desired by the people in both countries, and such a popular trend cannot be reversed. At present, China-U.S. relations now stand at a key moment. It is a task for both China and the U.S. to restore the relationship to a predictable and constructive track of development, and to build a model of interaction between the two major countries that focuses on peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, which also answers to the expectation of countries in the global community. China is prepared to work with the U.S. to move the relationship forward along the track of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

Yang Jiechi said, efforts can be made in the following aspects:

First, China should be seen as it is. China is committed to the path of peaceful development, and a win-win strategy of opening-up. The 1.4 billion Chinese people wholeheartedly support the leadership of the Communist Party of China, and they are rallying closely around the CPC and forging ahead on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics with great resolve and determination. No force could stop China's development. China hopes that the U.S. will work with China to keep the relationship on the right track, and strengthen cooperation and coordination to achieve common development

Second, normal interactions need to be restored. The growth of China-U.S. relations is the result of decades of commitment and dedication by Chinese and Americans from all sectors to maintaining engagement, exchange, communication and cooperation. The U.S. side should remove the stumbling blocks to people-to-people exchanges, and more should be done to send a positive message of China and the U.S. working together, to encourage a positive public perception of each other and win more public support for growing China-U.S. relations.

Third, proper management of differences is called for. As two big countries with different histories, cultures and systems, China and the U.S. may disagree on some issues. What matters is that we manage our differences properly so that they do not stand in the way of our overall relations. Both sides need to respect each other's histories, cultures and traditions, respect each other's core interests and major concerns, and respect each other's choices of political system and development path. The U.S. should honor its commitment under the three Sino-U.S. Joint Communiqués, strictly abide by the one-China principle, and respect China's position and concerns on the Taiwan question.

Fourth, mutually beneficial cooperation ought to be broadened. China and the U.S. have broader space for cooperation in areas like COVID response, economic recovery and climate change. The two sides should promote closer exchanges and cooperation between the two militaries and in law enforcement, drug control and cyber security, and more communication and coordination on regional hotspot issues and on major global challenges such as poverty alleviation through development, counter-terrorism and nonproliferation, so as to provide more public goods to the world.

Yang Jiechi stressed that the future of China-U.S. relations will be brighter. As long as the two sides bear in mind the fundamental interests of people in our two countries and beyond, respect each other, seek common ground while putting aside differences, keep disagreements under effective control, and expand common interests, the China-U.S. relationship will embark on a path of improvement and development, a prospect that would benefit our two peoples and the entire world tremendously.

Members of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, including Jacob Lew, Henry Kissinger, Stephen Orlins, David Lampton, Dennis Blair, Evan Medeiros, Susan Thornton and Greenberg, attended the dialogue. The U.S. representatives at the meeting said that the U.S.-China relationship is the most important bilateral relationship in the world and the strengthening of U.S.-China cooperation is of great significance to the two countries and the world at large. The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations supports the strengthening of dialogue between the U.S. and China and expects the two governments to meet each other half way to rebuild mutual trust, bring bilateral relations back to the right track and move in the right direction. They express their willingness to continue to play an active role in this regard.

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