Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan
US-China Business Council, National Committee on US-China Relations and US-China
Policy Foundation Banquet
September 20, 2001
"Deepen Mutual Understanding, Build Up Mutual Trust and Promote Healthy
Development of China-US Relations"
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to have the opportunity of visiting Washington again and meeting
with friends, both old and new. I would like to express my hearty thanks to
the US-China Business Council and the National Committee on US-China Relations
for their gracious invitation.
Over the years, the US-China Business Council, the National Committee on US-China
Relations and all of you present here have made unremitting efforts to enhance
the mutual understanding and friendship between the Chinese and American peoples
and advance the bilateral relations, for which I wish to express my appreciation.
The Chinese Government and people felt deeply shocked and saddened at the violent
terrorist attacks on New York and Washington D.C. President Jiang Zemin sent
a message of sympathy to President Bush right on the very night of September
eleventh. On the second day the two presidents talked with each other over the
phone. Just as President Jiang has said that at this moment of sorrow, the Chinese
Government and people wish to share the grief of the US Government and people.
These attacks have not only brought disasters to the American people, but also
posed a challenge to people the world over. The Chinese people stand by the
American people and the entire international community in the fight against
terrorism. We care about the progress of rescue efforts and are ready to provide
all necessary assistance to the US side.
I am confident that the American people will be able to overcome the current
difficulties, properly handle problems in the aftermath and get life back to
normal as soon as possible.
This incident shows that international terrorism has become a serious threat
to world peace and stability. It has made international cooperation both necessary
and pressing. We stand ready to enhance our dialogue and cooperation with the
US in cracking down on all violent terrorist activities.
I am here on a return visit to Secretary Powells visit to China last July.
Since the beginning of this year, our relations have not developed very smoothly.
Fortunately, with the concerted efforts of both sides, they have returned to
the track of normal development and developed further in some areas.
Now China-US relations face another important opportunity for development.
The meeting between President Jiang Zemin and President Bush in Shanghai next
month and President Bushs visit to Beijing will exert a far-reaching impact
on the direction in which our relations will develop. Right now, the two sides
are making every preparation for the meeting between the two Presidents and
President Bushs visit to China. My current visit is in fact part of the
preparation. I note with pleasure that our two sides have both shown the desire
to step up the preparations and strive for success of the meeting and visit.
The development of China-US relations in these years has shown again that there
are no insurmountable barriers between us though we may have differences over
this or that issue. What is most important is to deepen mutual understanding
and build up mutual trust.
To achieve this requires both sides to, first and foremost, discard prejudices
and look at each other objectively.
The development and progress in China in recent years are for all to see.
In the more than twenty years since Chinas reform and opening-up, the
Chinese economy has kept growing at an average annual rate of nine per cent.
The socialist market economy has roughly taken shape, so has the all-directional
In spite of the global economic slow-down, the Chinese economy has, since the
beginning of this year, still maintained a good growth. The growth rate for
the first half of the year was seven point nine per cent and import and export
grew by ten point six per cent over the same period last year. We are taking
measures to promote a sustained and healthy development of the national economy
mainly by stimulating domestic demand.
This year, we have begun to carry out the Tenth Five-Year Plan. We will continue
to advance reform and opening-up, vigorously promote industrial restructuring
and upgrading, speed up the application of information technology to economic
development and actively implement the three strategies of developing Chinas
west, revitalizing China through science and education and seeking a sustainable
development. We will launch a number of historical projects, such as transmitting
gas and power from Chinas west to its east, building the Qinghai-Tibet
railway and improving the ecological environment of the west.
Our objective is to double Chinas GDP in two thousand by twenty ten to
reach two trillion US dollars and generally realize modernization and build
China into an average developed country by the middle of this century. It is
by no means an easy job for a country like China with a large population, a
weak foundation and relatively low levels of production. We have to devote great
efforts into these tasks. Still, we have full confidence in our future.
Reform and opening-up have greatly helped ensure people their rights to subsistence
and development as well as their political rights.
While maintaining social stability and ethnic harmony, China has successfully
lifted over two hundred million rural people out of poverty. The basic needs
for food and shelter of the more than one point two billion people in the country
have been by and large satisfied. About three hundred million people already
enjoy a relatively comfortable life. Never before have the Chinese people enjoyed
so many opportunities for education, employment, social security and medical
China has made major progress in improving democracy and rule of law. Several
hundred million rural people have participated in direct elections at the grass-roots
over the past three years. Many foreign friends including Americans have seen
such elections with their own eyes. In China, people must abide by law and at
the same time they are protected by law. Common people may sue government organs
The Chinese citizens enjoy the freedom to have religious faith and engage in
religious activities in accordance with law. There are over one hundred million
religious believers, eighty-five thousand religious sites, three hundred thousand
religious and clerical staff, three thousand religious groups, and seventy-four
religious schools and colleges.
Minority people in Tibet and other regions have enjoyed full protection of their
religions, languages and customs and habits.
China and the US differ in national conditions. It is nothing strange for the
two countries to have differences over such issues as human rights. In case
of differences, we should try to enhance mutual understanding and expand consensus
through dialogue, instead of seeking confrontation. This is our consistent position.
So long as the principles of respecting each other, treating each other as equals
and seeking common ground while shelving differences are observed, we will be
able to handle the differences properly and expand cooperation.
China and the US will resume inter-governmental dialogues on human rights soon,
in line with the agreement reached by the two sides. We hope that the dialogue
will produce positive results.
We in China are vigorously pushing forward the reunification process in accordance
with the basic principle ofpeaceful reunification and one country, two
Since the reform and opening-up, economic cooperation and trade between the
two sides across the Taiwan Straits have expanded rapidly. At present, their
trade has amounted to over two hundred and four point nine billion us dollars.
The investment that Taiwan has pledged to the mainland totals over fifty billion
US dollars. Over the past ten years and more, there have been twenty million
visits from Taiwan to the mainland. We have proposed an early resumption of
the talks and dialogues between the two sides of the Straits. We hope that the
Taiwan authorities will accept the one China, principle at an ear1y
date so as to create conditions for the resumption of the talks.
There is but one China in the world. But the mainland and Taiwan belong to one
China. Chinas sovereignty and territorial integrity brook no division.
We stand for peaceful reunification. That is to say, we will try to settle the
Taiwan question by peaceful means. Once reunified peaceful1y with the mainland,
Taiwan may retain its own economic system and way of life. It may also manage
its own party, political and military systems. It will enjoy judicial independence
and the power of final adjudication will not go to Beijing. This serves not
only the interests of the Chinese on both sides of the Straits but also all
the people in the world, the Americans included. We are more eager than anyone
else to see the Taiwan question solved peacefully. However, we alone cannot
make it. To achieve a peaceful reunification, we cannot afford to sit by without
doing anything in face of any attempt to split Taiwan from China.
A proper settlement of the Taiwan question holds the key to a smooth development
of China-US relations. We hope that the US side will honor the clear-cut commitments
it has made in the three joint communiqués between China and the United
States, implement the one China policy and support the peaceful reunification
of China. If the US side does this, a major obstacle in the way of developing
China-US relations will be removed and it is good for peace and stability in
the Taiwan Straits region.
The fundamental objective of Chinas foreign policy is to maintain world
peace and promote common development. We pursue an independent foreign policy
of peace. We would like to develop friendly exchanges and mutually beneficial
cooperation with all countries. We should all treat each other as equals.
Having suffered a lot from wars, turmoil, poverty and hunger, China is deeply
aware of the value of peace and stability. The Chinese people love peace and
want peace. All the civilizations and socia1systems in the world should be allowed
to exist side by side on a long-term basis. They should draw upon each others
merits and make up for their deficiencies in the course of competition and comparison,
and achieve common development on the basis of seeking common ground while shelving
Chinas policy of national defense is defensive in nature. Its military
spending is only five per cent of that of the US. The Chinese people know full
well how to use the limited resources rational1y. China has never taken part
in any arms race and will never do so.
The good news of Chinas successful bid for the two thousand and eight
Olympic Games on July thirteenth this year plunged the whole nation, rural or
urban, into jubilation. It has enabled the world to see how an oriental country
with an ancient civilization respects and embraces the Olympic spirit, a common
heritage of mankind. It has also shown the world how a rejuvenating nation longs
for and pursues peace, cooperation and friendship.
We heartily thank all the friends who have supported Beijings bid for
the Olympic Games.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
To enhance mutual understanding and trust also requires both China and the US
to view and develop the common interests of the two countries in a strategic
China and the US are both permanent members of the UN Security Council and nuclear
weapons states. In face of the challenges and opportunities in the new century,
we both shoulder important responsibilities for the future and destiny of the
human race. We should work together with all other countries to turn the twenty-first
century into a century of peace, stability, security and prosperity.
Both China and the US are in favor of necessary reforms to the UN so as to uphold
its authority and ensure its efficiency. Both of us have worked hard to properly
handle regional hotspots and combat transnational crimes. We are glad that our
two countries have lately reached consensus on international cooperation in
the fight against HIV AIDS.
Both China and the US are important countries in the Asia-Pacific. Peace and
prosperity in the Asia-Pacific are where the fundamental interests of our two
countries lie. China welcomes a positive and constructive role by the US in
this region, and is ready to increase cooperation with the US in regional affairs.
We both are major countries in energy and environmental protection. We both
hope to leave our sons and grandsons fresher air, bluer sky and cleaner water.
Closer cooperation in this field will benefit our future generations.
Economic cooperation and trade between our two countries have directly benefited
our two peoples. The US export to China has created four hundred thousand high-salary
posts for the American people, while Chinas export to the US about one
million jobs in China. In the face of new challenges in the global economy,
closer consultations and collaboration between our two countries in the fiscal
and financial areas are particularly important for guarding against regional
financial turmoil and promoting regional economic development.
China will become a member of the WTO. From October the first, China will gradually
relax its control over the prices of one hundred and twenty categories of commodities,
leaving only thirteen categories of goods still under the price control of the
Government. In the coming five Years, Chinas total import is estimated
to reach as high as one point four trillion US dollars. I hope that the US business
community will not let slip such business opportunities.
In October the Ninth APEC Economic Leaders Meeting wi1l be held in Shanghai.
As important members of the APEC, both China and the US are duty bound to strengthen
coordination and cooperation to make the meeting a great success and advance
the cooperation process in the Asia-pacific.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Although China-US relations have experienced many twists and turns since nineteen
seventy-two, considerable progress has been made in a wide range of areas. History
tells us that cooperation benefits both while confrontation hurts both. The
Chinese Government attaches much importance to its relations with the US and
the Chinese people have always cherished friendly feelings towards the American
people. We hope to work together with you to develop a constructive and cooperative
relationship on the basis of the three China-US Joint Communiqués.
Twenty-nine years ago, China and the US opened their door to each other in pursuit
of the common goal. Twenty-nine years later today, we have all the more reasons
for stronger friendly ties and closer cooperation. Let us enhance mutual understanding
and trust and promote a sound growth of China-US relations.