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Wang Yi Attends the Commemoration of the 45th Anniversary of China-U.S. Diplomatic Relations

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On January 5, 2024, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the commemoration of the 45th anniversary of China-U.S. diplomatic relations.

Wang Yi said in his address that January 1 this year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and the United States of America. President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden have exchanged congratulatory letters. President Xi Jinping pointed out in his letter that over the past 45 years, China-U.S. relations have kept moving forward on the whole in spite of ups and downs, and that this has not only improved the well-being of the two peoples, but also contributed to peace, stability and prosperity of the world. Both presidents highlighted their continued commitment to stabilizing and developing China-U.S. relations to the benefit of the two countries and the world as a whole.

Wang Yi pointed out that 45 years ago, with outstanding strategic vision and extraordinary political courage, the elder generation of Chinese and the U.S. leaders, established the one-China principle, thus opening long-shut doors and starting all-round exchanges between the two long-estranged major countries. Through the past 45 years, China-U.S. relations have overcome various difficulties and disruptions, and kept advancing, with the breadth of their cooperation, the depth of their entwined interests, and the magnitude of impact and influence of their relationship reaching unprecedented levels. Plants with strong roots grow well, and efforts in the right way ensure success. Making its way through twists and turns for nearly half a century, the China-U.S. relationship is like a surging river -- much is washed away but the most valuable stays, namely, useful inspirations regarding the fundamentals of their relationship.

First, peace is the most fundamental bedrock of China-U.S. relations. The absence of conflict and confrontation between the two major countries is in itself the most important peace dividend for humanity. Second, cooperation is the right choice for China and the United States to get along with each other. Under the current circumstances, the necessity of cooperation between China and the United States is increasing not decreasing. For the two countries and the world, China-U.S. cooperation is not something dispensable or optional. It is a compulsory question that must be addressed in real earnest. Third, win-win cooperation is the most essential feature of China-U.S. interaction. The nearly 760 billion U.S. dollars of bilateral trade and over 260 billion U.S. dollars of two-way investment between China and the United States tell a lot about their complementarity in economic structure, connectivity in global industrial and supply chains, and the shared interest in common development. Any decoupling attempt to stem the tide will only be counterproductive and self-defeating.

Wang Yi emphasized that today, transformation not seen in a century is unfolding across the world. China-U.S. relationship is the most important and intricate bilateral relationship in the world. How to re-calibrate the direction of the giant ship of China-U.S. relations, steer it clear of hidden rocks and shoals, and guide it through gorges of historical significance is a major subject that we must think about thoroughly and a question we must answer for our times. Last November, President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden had a historic meeting in San Francisco, and created the future-oriented San Francisco vision, charting the course for and adding impetus to the bilateral relationship. The two sides should take San Francisco as a new starting point, make the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation the right way to get along with each other, and truly deliver on the important common understandings reached by the two presidents.

The two sides should uphold mutual respect, with having a right perception of each other as the current priority. Are China and the United States partners or adversaries? This is an overarching question determining where this relationship will be heading. To advance the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through the Chinese path to modernization means that China will take on more responsibility and make greater contribution to world peace and development. China has no intention to displace or lord over anyone, still less to seek hegemony. What China is committed to is building a stable, healthy and sustainable China-U.S. relationship on the basis of mutual respect. We hope that the U.S. side will go easy on itself, and in the spirit of equality and inclusiveness, respect the choice of the Chinese people, respect the development path of China, respect China’s core interests, and respect China’s efforts to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The two sides should ensure peaceful coexistence, with effective management of disagreements as the top priority. China and the United States differ in social system and development path, due to their different histories and cultural traditions. Disagreements should not lead to confrontation, still less willful sanctions, power politics, hegemonism or zero-sum game. What is needed is a vision and unwavering commitment to seeking common ground while shelving differences, and allowing no disagreements or differences to dominate or disrupt the bilateral relationship.

The two sides should uphold win-win cooperation, with mutually beneficial collaboration as the ballast. The two sides must continue to make the most of the mechanisms resumed or established in diplomatic, economic, financial, commercial and agricultural areas. They should build bridges of communication as soon as possible, and pave the way for cooperation. They should remove barriers to exchanges, break false information cocoons, forge closer links between the two peoples, and generate more positive energy for the sound growth of China-U.S. relations. Wang Yi hopes that in the new year both Chinese and Americans with vision and insight from all sectors will come forward with their energy and dynamism and work together to push forward the China-U.S. relationship in the right direction.

Chargé d'Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in China David Meale also addressed the reception. He extended on behalf of the U.S. side congratulations on the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and China, saying that the U.S. side is willing to implement the common understandings reached between the two heads of state and promote the steady development of U.S.-China relations.

The reception was co-hosted by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs, and attended by more than 350 friends from all walks of life of the two countries.