Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi delivers a speech at the center for strategic & international studies (CSIS) in Washington, the United States of America on March 12, 2009. (Xinhua/Zhang Yan)
Visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Washington on Thursday, March 12 laid out the strategic foundations for China and the United States for further bilateral relationship for the 21st century.
Addressing a luncheon meeting at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Chinese minister first reflected the remarkable achievements made in China-U.S. relations since the two countries established diplomatic ties 30 years ago.
"A review of the past gives me a lot of food for thought. The tremendous progress of China-U.S. relations goes well beyond what those who were most optimistic about this relationship 30 years ago have ever expected," he said at the think tank in downtown Washington D.C..
"People want to know, in the 21st century when mankind faces major opportunities and challenges, what is the strategic foundation of China-U.S. relations. This is a question that I often ask myself too," he said.
First, the minister believed, the strategic foundation of China-U.S. relations lies in their major and unique responsibility of maintaining world peace and stability.
As permanent members of the UN Security Council and as the world's largest developing country and largest developed one respectively, he said, China and the United States have maintained close consultation, coordination and mutually beneficial cooperation in many international affairs.
Both sides have worked together to manage complicated and tough regional hotspot issues, fight terrorism, proliferation and transnational crimes, meet global challenges such as climate change, energy and the environment and undertake necessary reform in the international system based on justice and equity.
"One can hardly find an area where China-U.S. cooperation is not needed. Comprehensive cooperation in the global sphere has tied our two countries and peoples to each other," Yang said.
Second, according to the minister, the strategic foundation of China-U.S. relations lies in their ever expanding common interests in promoting sustainable economic development in the world.
"We live in a world where countries are more interdependent with their interests more closely interconnected than at any time in history," he said. "At a time when the international financial crisis continues to spread and develop, the primary common interest of China and the United States is to weather the storm together like passengers in the same boat and support each other to get through the tough times and emerge from the crisis victorious."
"Even when the train of world economy drives into fairly smooth areas one day," he continued, "there will still be the need for China and the United States, the two big engines, to jointly push it forward on a continuous basis."
Third, the strategic foundation of China-U.S. relations lies in the long-standing friendship and mutual-learning between the two peoples, Minister Yang believed.
He said the two peoples cherish a keen interest in each other's diverse culture and a strong wish to know each other better, adding that social and cultural exchanges between the two countries are becoming increasingly dynamic and intensive.
The minister said that facing profound changes in the international landscape and mounting global challenges, China and the United States have a new historic opportunity for the development of their relations with greater responsibilities for world peace and stability and more common interests and broader prospects for cooperation.
"Gone should be the days when countries competed at the expense of each other's interests under a zero-sum mentality because those who preach such a competition approach and model are bound to be the biggest losers today," he said.
"China and the United States should and can set an example in achieving win-win progress and making greater joint efforts for an even better world," he added.
Yang is here on a five-day working visit as a guest of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.