Q: Can you brief us on the outcomes of the just concluded China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue and High-level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange?
A: The 6th round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and the 5th round of China-US High-level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) concluded successfully yesterday. During the two days of Dialogue and Consultation, China and the US had extensive, in-depth and candid exchanges of views on bilateral relations as well as international and regional issues of common interest revolving the topic of pushing forward the building of a new model of major-country relationship between China and the US. Broad consensus has been reached and important and positive progress has been made. Reviewing these two days of Dialogue and Consultation, there are four features.
First, leaders of the two countries place great importance on the S&ED and CPE. For the last one year and more, President Xi Jinping had various forms of contacts and exchanges with President Barack Obama on different occasions. They all believe that both sides should fully utilize the mechanism of the S&ED and CPE to further enhance mutual understanding, mutual trust and cooperation. President Xi Jinping attended and made an important speech at the joint opening ceremony on July 9. Yesterday, President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang met respectively with leading members of the US delegation. In his speech, President Xi Jinping put forward the guiding principles for building a new model of major-country relationship, which include enhancing mutual trust, keeping to the right direction, respecting each other, expanding common ground while narrowing down differences, adhering to equality and mutual benefit, deepening cooperation, putting people first, and consolidating friendship. These principles are believed to play a vital leading role for building a new model of major-country relationship between China and the US.
Second, both sides sent strong delegations. The US delegation comprises 5 cabinet ministers and over 20 senior officials that are above the ministerial level. During the Dialogue and Consultation of the strategic track, economic track and the people-to-people exchange track, dozens of relevant government departments from both sides were present. For each track, dozens of ministerial officials from both sides showed up. All this gives proof to the significance of China-US relationship and the profound convergence of interests between the two countries.
Third, a wide range of topics were covered. To be succinct, the strategic track covered 8 areas, the economic track 3 areas and the people-to-people exchange track 6 areas, almost encompassing all the areas of China-US bilateral relations and major international and regional issues. It highlighted that the dialogue, exchange and cooperation between China and the US is carrying out on 3 levels, namely bilateral, regional and global levels.
Fourth, the outcomes are plenty. More than 300 outcomes were achieved from the Dialogue and Consultation, 116 from the strategic track, 90 from the economic track and 104 from the people-to-people exchange track. Through this round of Dialogue and Consultation, China and the US reaffirmed the general direction of building a new model of major-country relationship, identified the goals of developing bilateral ties, enhanced mutual understanding and got a clearer understanding of each other's strategic intentions. For example, the US stated many times that it welcomes the emergence of a peaceful, stable and prosperous China and has no intention of containing China, or engaging in conflict or confrontation with China. China also briefed the US on its development goals going forward, namely the "two centennial goals", and its commitment to the path of peaceful development in order to realize these goals. Both sides agreed that their interests are profoundly intertwined and both countries enjoy huge cooperation potentials. They also identified key areas for cooperation, including accelerating negotiations on bilateral investment treaty.
Both sides also had candid and in-depth exchanges of views on differences and frictions existing between the two countries, and made it clear to handle and manage them in proper ways. I would like to draw your attention to one point. Previously, when talking about how to handle differences between the two countries, President Xi Jinping came up with "expanding common ground while narrowing down differences". In the past, we talked about "seeking common ground while shelving differences". This time, it is different because we will not just leave these differences hanging there. We want to be more proactive and narrow down differences and reduce disputes. This demonstrates that our attitude is more proactive and constructive when it comes to handling differences.
This round of S&ED and CPE will serve as a new starting point for the improvement and development of China-US relationship. We will follow the instructions of President Xi Jinping to fully implement the outcomes of this round of Dialogue and Consultation, take further steps to enhance communication, dialogue, cooperation and effectively handle and manage differences. This November, President Obama will come to Beijing again for the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting. China welcomes President Obama's visit. Starting right now, both sides should build on the good momentum created by this round of Dialogue and Consultation to deepen coordination and cooperation, lay the groundwork for a successful meeting of Chinese and American leaders in November and move forward the building of a new model of major-country relationship between China and the US.
Q: There are reports that President Xi Jinping will stop by Greece during his trip to Brazil. He will also meet with Greek leaders. Can you brief us on the schedule and topics of such meetings?
A: It is a long flight from China to South America, covering a long distance. Therefore, the plane needs to stop by Greece for technical reasons. During the stop, President Xi Jinping will meet with Greek President and Prime Minister separately.
Q: The foreign ministers' meeting on the Iranian nuclear issue will be held this Friday in Vienna. Will Foreign Minister Wang Yi attend this meeting?
A: From July 2 to 15, the 6th round of talks between the P5+1 and Iran are being held in Vienna, mainly for consultations on how to comprehensively implement relevant agreements on the Iranian nuclear issue. The Chinese delegation is now in Vienna. As to who will attend the foreign ministers' meeting on behalf of China, I have no relevant information right now. China will send an official of appropriate rank to the meeting.