Mao Zhaoxu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I’m sorry that I can only take these five minutes of tea break to hold a briefing for you. Time is very tight. I am going to introduce the strategic part of the second round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (SED) to you.
This morning, two special representatives, i.e. US State Secretary Hillary Clinton and State Councilor Dai Bingguo jointly attended the opening ceremony. The two sides held a small-scale meeting first and then the first round of large-scale meeting this afternoon. The special representatives of China and the US both reviewed all previous strategic dialogues.
The theme of the first round of large-scale meeting which just ended is to promote China-US relations in the new era. There are five topics: first, bilateral economic and trade relations; second, health cooperation; third, customs cooperation; fourth, cooperation on energy, environment and climate change; fifth, military relations.
Both sides reviewed their cooperation in various fields and raised thoughts and suggestions on the next step of cooperation during the first round of large-scale meeting. They exchanged in-depth views sincerely on how to further advance China-US relations in the new century. I may sum up the consensuses reached by the two sides as follows.
Against the background of major changes and major adjustments in the international situation, China and the US, as the largest developing and developed countries in the world, share increasing common interest. At the same time, they face more and more common challenges and shoulder more and more common responsibilities. Therefore, to maintain and develop sound relations between the two countries is more important than ever for both countries and the world at large.
I quote the word of State Councilor Dai Bingguo that “neither country will be exactly comfortable without the other. The bilateral cooperation is mutually beneficial.” As to how to push forward China-US relations in the new century, the Chinese side believes there are seven key points.
First, both countries should faithfully implement the important consensuses reached by their heads of state, remain committed to building the positive, cooperative and all-round China-US relations in the 21st century and take tangible actions to steadily develop the partnership of coping with common challenges.
Second, the three China-US Joint Communiqués and the China-US Joint Statement are basic principles of developing China-US relations which must be observed and effectively implemented by both sides.
Third, it is hoped that the US side respects China’s core interest and major concerns and in particular handles the Taiwan, Tibet and other sensitive issues properly.
Fourth, both sides should continue to deepen exchanges and cooperation in the fields of trade, economy, energy, environment, anti-terrorism, non-proliferation, law enforcement, science and education, agriculture, health and quarantine and actively explore new cooperation areas, including the high-speed railway, infrastructure construction, civil aviation and space exploration. China and the US should make joint efforts to expand the bilateral cooperation.
Fifth, China and the US should strengthen coordination on the macro financial and economic policies in the post-financial crisis era, maintain communications and coordination on the major international and regional issues and enhance consultations and coordination on the system-building of G20, reform of international financial institutions, climate change and other global issues.
Sixth, it is important to steadily push forward the bilateral exchanges of legislatures, parties, academic institutions and youth between the two countries and at local level as well, carefully implement the cultural and educational exchange mechanism and the cooperation program of students abroad and increase the mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.
Seventh, it is necessary to build a media environment favorable to the development of China-US relations in the new era. State Councilor Dai Bingguo quoted an old Chinese saying that “trust is the ultimate goal of exchanges between neighboring countries”. With the joint efforts of both sides, China and the US will definitely establish the new type of country-to-country relations featured by long-term stability, mutual trust and sustainable development.
In the interest of time, I will answer two questions.
Reporter: Have China and the US discussed the Korean Peninsula issue? In addition, the US requests China to participate in the international action to address the Tian An incident and asks the UN Security Council to take action as well. What is the response of the Chinese side?
Ma: the China-US SED is a platform for both sides to conduct dialogue at the strategic level. They mainly exchange views on the long-term, strategic issues and issues with overall importance in the bilateral relations.
The dialogue will also touch major international and regional issues. As to the Korean Peninsula situation and the Tian An incident, the Chinese side has made clear its position in a timely manner. As a close neighbor of the Peninsula, China pays close attention to the incident and its latest development. China is always committed to maintaining pace and stability in Northeast Asia and on the Korean Peninsula and promoting the six-party talks and the denuclearization process on the Peninsula.
We hope that all parties stay calm, exercise restraint, properly handle relevant issues and prevent the escalation of tensions. We uphold to treat and handle the international and regional situations fairly and objectively. I believe the Tian An incident should be handled in this basic spirit.
CCTV Financial Channel reporter: I’ve noticed there are two major backgrounds for the SED. One is the European debt crisis and the other is Iranian and other regional issues. My question is how should China and the US jointly cope with those challenges? How do you define China-US relations in the new era and against the new background? Thank you.
Ma: the heads of state of China and the US reached multiple consensuses on jointly building the positive, cooperative and all-round bilateral relations in the 21st century, which I believe points out clearly the direction of bilateral relations in the new era. China-US relationship is one of the most important bilateral relations in the world. We hope and are willing to make joint efforts with the US to further promote the development of bilateral ties on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
As two big powers in the world, China and the US shoulder many common responsibilities and need to cooperate with each other to tackle international and global challenges and issues. The two sides will exchange in-depth views in a frank manner on the major international issues of common concern at the second round of large-scale meeting very soon. I will go back to continue to attend the dialogue and then come to meet you again.