Secretary Hillary Clinton hosted a luncheon at the State Department for the visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden also chimed in as they all affirmed to continue dialog and deal with issues of contention. Overall, I liked the tone they are setting for the on-going conversation between the two nations’ leaders. I’d like to point out a stylistic difference between Biden and Xi. Biden enumerates issues of contention with the American view with sharpness like the knife that cuts through butter. Xi’s speech was more about guidelines on how to approach the issues. For me, on that difference alone, one feels like a vice president and the other a president. I was a bit annoyed at the translator. Xi stated that “human rights can only be improved and no such thing as ‘best’,” and unfortunately this was not translated. Anyways, I am reminded again we ought to get our news more directly from the source whenever possible and not let others interpret for us. Video of their speeches below:
Fulltext of Xi Jinping’s speech is below:
February 15, 2012, local time, Vice President Xi Jinping attended the welcome luncheon hosted by the U.S. friendly groups in Washington D.C. and made a speech.
There were more than 700 representatives attending the luncheon, including CPPCC Vice Chairman Tung Chee-hwa, U.S.-China Business Council President Muhtar Kent, Chair Carla A. Hills of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and the American friends from different communities.
Xi delivered a speech entitled “Working Together to Build a Better Tomorrow for China-U.S. partnership” amid warm applause. Xi first extended sincere greetings and heartfelt thanks to the friendly groups in the United States and the American friends from all walks of life who have long cared for and supported the growth of China-U.S. relations. Xi said that the purpose of his visit is to further implement the important consensus reached by President Hu Jintao and President Barack Obama and drive the growth of a win-win China-U.S. cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. The day before, he had meetings respectively with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and also met with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, House Speaker John Boehner, Senator Reid and other political leaders. The two sides had frank and in-depth discussions on a wide range of issues, reached important consensus and achieved fruitful results cooperation.
Xi said, “when you drink from the well, do not forget those who dug the well.” “We will always cherish the memory of the older generation of leaders of the two countries who opened the door of China-U.S. friendship and cooperation with their extraordinary political vision and outstanding political wisdom. China-U.S. relations experienced ups and downs, but the general trend is moving forward. ‘Green hills can’t block it, and after all, it is flowing eastward.’ Under the conditions that peaceful development has become the theme of the times, China-U.S. friendship and cooperation follows the general trend and represents common aspirations of the people. Such trend is irresistible and irreversible.”
Into the second decade of the century, China-U.S. relations are at a new historical starting point. “We should conscientiously implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state, push for constant new progress in China-U.S. cooperative partnership and strive to shape such partnership into a new type of relations between major powers in the 21st century. We should make joint efforts in the following four aspects.”
First, continue to increase China-U.S. mutual understanding and strategic trust. Strategic mutual trust is the foundation for mutually beneficial cooperation. The stronger the mutual trust is, the greater the room for cooperation is. Both sides should have more understanding and less estrangement, more trust and less suspicion. We are willing to work with the U.S. side to maintain close high-level exchanges, have more dialogues, exchanges and communication through various channels, and further tap the enormous potentials of the mutually beneficial cooperation on the basis of mutual understanding and strategic trust.
Second, respect each other’s core interests and major concerns. History shows that whenever the two countries could properly handle issues relating to the core and major interests of each other, the development of China-U.S. relations was relatively smooth and stable. On the contrary, it would get complicated. China hopes that the U.S. will always abide by the spirit laid down in the three China-U.S. joint communiques and adhere to the one-China policy. China hopes that the United States would honor its commitment of recognizing Tibet as a part of China and opposing Tibetan independence and handle Tibetan issues in a prudent and proper manner. Throughout human history, the development of human rights has always been a course of continuous improvement and enhancement. The two countries can continue to carry out dialogues and exchanges, implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state on respecting each other’s choice of development path from their own national conditions, and further improve the human rights undertakings of the two countries.
Third, strive to deepen the mutually beneficial and win-win pattern of China-U.S. cooperation. The nature of the China-U.S. exchanges and cooperation is to seek mutual benefit and win-win results. China has become the fastest growing export market for the United States. Since the international financial crisis, China has adopted active measures to expand imports. China has put forward a package of cooperation initiatives to promote China-U.S. trade and investment. The two sides should continue to help each other to overcome the current difficulties, boost China-U.S. economic and trade cooperation from higher levels and wider scopes, and constantly create new highlights for the mutually beneficial cooperation.
Fourth, continue to strengthen coordination and cooperation in international affairs and global issues. The world today is undergoing profound and complicated changes. The connotations of China-U.S. cooperative partnership include China and the United States staying together to address challenges and share responsibilities in international affairs, which is also the universal expectation of the international community. The two sides should further strengthen coordination on hot-spot issues through bilateral and multilateral mechanisms and promote cooperation on global issues. The two sides should jointly safeguard world peace and stability, promote common development, and push the international system toward a more equitable, just, inclusive and orderly direction.
Xi hoped that there would be more people from all walks of life joining the cause of friendship between China and the United States. The two sides should follow the momentum, ride the wind and waves, seize opportunities, strengthen exchanges, enhance mutual trust, deepen cooperation, and continuously push forward the China-U.S. partnership.
Bryson delivered a speech at the banquet on behalf of President Obama and Vice President Biden. He spoke highly of the positive role of Vice President Xi’s visit in increasing mutual understanding and cooperation. He said that the United States welcomes China’s peaceful development and is willing to strengthen cooperation with China to jointly meet global challenges. Kissinger said in his speech Vice President Xi’s visit coincides with the 40th anniversary of China and the U.S. opening the door of exchanges and has important implications. The development of U.S.-China relations in the past 4 decades made both sides confident in building a partnership that is beneficial to the United States, China and the world through concerted efforts and deepening cooperation.