Remarks by Ambassador Cui Tiankai at the Screening of the
Historical Document Mr.Deng Goes to Washington


The Honorable Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski,

Ambassador Stuart Holliday,

Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentleman,

Good evening. It's my great pleasure to join all of you for the screening of this historical documentary Mr. Deng Goes to Washington. I am delighted to see so many old friends here tonight. Many of you helped to make it possible for Mr. Deng's visit to take place and succeed. I also wish to pay special tribute to Dr. Brzezinski, who together with Mr. Deng and President Carter, displayed such vision and courage in normalizing relations between our two great countries. Together, you made history. And indeed, how timely and appropriate it is today that after a most unusual political season, people should turn back to history to be inspired anew and let the past help us better understand the present.

What are the inspirations that we should draw from history to guide us in moving this relationship forward and making it stronger in today's world? I would suggest the following:

First, we have to build consensus and identify common ground. The door for China-U.S. exchange was reopened during a Republican administration when President Richard Nixon made his historic visit to China in 1972. In 1979, a Democratic White House under President Carter formally established diplomatic ties with China. In the course of the last four decades, the policy for strong and stable ties with China has become a bipartisan consensus in the United States. Between our two countries, successive leaders in China and eight presidents from both parties in the United States have all committed themselves to the development of this relationship.

Forty years ago, we were brought together by the common need to push back expansionism. Today we are still working together against some serious threats, including terrorism, proliferation of weapon of mass destruction, natural disasters and infectious diseases. But our common interests have grown so extensively over the years that we are now working together FOR so many thing, rather than just AGAINST something. We both want stability in the world. We both strive for a stronger global economy. We both need a better natural environment. We share the responsibility to enhance and improve global governance and world order. Most importantly, we are both making great efforts at home to undertake economic and social restructuring to give our people a better future.

Such mutual needs and common goals clearly call for a close partnership between us. Both will be more capable of responding to the domestic and external challenges if the two countries join hands and cooperate with each other.

Second, continuity. When Mr. Deng visited the U.S. in 1979, ties between China and the United States were limited in many ways. Thanks to the joint efforts by both sides, we are communicating and cooperating with each other today in so many areas and at various levels. Such positive interaction should continue no matter how government changes. Over the years we have developed effective formats for our leaders to carry out strategic dialogue. ( By the way, President Xi Jinping is expected to meet President Barrack Obama again in two days, in Lima on the occasion of APEC leaders meeting. And last Sunday, President Xi and President-elect Trump had a very good and friendly phone conversation. Both of them reaffirmed the need to build a stronger and more stable relationship.) This kind of high-level dialogues should continue. We have cultivated a culture of broadening cooperation and managing differences between us in a constructive manner. This should also continue. We have set up over one hundred mechanisms for dialogue and coordination on bilateral and international issues. Some of them may need improvement. Some others may have to be updated. But on the whole they should continue. We have also made good progress in military-to-military relations and people-to-people exchanges. These ties should continue and be strengthened. All in all, the positive momentum we have built together in the last four decades or so should be maintained and further enhanced.

Third, creativeness. We are now living in a world of extraordinary change. New issues come up literally everyday. While we should make best use of our achievements so far, we also need to work more creatively to explore new areas, blaze new paths and open new horizons for future development of our relations. Both our countries are now faced with tremendous task of reform and restructuring. On the international scene, so many challenges are calling for China-U.S. joint efforts. More fundamentally, our two countries have to show to the world that China and the United States will be able to overcome the trap of great power rivalry and become good partners in the 21st century. We should turn these challenges into opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation. And we have to prove that we both have the vision, courage, wisdom and creativeness to do it.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Mr. Deng's nine-day trip was a great success story for both of us. The picture of Mr. Deng putting on a cowboy hat at a Texas Rodeo has become a symbol of China-U.S. friendship. Going forward, I firmly believe that with our joint efforts, we will continue to tell great success stories, carry on our great cooperation and build an even greater future together.

Thank you!


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