Remarks by Ambassador Cui Tiankai At the Screening of Documentary Survival in Shanghai and the Reception in Celebration of 25th Anniversary of Establishment of the Diplomatic Relations between China and Israel


Ambassador Dermer,

Distinguish members of Congress,

Ladies and Gentleman,

It's my great pleasure and privilege to join you on Capitol Hill to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Israel, as well as the bond between the Chinese and Jewish people in a much longer history. The documentary "Survival in Shanghai" tells a touching part of history about that bond. It shows us the profound friendship between two great peoples during a savaging war, a dark time in human history, yet a celebrating moment of humanity.

Few places in the world were immune from the scourge of WWII. Yet, against all odds, Shanghai became a safe haven for many Jewish families. I am so proud of my hometown for saving innocent lives and building a great friendship between Chinese and Jewish people. That friendship has transcended geographical distance and ups-and-downs of history, and is still cherished by us today.

While we have the opportunity to look back and revisit that part of history, there are lessons to be learned and spirits to be carried on.

First, the preciousness of peace. WWII brought untold sufferings to ordinary people all over the world. The hard-earned peace we enjoy today should be preserved and defended. Nations may have differences on some issues, but people of all countries clearly share a common aspiration to safeguard the world against the scourge of another global war.

Second, the value of benevolence. While the Chinese people helped the Jews when facing great difficulties and grave danger themselves, Jewish people always reciprocate by giving us their good wish and understanding. This shows that benevolence is a shared value deeply-rooted in both Chinese and Jewish cultures. This has brought our two peoples closer to each other. Today, we're witnessing too much hatred, mistrust and extremism in the world. The value of benevolence is something we should uphold and bring to the world together.

Third, the friendship among peoples. China-Israel relationship has made remarkable progress in the past 25 years. One of the pillars of this great relationship is the strong people-to-people friendship that has withstood the test of history. It proves once again that friendship among peoples is the very foundation of all the great relationships between countries, whether they are close neighbors to each other, or on the two sides of the biggest continent or the widest ocean.

Today's world is going though profound changes. We are faced with numerous global challenges that no country can confront single-handed. Standing at this crossroads, we should bear in mind all these lessons of history: benevolence, the friendship among peoples and the pursuit of peace. What we have learned from the past will help us to make the right choices for the future. The strong ties that we have built over the decades should enable us to form a good partnership between China and Israel, among China, Israel and the United States, and among all members of the international community, to protect world peace, promote global prosperity and bring a better life for all.

In 10 days time, a new US administration will be sworn in on the other side of the Capitol Hill. It reminds us of another important piece of history that is related to Shanghai--the Shanghai Communique between China and the United States. It is the first of the three joint communiques between China and the United States that form the political foundation of China-US relations. We will celebrate its 45th anniversary next month. We are deeply grateful to the pioneers of both countries for formulating the basic principles for the relationship. These principles enabled the two countries to reestablish relations after two decades of almost no ties at all. Thanks to these principles, China-US relations have grown stronger and more resilient over the last 4 decades or so, through eight presidents of both parties in the United States and successive leaderships in China, and through fundamental changes in the world.

Going forward, a firm commitment to these principles will guide us through all possible ups and downs to avoid conflict and confrontation, enhance mutual understanding and mutual respect, and expand our cooperation for mutual benefit and for the larger interests of the world community. Above all, peace and well being for our people should be the ultimate goal of relations between any countries, including between China and Israel and between China and the United States.

Thank you.


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