Remarks by Ambassador Cui Tiankai At the 2018 Gala Dinner of the US-China Business Council


December 5th, 2018

Washington D.C.

Let me first of all congratulate the USCBC for your 45th anniversary. The hard work and solid achievements you have made over the years are the manifestation of the commitment, determination and vision of the USCBC and the business community to China-US relations. Let me salute all the members of the USCBC and its successive boards and the chairs. Let me also take this opportunity to congratulate Ambassador Carla Hills, because you're to be honored tonight for your distinguished contribution to the relationship. This is very well deserved. Thank you for your leadership and contribution for so many years.

On such moments when we have anniversaries, we will always think of our pioneers. And this morning, I was at the National Cathedral for the service to celebrate the life and achievements of President George H. W. Bush. President Bush was one of the architects for modern-day China-US relations. And he is so well-known among the Chinese people. These days, an old picture became very popular on China's internet, a picture of President Bush and Barbara riding bicycles in front of Tiananmen. That picture was taken in 1974, one year after the founding of the USCBC. President Bush is so special to the Chinese people, not only because his ties with China started so early, but also because as US president he presided over some of the most difficult periods in our relations and remained committed to constructive engagement and friendship between our two peoples in the long-term interests of our two countries.

Thanks to the long-standing efforts of President Bush and so many others, including people here tonight, China-US relations have made tremendous progress over the decades, bringing about real benefits to our two peoples. The path forward for China-US relations has been illuminated by so many points of light.

However, over the last year or so, many people in both countries have been worried by some recent developments. There are attempts to disengage our two countries. There are attempts to launch a so-called "new Cold War". And there are attempts to start strategic rivalries between our two countries in the name of a so-called "One-Hundred-Year Marathon". These attempts are questioning the achievements we have made together so painstakingly over the years. They are challenging the very outcome of our cooperation and putting at great risks the future of our relations. So many people and institutions including the USCBC and the business communities of both countries are worried and concerned.

Fortunately, as Ambassador Allen just said, President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump had a good meeting in Buenos Aires last Saturday. And as a participant, I can say the meeting was very frank and friendly and was much longer than planned. And the two heads of state have agreed to promote our relations centered on coordination, cooperation and stability. They have also agreed to keep close communication with each other, including by exchange of visits. Going forward, our task is to implement the important agreement between the two presidents. The Chinese team is firmly committed to working intensively with the American team on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit to address real issues and make real progress. We will seize the hour, seize the day.

Very soon we will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and United States. So what we're going to do in the coming weeks and months is not only to achieve the goals for the 90 days, but more importantly, to lay down a more solid foundation for our relations for the next 40 years. The world is undergoing tremendous and fundamental changes. Both our countries are faced with unprecedented opportunities and challenges. Both our countries need to carry out reform,remain open and accomplish economic and social restructuring. Both our peoples have inalienable rights for better life and that aspiration has to be met. That's why we are both part of the community of nations with a shared future.

Of course we're going to solve specific economic and trade issues. But this is not going to be a zero-sum game. We have to aim at win-win outcomes. I believe business communities in both countries need access to market, not barriers, open windows not iron curtains, connectivity not decoupling, integration not fragmentation, and partners not adversaries. Those who are advocating cutting off the supply chain, those who are advocating disintegrating the global market, and decoupling our economies, raising barriers for scientific and technological exchanges,starting a trade war, tariff war, cyber war, cold war, or even hot war, they are behaving in a very irresponsible way. What they're doing is against the historical tide of the world. And they will never succeed.

Let's work together to reject any attempt to squander the achievements we've made together over the last 45 years. Let's work together to build an even stronger foundation for our future relations. When the USCBC celebrates its 50th, 60th and 70th anniversaries, we can say to ourselves that we have done it and, to borrow a favorite phrase of President Bush, our relations will have "ceiling and visibility unlimited."

Thank you!



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