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Ambassador Wu Xi's Remarks at the Panel Discussion of Diplosphere
2020/11/12

China-US Relations: Cooperation, Building Consensus and Dialogue

9 November 2020

Hon. Tim Groser,

Ms. Nikkhou-O’Brien

Distinguished Panelists, Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon.

I am very pleased to be invited by Diplosphere to address such a distinguished audience this afternoon. Today’s topic is China’s relationship with the United States. But as foreign policy is the extension of domestic policy, I’d like to start from what’s happening in China now.

First of all, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and by joint efforts of the Chinese people, China has brought the COVID-19 pandemic under control. Community transmission has been basically eliminated. China’s economy and social life have resumed and are back in full swing. The GDP increased 4.9% during the 3rd quarter, following 3.2% growth in the 2nd quarter.

This year, China has completed the 13th Five Year Plan and will soon finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. We are on track to build a modern socialist country. Recently, the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and a Long-Range Objective to the Year 2035 have been promulgated in the 5th Plenum of the 19th Communist Party of China Central Committee.

According to this blueprint, China will promote high-quality development, focusing on supply-side structural reform, and harness reform and innovation as the basic driving force in our economy and society. China will accelerate the construction of a modern economic system by establishing a "dual circulation" development pattern. This means the domestic economic cycle plays a leading role while the international economic cycle remains its extension and supplement. We will modernize our national governance system and capability, so as to realize long-term economic stability, security and social harmony.

China will continue to reform and open up. We will keep our doors even wider, push for more market access, improve business environment, and strengthen foreign trade in an innovative way. Last week, the 3rd China International Import Expo (CIIE) was held in Shanghai. NZ has a large presentation. President Xi announced new measures for furthering China's opening-up during the opening, and he pointed out that the aim is to turn China's market into a market for the world, a market shared by all, and a market accessible to all. The Expo fully demonstrates China's sincere desire to share its market opportunities with the world and contribute to global economic recovery.

In order to achieve our goals in the next five years and beyond, China will continue to follow the path of peaceful development. We are working to foster a new type of international relations, featuring mutual respect and win-win cooperation. As a staunch defender of the international order and the international system, China is committed to multilateralism and global governance. We would like to work with all the countries in the world to build an international community with the vision of a shared future for mankind.

As the largest developing country and the largest developed country, China and the US shoulder great responsibilities for global peace and development. Sustaining and advancing a healthy and stable China-US relationship is in line with the fundamental interests of the two peoples and the broad-based expectations of the international community.

It is natural for countries to pursue their own national interests. But that should not be at the expense of other countries, nor should it be at the expense of the international community. We are strongly opposed to unilateral trade war against China, shifting blames on China for one’s own faults at COVID-19 prevention and control, using state power to bully Chinese companies such as Huawei, Tiktok, Weichat and so on, in order to gain advantages for one’s own industries. Issues of Taiwan, Xinjiang and Hong Kong concern China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will resolutely defend our core interests and will never allow any country to interfere in China’s internal affairs.

Despite the difficulties, China's policy toward China-US relations is clear and consistent. Despite of disagreements between the two countries, there are broad common interests and space for cooperation. We always believe that China and the US stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. Now, more than ever, China and US need Cooperation, Building consensus and Dialogue. I call it CBD.

For cooperation, We need to identify areas where China and the US need to and can work together. COVID-19 is the biggest challenge we face at the moment. Instead of blaming China for their own poor response, the US should work with China and other countries to build a community of common health for mankind. The US should also stop the senseless talk of decoupling of economy and work with China to promote global recovery by maintaining the global supply chain security. There are also many other areas China and the US can work together, such as climate change, cyber security and other global issues.

For building consensus, China and US need to fully respect each other’s core interests and different choice of development paths, steer clear of each other’s bottom lines, and avoid confrontation. Socialism with Chinese characteristic is the choice of 1.4 billion Chinese people. It is the strong resolve of the Chinese people to defend China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. No one in the US should have the illusion to undermine China’s political system and China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

For dialogue, the US must abandon its Cold War mentality and the misguided zero-sum game approach. The two countries need to engage in dialogue and communication in all areas. China is always open to dialogue and communication with the US. The two sides should enhance cooperation through communication, manage and control differences through dialogue.

We hope the new US administration will meet the Chinese side half way to focus on cooperation and manage differences based on the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect, and mutually beneficial cooperation, moving forward the bilateral relations along the right track.

The international community is like a big family. Family members should never force others to choose side. If there is a side to choose, let’s choose the right side of the history. It is the right side of the history to safeguard world peace and development, to embrace globalization and free trade. It is the right side of the history for us to shelve differences borne of ideology and social system, treat each other as partners instead of imaginary enemies, and to allow every nation to prosper along the path their people have chosen. It is the right side of the history to work together to improve global governance so that the world is more resilient against common challenges such as climate change, pandemics and natural disasters. We should see ourselves as one community with a single shared future.

China and New Zealand have created many Firsts in our bilateral relations. I am confident that with the leadership of Prime Minister Ardern and the new government, China and the NZ will work more closely to create new Firsts in our cooperation and to bring more tangible benefits to the people of our two countries.

Thank you!

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