It is an honor to greet the American and Chinese delegations to the sixth round of the United States-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED). I want to thank President Xi, Vice Premier Wang, State Councilor Yang, and the entire Chinese delegation for hosting this year’s S&ED and for their warm reception of the American delegation.
This year marks a special milestone in the U.S.-China relationship—it is the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between our two great nations. Today, instead of living detached from each other as we did 35 years ago, the United States and China embrace the benefits of strengthening ties and acknowledge the growing interdependence of our economic destinies. This anniversary provides an opportunity to take stock of the deepening exchanges between our two peoples, the range of cooperation between our two countries on shared security and economic challenges, and dealing forthrightly with our differences. It is also an opportunity for the United States and China to reaffirm our commitment to working jointly to build a positive, more secure, and prosperous future for all our citizens.
As the premier mechanism for dialogue between the United States and China, the S&ED offers us a chance annually to exchange views on a diverse range of bilateral, regional, and global challenges critical to both our countries. Building on the accomplishments of the previous five rounds of the S&ED, this year’s dialogue promises to further advance our cooperative efforts to identify solutions to problems that no country can address on its own. Our efforts to promote economic prosperity, cooperation in Asia, energy security, and security in cyberspace, including at the G-20, APEC, and the Nuclear Security Summit, have a significant and positive impact for our citizens and for the broader international community.
The United States welcomes the emergence of a stable, peaceful, and prosperous China. We are committed to the shared goal of developing over time a “new model” of relations with China defined by increased practical cooperation and constructive management of differences. We should use the S&ED to demonstrate to the world that—even in a relationship as complex as ours—we remain determined to ensure that cooperation defines the overall relationship.
President Xi and I have worked hard, including in meetings at Sunnylands, St. Petersburg, and The Hague, and in communications between meetings, to make sure that our relationship is stable, resilient, and delivering results for our peoples.
We have significantly enhanced our cooperation on climate change in the past year, including through our commitment to phase down hydrofluorocarbons, the launch of five initiatives under the U.S.-China Climate Change Working Group, and our policy dialogue on the international climate negotiations. Over the past year we also found new ways to collaborate on shared energy security and sustainability interests, ranging from advancing the safe development of shale gas and renewable technologies to initiating a G-20 fossil fuel subsidy peer review and enhancing our ability to respond to oil market emergencies. On regional security issues, we are working to realize an international solution to Iran’s nuclear program, just as we are working together to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and to bolster political stability and economic revitalization in Afghanistan. And on economic issues, we are working to establish a level, competitive playing field for our firms that is based on internationally agreed upon rules of the road on trade, investment, intellectual property, and cybersecurity. I look forward to addressing all of these issues with President Xi when I visit Beijing for APEC in November. That trip will be my second visit to China, and I can think of no better time to advance our relationship than when we are celebrating our 35th anniversary.
The United States and China will not always see eye-to-eye on every issue. That is to be expected for two nations with different histories and cultures. It also is why we need to build our relationship around common challenges, mutual responsibilities, and shared interests, even while we candidly address our differences. From my meetings with President Xi, to the S&ED meetings you will be holding over the next two days, to the growing number of student exchanges supported by organizations like the 100,000 Strong Foundation, all of these interactions underscore the promise of a resilient and cooperative United States-China relationship.