Continue Dialogue and Cooperation to Jointly Promote a Healthy and Steady China-U.S.
Consul General Wang Donghua Publishes a Signed Article on San Francisco Examiner
October 1 2020
October 1, 2020, is China’s National Day, the 71st birthday of our great motherland. Over the past 71 years, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese people have created an unprecedented development miracle in human history and completely changed the fate and future of the Chinese nation. Despite the severe impact of COVID-19, we will achieve our goals, within the set time frame by the end of this year, of completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and lifting out of poverty all rural residents living below the current poverty line, and meet the poverty eradication target set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development ten years ahead of schedule. These are not only great achievements for China, but also great progress for human society, and a great contribution to world peace and development.
The world is undergoing profound changes never seen in a century, and China’s development has entered a new era. Human society is full of opportunities and hopes, as well as variables and challenges. Where would China go? Where would the world go? How does a growing China get along with the world? How should China and the United States, the top two economies in the world, get along with each other, and where do we want the bilateral relationship to go? These questions are the common concerns of the international community, including our US friends. I would like to take this opportunity to share my views with you. The world is changing, so are China and the US, we must remain calm and sober amidst all the changes, see and read what remains unchanged, and work together to advance the healthy and steady development of China-U.S. relations and promote peace and prosperity of the world.
The fundamental goal of China’s development remains unchanged. The original aspiration and the mission of the Communist Party of China are to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation. We have a grand yet simple goal, which is to enable all our people live a better life. What we now face is the contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life. All policies and measures adopted by China, including promoting high-quality economic development, pushing ahead with modernization of the country’s governing system and capabilities, fighting against poverty, enhancing ecological progress, deepening reform and opening-up across the board, and deepening the self-reform of the Communist Party of China, are all designed to respond to the main challenges China faces and meet Chinese people’s need for a better life.
China’s strategy of peaceful development remains unchanged. The Chinese nation loves peace. Pursuing peaceful development is a natural choice the Chinese people have made after having suffered so much in modern times, and it is a strategic choice China has made in keeping with the development trend of the times and its fundamental interests. China will never follow the beaten track of big powers in seeking hegemony. China is firmly committed to peaceful development and hopes that all countries in the world will do likewise, so as to build a community with a shared future for mankind. As President Xi Jinping pointed out at the General Debate of the 75th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on September 22, 2020, China is the largest developing country in the world, a country that is committed to peaceful, open, cooperative and common development. We will never seek hegemony, expansion, or sphere of influence. We have no intention to fight either a Cold War or a hot war with any country. We will continue to narrow differences and resolve disputes with others through dialogue and negotiation. We do not seek to develop only ourselves or engage in a zero-sum game. We will not pursue development behind closed doors. Rather, we aim to foster, over time, a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other. This will create more space for China’s economic development and add impetus to global economic recovery and growth.
The trend of the times, towards peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit remains unchanged. We are living in an interconnected global village with a common stake. Countries are becoming a close-knit community of shared interests and future. The world will never return to isolation, and no one can sever the ties between countries. The world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic as it goes through momentous changes of a scale unseen in a century. All countries are facing severe challenges. Yet, people everywhere crave even more strongly for peace, development, and win-win cooperation. We should not dodge the challenges of economic globalization. Instead, we must face up to and address major issues such as the wealth gap and the development divide so as to ensure full and balanced development that delivers benefit to people from all countries, sectors, and backgrounds in an equitable way. COVID-19 reminds us that no country can gain from others’ difficulties or maintain security by taking advantage of others’ troubles. To pursue a beggar-thy-neighbor policy or just watch from a safe distance when others are in danger will eventually land one in the same trouble as others are in. Cold War mentality, ideological lines or zero-sum game are no solution to a country’s own problem, still less an answer to mankind’s common challenges. COVID-19 will not be the last crisis to confront humanity, so we must join hands in response to even more global challenges.
China’s policy towards the US and its strategic orientation remain unchanged. China is the world’s biggest developing country while the US is the biggest developed one. The relations between China and the US are among the most important bilateral relationships in the world. We are partners and friends, not rivals or enemies. China never intends to challenge or replace the US, nor will it achieve its own development at the expense of American interests. The economies of the two countries are highly complementary. The combination of US capital and technology with China’s market and labor has created huge wealth, which benefits both sides. Last year, the trade volume between China and the US reached US$540 billion, with 5.2 million personnel exchanges. There are about 420,000 Chinese students studying in the US, and 20,000 US students studying in China. Two-way investment between the two countries has exceeded US$240 billion in accumulative terms. There are more than 70,000 US companies operating in China, making sales revenue of over US$700 billion each year. We also have more than 270 sister-states or sister-cities. If China and the US were enemies or rivals, how could these basic facts be explained? How could enemies have such a close relationship? It is true that as China’s strength grows, its ability to defend its sovereignty, security, and development interests is further enhanced. But this does not mean that China will use its increased strength to invade and expand abroad or change the existing international order. Both China and the US are great countries with great people. However, if the two countries miscalculate each other’s strategic intentions, they may deepen their misunderstandings, which will lead to spiraling escalation of tensions, leaving both countries unconsciously in a security dilemma. That would be disastrous for both sides. Therefore, we must find ways to deepen our mutual understanding, increase mutual trust, and try to be friends rather than rivals.
The mutually beneficial and win-win nature of China-U.S. cooperation remains unchanged. The history of the 41-years diplomatic relations between China and the US has repeatedly proved that cooperation between the two countries can accomplish many great things. In 2008, China, the US and other countries joined hands in responding to the international financial crisis. In 2014, China and the US worked together in fighting the Ebola epidemic in Africa. In 2016, China and the US made joint contribution to the conclusion of the Paris Agreement on climate change. The two sides have maintained close coordination and cooperation on regional hotspot issues such as the Korean Peninsula, Afghanistan, and the Middle East, and assisted other countries in strengthening capacity building, including the tripartite cooperation on food security in East Timor. We always support direct and candid exchanges at all levels and in all fields between our two sides, and actively promote mutual interests through cooperation. Take the fentanyl issue as an example. China has implemented the consensus reached by the two presidents and formally regulated the entire category of fentanyl substances in May last year. According to the report from the US side, since October last year, the US has not seized any fentanyl substances from China. Another example is the economic and trade issue. After 13 rounds of negotiations, the two sides signed the Phase One trade agreement in January this year. This agreement benefits both China and the United States as well as the world. China has completed all 50 items including protection of intellectual property, which should be implemented within 4 months after the agreement became effective. During the first half of this year, the total value of Chinese imports from the US reached US$56.4 billion, of which the amount of imported agricultural products increased by 56% year-on-year, grain import increased by 22 times, meat import increased by 6 times, and soybeans import increased by 58%, much higher than China’s imports increase from the world during the same period. These facts have fully demonstrated China’s goodwill. Although international trade is facing huge challenges as a result of the pandemic, China is willing to continue to import more products from the US, including the agricultural products from our consular district.
China’s willingness to manage differences with the US through dialogues remains unchanged. China and the US are different in terms of national conditions, history, culture, and ideology. We have different views on many issues, but our differences have not become an obstacle to China-U.S. cooperation, nor does it mean that China and the US must fall into a confrontation. Many issues between China and the US are historical and structural, and not easy to resolve within a short time. But we can at least listen to each other more and try to find some ways to control the differences. Microphone diplomacy and imposing pressure and sanctions may work on other countries, but not on China. Some in the US have asserted that “dialogue with China is useless”. I cannot agree with it. How can we solve problems without communication? Communication may not solve all problems, but at least it can manage differences, prevent the situation from getting out of control, and accumulate understanding and consensus necessary for the ultimate solution. We stand ready to grow China-U.S. relations with goodwill and sincerity, as we believe that it will be beneficial to the well-being of our two peoples and conductive to the future of the entire world if we could reserve the trend of escalating tensions and bring the China-U.S. relations back to normal.
The profound friendship between the people of China and the US remains unchanged. People-to-people relations underpin state-to-state relations. More than two centuries ago, Empress of China, a U.S. merchant ship loaded with various products, sailed across vast oceans to the shores of China, pioneering China-U.S. exchanges. Since then, the stories of friendly exchanges between the two peoples have never stopped. Our cooperation in fighting against the pandemic is a vivid example of friendship and mutual assistance of the two peoples in the face of the crisis. After the outbreak of COVID-19 in China at the beginning of this year, many US companies and individuals donated a large number of medical supplies to China. Their sincerity and friendship really moved us. At the height of the pandemic in the US, Chinese provinces, cities, organizations, and enterprises, in return, have also donated and exported many PPEs and supplies to the US, supporting the combat against the pandemic in this country. Statistics show that since March this year, China has exported nearly 30 billion pieces of masks, more than 600 million pairs of surgical gloves, more than 300 million sets of protective clothing, more than 30 million pairs of goggles, and more than 10,000 ventilators to the US. Although the China-U.S. relationship is having a difficult time, the two peoples have joined hands in combating COVID-19, and our friendship has once again withstood the test.
Although the international situation is undergoing profound changes, China’s desire to cooperate with all countries in the world, including the US, to build a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for humanity remains unchanged. The Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco wishes to continue to work with the government and people of Northern California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska in our consular area, to further expand exchanges and cooperation, enhance mutual understanding and consolidate the foundation of friendship between the two countries. I would like to express sincere gratitude to the friends from all walks of life in our consular district, for your unreserved support for the work of the Consulate, and your contributions to promoting China-U.S. friendship as well as the exchanges and cooperation in various fields between the two countries. We hope that all our friends will continue to care for and support China-U.S. relations, and work together to bring the bilateral relations back on the track of sound and steady development. It is worth noting that the Mid-Autumn Festival of this year falls on October 1st, the same day as China National Day. As the Mid-Autumn Festival is a time for family reunion, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you and your family a happy and blissful holiday!