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Promoting China-US Partnership through Mutual Respect and Win-win Cooperation
——On the 40th Anniversary of US President Nixon’s Visit to China and the Issuance of the Shanghai Communiqué
2012-03-18

Yang Jiechi

I

This year marks the 40th anniversary of US President Richard Nixon's visit to China and the issuance of the Shanghai Communiqué. Forty years ago, Chairman Mao Zedong, Premier Zhou Enlai, President Nixon and Dr. Henry Kissinger - the older generation of Chinese and US leaders, bearing in mind the fundamental interest of people of both countries and with extraordinary strategic insight and political courage, made the strategic decision of re-opening the door of exchanges between the two countries. China and the US shook hands across the vast Pacific and opened a new chapter in the bilateral relations, which exerted positive and far-reaching influence upon the development of both countries and changed the entire world as well.

The Shanghai Communiqué is significant because it establishes the basic guiding principles of the bilateral relations, including one-China, mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, peaceful coexistence and noninterference in each other's internal affairs. Those principles have been further confirmed in the subsequent Joint Communiqué of the United States of America and the People's Republic of China and the August 17 ​​Communiqué and laid the political foundation for the development of China-US relations.

Over the past forty years, thanks to the joint efforts of both sides and the important role of the three China-US joint communiqués, including the Shanghai Communiqué and the three bilateral joint statements, China-US relations have advanced and the door of bilateral exchanges and cooperation has been opened wider despite of twists and turns on the journey foward.

In the 1970s, Comrade Deng Xiaoping, taking a broad and long-term perspective, pushed China and the US to officially establish diplomatic ties on January 1, 1979 and paid a historic visit to the US, which opened a new era of China-US relations and created a favorable external environment for China's reform and opening up.

At the crucial historical juncture of the turn of the century, the third generation of Chinese collective leadership with Comrade Jiang Zemin at the core sized up the situation, calmly dealt with the major changes in the international situation, held onto the forward direction of China-US relations and brought a China-US relationship with sustained development and vibrant vigor into the 21st century.

The CPC Central Committee with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary has responded to the call of the times, adhered to the road of peaceful development and the mutually beneficial and win-win strategy of opening up and worked with the US leaders to advance the bilateral dialogue, exchanges and cooperation in all fields and promote the steady growth of the positive, cooperative and comprehensive China-US relations. In January 2011, President Hu visited the US and reached the important consensus with President Obama on jointly building the China-US cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit which pointed out the direction of bilateral relations in the new epoch.

Not long ago, Vice President Xi Jinping paid a successful visit to the US and exchanged in-depth opinions extensively with the US government leaders and all sectors of the US society on implementing the consensus reached between the two heads of state and pushing forward China-US cooperative partnership. The visit comprehensively promoted the exchanges and cooperation between the two countries and two peoples and significantly boosted the China-US cooperative partnership in the new era. China-US relations will embrace new development opportunities.

II

The international situation is undergoing complex and profound changes and the trends of world multi-polarization, economic globalization and social informationization grow deeply. China-US relations enjoy ever rising strategic significance and worldwide influence and manifest distinctive characteristics of the times. The two countries have strengthened dialogue at the bilateral, regional and global levels, stepped up communications and enhanced cooperation, bringing tangible benefits to their people and making important contributions to world peace, stability and development.

High-level and other levels of contacts are further strengthened. The two heads of state hold multiple meetings each year and talks and telephone conversations frequently to keep close communication and exchange in-depth views on the bilateral relations and issues of common concern. In the past three years, President Hu and President Obama held as many as 10 talks and meetings. Chairman Wu Bangguo visited the US successfully in 2009 and entered into consensus with the US side on reinforcing the bilateral relations and the exchanges between the legislatures of the two countries. Premier Wen Jiabao met with the US leaders when attending such multilateral events as the UN conferences. Those high-level contacts have played an important role in boosting the development of bilateral relations.

Dialogue and consultation mechanisms are being improved. The two countries have established more than 60 dialogue and consultation mechanisms covering a wide range of areas, including the strategic and economic dialogue, the high-level consultation on cultural exchanges and the exchange mechanism between the legislatures of both countries, launched such new mechanisms as the strategic security dialogue, Asia-Pacific affairs consultation, dialogue of political parties and the forum of governors of provinces and states and built a new platform to increase mutual trust and enhance cooperation.

Business cooperation is expanded. For many years, China-US business relations have progressed by leaps and bounds. The bilateral trade volume increased from less than US2.5 billion at the beginning of the establishment of diplomatic ties to US$446.6 billion in 2011. China and the US are each other's second largest trade partner. China has been the fastest growing export market of the US for ten years in a row. The US has become China's biggest single export market and source of foreign direct investment. The investment of Chinese businesses in the US is also growing. China-US business cooperation is expanded and deepened continuously and mutual benefit has been materialized by tangible actions, which has benefited the two peoples and helped boost world economic recovery and growth.

China and the US maintain close coordination and communication in international affairs. The two countries have maintained effective communication and cooperation on issues from handling such global challenges as the international financial crisis and climate change to properly addressing the Korean Peninsula situation, Iranian nuclear issue and south Asian hotspot issues, from the traditional security areas to the unconventional security fields of anti-terrorism, anti-proliferation, energy resources security, public health and disaster reduction and prevention and are playing an increasingly important role of safeguardin