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Zhou Wenzhong, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Briefs on Hu Jintao's Upcoming Visit to the United States

While accepting an exclusive interview by a reporter from Xinhua News Agency on April 13, 2006, Zhou Wenzhong, Chinese Ambassador to the United States, expressed his belief that with the concerted efforts of both China and the United States, President Hu Jintao's upcoming state visit to the United States will be a successful visit, which will exert positive and profound influence in consolidating the bilateral exchange and cooperation and promoting the constructive and cooperative relations between China and the US in the 21st century in an all-round manner.

Zhou elaborated on President Hu Jintao's forthcoming visit to the United States and commented on current China-US relations.

Zhou said that at the invitation of US President Bush, President Hu Jintao will pay a state visit to the United States from April 18 to 21. This is the first visit by Hu Jintao since he took office as the President of China and a major event in China-US relations following the meetings between the two presidents in New York and Beijing last year. The goal of President Hu's visit is to expand consensus, deepen cooperation and promote the all-round growth of China-US constructive and cooperative relations. Both sides have conducted a series of consultations and preparations for President Hu's visit to the US for some time.

Zhou pointed out that the China-US relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world. As the largest developing and developed countries, China and the US shoulder important responsibilities for the peace, security and prosperity of the world and particularly the Asian-Pacific region. Certainly, differences and contradictions exist between China and the US due to the differences in social systems, economic development levels and historical and cultural backgrounds. However, the two countries have broad and important common interest, which is the most paramount. China and the US should and could develop long-term, stable, constructive and cooperative relations. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 27 years ago, bilateral ties have witnessed substantive progress in many areas. Today, profound changes have taken place in the global situation. The human society has walked out of the shadow of cold war confrontation. Seeking peace and development and promoting cooperation has become an irreversible historical trend. The interests of countries are interwoven and countries are more inter-dependent upon each other. In such context, the common interest between China and the US increases rather than decreases. The cooperation foundation is consolidated rather than weakened. The importance of China-US relations increases rather than decreases.

Zhou added that generally speaking, the China-US relationship maintains a stably growing momentum at present. The two countries maintain frequent high-level contacts and communications. The dialogues and exchanges at all levels and in all areas increase dramatically. New headways have been achieved with the bilateral exchange and cooperation in wide-ranging areas such as trade, economy, anti-terrorism, law enforcement, anti-proliferation, prevention and treatment of communicable diseases, science, technology, and education. Effective dialogues and coordination were conducted between China and the US on international and regional issues including the nuclear issue of the Korean peninsula, the nuclear issue of Iran, the reconstruction of Iraq, and the United Nations affairs. We hope that China and the United States can work more closely to promote the peace, stability and prosperity of the Asian-Pacific region and the world.

With regard to the bilateral economic and trade relations, Zhou said that the economic and trade cooperation between China and the US, which is based upon mutual benefits and win-win results, has brought about tangible benefits for the two peoples. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 27 years ago, bilateral trade volume has increased from less than USD 2.5 billion in 1979 to USD 211.6 billion in 2005, an increase over 80 folds. The economy and trade between the two countries are getting increasingly interdependent and the bilateral economic and trade cooperation plays a more significant role in promoting the economic growth of both countries. China is the 3rd largest trading partner and the 4th largest export market of the US. The US is the 2nd largest trading partner and the 6th largest source of import of China. The inexpensive Chinese commodities will save the US consumers over-USD-100-billion expenses every year. The healthy development of the economic and trade cooperation will bring more benefits to the peoples of both countries. Certainly, it is hard to avoid frictions along the fast growth of bilateral economic and trade relations. The key is to properly handle the economic and trade differences in the principle of equality, mutual benefits and development so as to avoid politicalizing economic and trade issues and achieve win-win results on the basis of mutually beneficial cooperation. This will be of positive significance to resolving economic and trade frictions and promoting the steady development of the economic and trade relations between China and the US.

Zhou stressed that the Taiwan question concerns the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China and is the most important and sensitive issue at the core of China-US relations. Properly dealing with the Taiwan question is the key to ensuring the stable growth of China-US relations. The separatist activities conducted by the Taiwan independence forces are the real biggest threat to the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and the security of Asia-Pacific. The Chinese government will make the best efforts to realize the vision of peaceful reunification with the utmost sincerity. But we firmly oppose Taiwan's independence and will not allow anyone to separate Taiwan from China in any means. Opposing and containing Taiwan's independence and safeguarding the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and in the Asian Pacific region complies with the common interest of China and the US. We appreciate President Bush and the US government for reaffirming the adherence to the one-China policy, the abidance by the three joint communiqués between China and the US, and the opposition to Taiwan's independence. We hope that the US side would earnestly observe the commitments to the Chinese government, properly handle the Taiwan question, and work with the Chinese side to safeguard the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and the common interest between China and the US.

Zhou said that the bilateral military relationship is an important component of bilateral relations. With the joint efforts of both sides, China-US relations have maintained a pleasingly growing momentum in general. The ever-increasing military exchanges have enhanced mutual understanding and trust. We are willing to join hands with the US side to advance the steady growth of bilateral military relationship.

Zhou lastly pointed out that the practice has proved and will continue to prove that China's development is aimed at peace, openness, cooperation and harmony. China's peaceful development does not constitute a threat to the US or other countries. On the contrary, it will bring new important opportunities for the two countries and peoples and the whole world. The development of China-US relations in the new century will embrace a brighter future.

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