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Hu Jintao Attends Welcome Banquet Hosted by U.S. Friendly Organizations and Delivers Important Speech

On January 20, 2011, Chinese President Hu Jintao attended a welcome banquet hosted by U.S. friendly organizations in Washington D.C. and delivered an important speech. In his speech, Hu pointed out that to advance the sustained, sound and steady development of China-U.S. relations serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples. It is also conducive to world peace and development. Working together hand in hand, both peoples will build a China-U.S. cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit and deliver greater benefits to the people of the two countries and the world over.

The welcome banquet was held at Marriott Hotel where Hu stayed. At about 12:30 local time, President Hu, accompanied by Chair of the US-China Business Council (USCBC) Muhtar Kent and Chair of National Committee on United States-China Relations Carla A. Hills, stepped in the banquet hall. The entire audience stood up and applauded warmly.

Hu delivered an important speech entitled Building a China-U.S. Cooperative Partnership Based on Mutual Respect and Mutual Benefit, which won warm applause from the audience. Hu pointed out that today, the turbulence caused by the international financial crisis is receding and the world economy is returning to growth. Yet there still exist many uncertainties and destabilizing factors, making the world economic recovery a tortuous process. In the face of the complex and fluid international situation and various risks and challenges, the people of our two countries should step up cooperation and work with people across the world to share opportunities, meet challenges and build a better future for mankind.

In the first decade of this century, China and the United States worked together and made steady progress in building a positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship for the 21st century, said Hu. China-U.S. relations have reached unprecedented breadth and depth. Given the ever changing circumstances in the world and in our respective countries, what should we do to take a sound and steady China-U.S. relationship into the new decade? It is fair to say our two countries have never enjoyed such broad common interests and shouldered such important common responsibilities as we do today. Both China and the United States are committed to upholding world peace and stability and reforming the international system, to the development and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and to stronger bilateral cooperation in all fields to the benefit of the two peoples.

Looking ahead, we are fully confident about the prospects of China-U.S. relations. Here I would like to propose that we take the following steps to advance the sound and steady growth of our relations. First, bear in mind the overall interests, take a long-term perspective and make active efforts to advance China-U.S. cooperative partnership. The two sides should view and handle the bilateral relations from a global perspective and in keeping with the trend of the times. We should keep our relations on the path of equality, mutual respect, mutual trust, mutual benefit and common development. Second, seize opportunities and take innovative steps to build a new pattern of mutually beneficial economic cooperation. China wants to work with the United States to forge a framework of broader and stronger economic cooperation. We can carry out fiscal, financial, and business cooperation on a larger scale, expand exchanges and cooperation in energy, the environment, agriculture, health and other fields, and broaden cooperation in new areas. In this way, we will make our business ties even stronger. Third, intensify communication and consultation and deepen coordination and cooperation in addressing global challenges and international and regional hotspot issues. China and the United States should pursue global cooperation as partners to fulfill common responsibilities and meet common challenges. We should enhance consultation and coordination on global issues such as the Doha Round negotiations, climate change, energy and resources security, food security and public health security through bilateral and multilateral channels, maintain dialogue and exchanges on regional security, regional cooperation and hotspot issues, and work together for a more equitable, just, inclusive and better-managed international system. Fourth, deepen friendship, be forward-looking, and vigorously promote friendly exchanges between various sectors of our two countries. We should draw up a good plan for our exchanges and cooperation in culture, education, science and technology and other fields, and encourage more dialogue and exchanges between the legislatures, local authorities, business communities, academic institutions, media organizations and other sectors so that more and more people will become supporters of stronger China-U.S. relations and get actively involved in this worthy cause. Fifth, treat each other with respect and as equals, and handle major, sensitive issues in a proper manner. Taiwan and Tibet-related issues concern China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and they represent China's core interests. They touch upon the national sentiments of the 1.3 billion Chinese. We hope that the U.S. side will honor its commitments and work with us to preserve the hard-won progress of our relations.

Hu emphasized that China has set out the guiding principles, strategic objectives and major tasks for economic and social development in the coming five years. We will continue to deepen reform and opening-up, advance economic, political, cultural and social restructuring in an all-round way, and improve the socialist market economy. We will develop socialist democracy and build a socialist country under the rule of law. We will work for vigorous cultural development and prosperity, enhance social harmony and improve our open economy in all respects. Through these efforts, we will make continuous progress in our endeavor to build a prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious modern socialist country.

Hu stressed we will stick to the basic state policy of opening to the outside world and follow a win-win strategy of opening-up. We will continue to advance China's interests in the broader context of the common interests of the international community, and expand and deepen the converging interests with others. We welcome the participation of other countries in China's development to share our development opportunities. And we will explore new areas and space for opening-up and contribute to the common development of the region and the world through our development.

Hu noted we will remain committed to the path of peaceful development, continue to strive for a peaceful international environment to develop ourselves, and uphold and promote world peace through our own development. China stands for peaceful settlement of international disputes and hotspot issues, and we follow a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. We do not engage in an arms race or pose a military threat to any country. China will never seek hegemony or pursue an expansionist policy.

Chair of the US-China Business Council (USCBC) Muhtar Kent, Chair of National Committee on United States-China Relations Carla A. Hills, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger delivered speeches respectively. They thanked Hu for attending the welcome banquet and delivering the important speech.

Muhtar Kent said the business communities of the two countries have play unique roles in building up mutual understanding and promoting innovation, investment and employment, bringing about great opportunities for the two countries. U.S.-China relationship has become the most important bilateral relationship in the world. The U.S. friendly organizations are ready to play a bridging role in pushing forward bilateral ties and contribute to the friendship between both peoples.

On behalf of President Obama, Gary Locke in his speech extended welcome to President Hu for his attendance of the banquet. He said under the leadership of the Chinese government, China has accomplished unprecedented achievements with people’s livelihood greatly enhanced. China has played a significant role in promoting the global economic recovery. The two countries, as important trade partners, should play a crucial role in coping with the global financial crisis, poverty elimination, environmental protection and other issues. The United States and China should make joint efforts to carry forward the spirit of innovation and promote the building of an open global trading system for mutual benefit.

Kissinger congratulated Hu for his successful meeting with Obama, saying his current visit, as an important turning point of U.S.-China relations, is of great significance to strengthening bilateral ties, joining hands to tackle global issues and pushing for the building of a harmonious world.

Wang Qishan, Ling Jihua, Wang Huning, Dai Bingguo and other accompanying officials attended the welcome banquet.

The welcome banquet was jointly held by the US-China Business Council (USCBC), the National Committee on United States-China Relations and other friendly organizations. About 600 people including U.S. government officials, members of the friendly groups and other personages attended the event.

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