Thursday, June 25, 2015

The U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue / Consultation on People-to-People Exchange


John Kerry
Secretary of State
Joint Opening Session With Vice President Joe Biden, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew, and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi
Dean Acheson Auditorium
Washington, DC
June 23, 2015

SECRETARY KERRY: I welcome my friend, the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden. (Applause.)

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Mr. Secretary, thanks for letting us in your house. I appreciate being able to be here. And with Secretary Lew, I just say to our Chinese friends, I notice you looking at the Secretary on crutches and our Secretary of Commerce on crutches – it’s a difficult job in Washington. (Laughter.) We play it very – Hank Paulson can tell you it’s a very tough place right now. And I just want you to understand that and why – that’s why they’re so committed to this relationship.
Vice Premier Liu and Vice Premier Wang, State Councilor Yang – it’s good to see you again. We’ve spent a lot of time together. And we each have been – all of whom have been designated special representatives of President Xi. I’m really honored to welcome the entire Chinese delegation for the seventh U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue and the sixth U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchanges. ...

So as I told her last time we met, I’m particularly grateful that Vice Premier Liu is – for everything she’s done to help build the face relationship that, as a Chinese co-chair, the Consultation on People-to-People Exchanges – it’s important. The exchange has led to concrete progress in our relationship from an increased number of Americans studying in China to a program connecting young, professional scientists through in-person exchanges. These accomplishments are critical to expanding cooperation in areas such as the arts, education, women’s issues, science and technology. ...

image from, with caption: High-level officials attend the seventh China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and the sixth China-U.S. High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) in Washington D.C., the United States, June 23, 2015. China and the United States opened their annual high-level talks here Tuesday to deepen cooperation in strategic and economic issues and further promote people-to-people exchanges. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)

VICE PREMIER LIU: (Via interpreter) ... Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, the Consultation on People-to-People Exchange together with political mutual trust and business ties are intertwined and reinforcing each other. They form the three major pillars of China-U.S. relations. Since 2010 when the CPE mechanism was established, China and the United States have held five rounds of consultations and achieved nearly 300 concrete deliverables. I’m happy to see that the people-to-people exchange between our two countries today has expanded to cover more areas, as Vice President Biden said – that the CPE from four major areas add to the first round of the consultation now covers seven areas, and this time we’ll add public health into the dynamics.

We have now involved multiple stakeholders, and it is shortening the distance between people of our two countries and increased mutual trust and friendship. And this mechanism is now showing its increasingly unique charm and important role and has forcefully promoted steady and sound growth of China-U.S. relations.

As we say in China, even a thousand-story tower starts from piles of earth, and in today’s world we’re living in a global village and countries have become a community of common destiny and intertwined interests. The building of the new model of major country relations not only needs efforts from politicians and diplomats, but more importantly, understanding and support from our people, especially those at the grassroot level. The theme of the CPE this year is exchanges, mutual learning for win-win cooperation. Our two countries will reach a series of practical and concrete outcomes in education, science and technology, culture, sports, women, youth, and health.

We are looking forward to working together with the U.S. side to build more platforms for mutual understanding of our two peoples and create conditions for mutual learning between civilizations from East and West, so that hundred millions of students, scientists, artists, and people from different walks of life, including our women and young people, to feel and share the joy of exchanges and harvests so that this new model of major country relations of China and the United States will have greater warmth, resilience, depth, and breadth.

Here I wish to express my belief and hope that the 7th S and ED and 6th CPE will be a complete success. Now I would like to invite the American chair of the 6th CPE, Secretary Kerry, to deliver his speech. Secretary Kerry with his wisdom, capabilities has impressed all of us deeply, especially in the 5th consultation in Beijing. The music he played with a Chinese instrument pipa attracted 6 million Chinese fans. And now I would like to give the floor to Secretary Kerry. (Applause.)

SECRETARY KERRY: Mr. Vice President, thank you very much. We appreciate your comments enormously. Vice Premier Liu, thank you very much. I’m looking for the royalties on those 6 million fans. (Laughter.) ...

Now, we are aware – obviously, and both speakers have already referenced this – that we will not agree on all issues. No nations agree on every issue. But we do not accept that a narrowing of the differences is beyond our reach. The dialogue between those who already see eye to eye is not a particularly interesting or necessary dialogue. But the discussion that – a discussion that merely restates longstanding positions becomes pretty sterile. That’s not what we’re looking for here. We’re not satisfied with simply maintaining the status quo. Our relationship is dynamic and it has grown and matured steadily in the past decades, and most notably in recent years. We each have a stake in continuing that momentum.

One way to do that is through the sixth edition of the Consultation on the People-to-People Exchange. Contacts between our citizens in the arenas of business, science, technology, athletics, and the empowerment of women work best when they are fully reciprocal and unfettered. These contacts can take many forms – from technical workshops, sports competitions, to online conversations and the travel of students back and forth across the Pacific. Frankly, this is diplomacy on a retail basis, and it’s some of the most important diplomacy that we can do. It’s how we forge a comprehensive partnership out of smaller friendships. And this year, for the first time we will be focusing on cooperation in the area of health. And right now, as you imagine, that’s not a bad topic for me. (Laughter.) ...

No comments: