President Barack Obama on Wednesday said the US is committed to the goal of developing a “new model” of relations with China defined by increased practical cooperation and “constructive management” of differences.
“The United States welcomes the emergence of a stable, peaceful, and prosperous China,” Obama said here as the annual US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) began in Beijing.
“We are committed to the shared goal of developing over time a ‘new model’ of relations with China defined by increased practical cooperation and constructive management of differences,” he said in a statement.
Acknowledging that the US and China will not always see eye-to-eye on every issue, he said that is to be expected for two nations with different histories and cultures.
“It also is why we need to build our relationship around common challenges, mutual responsibilities and shared interests, even while we candidly address our differences,” Obama said.
The US President said this year marks a special milestone in the US-China relationship as it is the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two nations.
“Today, instead of living detached from each other as we did 35 years ago, the United States and China embrace the benefits of strengthening ties and acknowledge the growing interdependence of our economic destinies,” Obama said.
“This anniversary provides an opportunity to take stock of the deepening exchanges between our two peoples, the range of cooperation between our two countries on shared security and economic challenges and dealing forthrightly with our differences,” he said.
It is an opportunity for the United States and China to reaffirm their commitment to working jointly to build a positive, more secure and prosperous future for their citizens, the US President said.
As the premier mechanism for dialogue between the United States and China, the S&ED offers a chance annually to exchange views on a diverse range of bilateral, regional, and global challenges critical to both the countries, he noted.
“Building on the accomplishments of the previous five rounds of the S&ED, this year’s dialogue promises to further advance our cooperative efforts to identify solutions to problems that no country can address on its own,” Obama said.
“Our efforts to promote economic prosperity, cooperation in Asia, energy security and security in cyberspace, including at the G-20, APEC and the Nuclear Security Summit, have a significant and positive impact for our citizens and for the broader international community,” he said.
Obama said the two countries should use the S&ED to demonstrate to the world that even in a relationship as complex as theirs, they remain determined to ensure that cooperation defines the overall relationship.
The top leadership of the two countries, he said, are determined in this regard.
“We have significantly enhanced our cooperation on climate change in the past year, including through our commitment to phase down hydro fluorocarbons, the launch of five initiatives under the US-China Climate Change Working Group and our policy dialogue on the international climate negotiations,” Obama said.
“Over the past year we also found new ways to collaborate on shared energy security and sustainability interests, ranging from advancing the safe development of shale gas and renewable technologies to initiating a G-20 fossil fuel subsidy peer review and enhancing our ability to respond to oil market emergencies,” he said.
Obama noted that on regional security issues, the two countries are working to realise an international solution to Iran’s nuclear programme, working together to achieve the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula besides collaborating on bolstering political stability and economic revitalisation in Afghanistan.
“And on economic issues, we are working to establish a level, competitive playing field for our firms that is based on internationally agreed upon rules of the road on trade, investment, intellectual property, and cyber security,” Obama said.
The US President said he is looking forward to addressing all of these issues with his Chinese counterpart when he visits Beijing for APEC in November.
“That trip will be my second visit to China, and I can think of no better time to advance our relationship than when we are celebrating our 35th anniversary,” Obama said.