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A Major Step to Push Forward Sino-US Ties: Interview
The People's Daily Saturday carried an article about an interview with Chinese Ambassador to the United States Yang Jiechi on US President George W. Bush's visit to China and its significance to Sino-US relations.

Yang, who accompanied President Bush from the beginning to the end of the visit, said that the consensus on major issues reached at the meeting between Chinese President Jiang Zemin and President Bush will effect long-term positive influence on further improvement and development Sino-US relations.

Exactly 30 years after former US President Richard Nixon's visit to China, Bush arrived in Beijing and started his second China visit from February 21 to 22. Four months ago, Bush had a successful meeting with Jiang while attending the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) meetings in Shanghai.

According to Yang, in the meeting between Jiang and Bush this time, the two sides reviewed the development of Sino-US relations in the last 30 years and had in-depth discussions on bilateral relations and the current international situation. They have reached consensus on many important issues and achieved positive results in many areas.

Yang said the two sides share the view that, faced with the current complicated and constantly changing international situation, China and the United States, two countries with an important influence in the world, should reinforce dialogue and cooperation, appropriately handle differences and jointly promote the development of Sino-US constructive cooperation relations.

Yang described the meeting between President Jiang and President Bush this time as "continuation" of their Shanghai meeting.

He said during the meeting this time, achievements have been made in many areas.

The two sides agree to reinforce high-level strategic dialogues and contacts at different levels and between different departments, so as to increase mutual understanding and mutual trust. With pleasure, President Jiang accepted President Bush's invitation to visit the United States within this year. At the invitation of Vice President Cheney, Vice President Hu Jintao will visit the United States in the near future.

The two sides also agree to actively carry out exchanges and cooperation in economic and trade, energy, science and technology, environmental protection, AIDS prevention and treatment, law enforcement and other fields, and to hold strategic dialogues on regional economic and financial issues.

The two sides will convene three joint meetings within this year on economy, trade, and science and technology respectively.

The two heads of state had an in-depth discussion on the international anti-terror campaign, and agreed to step up consultations and cooperation in this regard on a two-way and mutually beneficial basis, and reinforce medium- and long-term mechanisms for anti-terror exchanges and cooperation between the two countries. They also exchanged views on a series of important international and regional issues, and decided to step up communication and coordination.

Yang said the above-mentioned consensus reached between the two heads of state has put new motive force into the improvement and development of Sino-US relations.

He said that China and the United States have different conditions, and the existence of some differences is normal. As President Jiang points out that in international relations, we should discard the old concepts that countries are in the state of confrontation if they do not form an alliance; instead we should establish a new view on security that bases security and cooperation on mutual trust and benefit. As long as both countries adhere to the spirit of mutual respect, equality, and seeking common ground while reserving differences, we could continuously reduce differences, have consensus on a broader range of issues and promote cooperation between the two countries.

The Taiwan question is always the most important and sensitive issue in Sino-US relations, Yang said.

During their meeting, President Jiang explained the Chinese government's basic position of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems" regarding the settlement of the Taiwan question. President Jiang stressed that adhering to the one-China policy and observing the three Sino-US joint communiques is the basis for the development of Sino-US relations. President Bush stressed that the US side will adhere to the one-China policy and observe the three Sino-US joint communiques.

"I think the US side should honor its commitments and support China's cause of peaceful reunification," Yang as quoted as saying.

He said that 30 years ago, President Nixon visited China, and leaders of China and the United States worked together to put an end to mutual estrangement and opened the gate for exchanges and cooperation between the two countries.

At present, Yang said, though profound changes have taken place in the international situation, China and the United States have broad and important common responsibilities and interests in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific and the world, promoting regional and global economic growth, cracking down on terrorism and preventing the environment. The importance of Sino-US relations has increased, rather than decreased.

As President Jiang points out that the lessons and experience of the development of the China-US relationship in the past 30 years indicate that the two sides should bear in mind the overall interests, take a long-term perspective and enhance mutual understanding and trust in developing the bilateral ties, Yang said. Both sides should recognize and respect the differences between them, seek to expand their common ground, and strictly abide by the principles in the three Sino-US joint communiques.

At the starting point of the new century, he said, so long as the two sides take the history as a mirror and look into the future and adhere to the three Sino-US joint communiques, they will make further progress in their ties in the future.

(People's Daily February 23, 2002)

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