After three decades and enormous progress, China and the United States have nurtured a different relationship from the old days and one of the most important and dynamic bilateral ties in the world, the Chinese Embassy said in a press release on Wednesday.
"Three decades ago, China and the United States established diplomatic relations on Jan. 1, 1979. A new era in China-U.S. relations thus began," said the press release, which was made public on the eve of the 30th anniversary of China-U.S. diplomatic relations.
"Tremendous changes have taken place in the world since then, amidst which China-U.S. relationship took a remarkable and breathtaking journey to what it is right now," it said.
Back then, presidents of the two countries hardly saw each other once in a few years, the press release said. Now, they may meet several times a year and talk over the phone and exchange letters frequently.
Back then, it said, the two countries were not engaged in regular dialogues on strategic issues. Now, there are over 60 dialogue, consultation and cooperation mechanisms between them, the most prominent being the Strategic Economic Dialogue and the Strategic Dialogue which set important stages for intensified discussions and cooperation on strategic issues involving the two sides' shared interests.
Back then, the press release said, bilateral trade was a mere 2.4 billion U.S. dollars. Now, China and the United States are each other's second largest trading partner, with total bilateral trade growing over 120 times and standing at over 300 billion dollars in 2007.
"Made in China products can be found at shopping malls across the United States," the press release said, while "McDonalds and KFC shops can be found at many street corners in China."
It said U.S. investment in China has grown from almost nothing to more than 56,000 projects, with 59 billion dollars in actual investment. At the same time, China has also set up more than 1,200 companies in the United States. Haier, Lenovo and other Chinese brands are enjoying growing popularity.
Apart from political, economic and trade relationship, the press release said, the two countries have conducted fruitful cooperation in the fields of culture, education, people-to-people exchanges, and science and technology.
According to the press release, China-U.S. relations, which were developed three decades ago to cope with one common threat, now have a more global dimension.
On major international and regional issues ranging from counter-terrorism, non-proliferation to financial crisis, piracy and global warming, coordination and cooperation have been fruitful, giving bilateral relations increasing strategic influence and global significance.
"China-U.S. relationship has moved from estrangement and antagonism to responsible stakeholders and constructive partners. This is what the times entail and what our peoples desire," the press release said.
Looking back at what China-U.S. relations have gone through, it continued, there are profound lessons and rich experience.
First of all, China and the United States are both big countries with significant influence in the world. Developing a constructive and cooperative relationship serves the interests of their two peoples and works for world peace, stability and prosperity.
Second, China and the United States have extensive common interests despite their different social systems and cultural heritages. The two countries are partners, not rivals, still in no way enemies.
In the final analysis, the press release noted, it is up to both sides to steer their relationship clearly and firmly in the direction of constructive cooperation.
"We should stay committed to closer dialogues, cooperation and exchanges. We should respect and accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns in real action. We should handle the differences and sensitive issues such as trade imbalance, IPR protection, Taiwan, Tibet, human rights and freedom of religious belief appropriately," it said.
"This will help ensure that China-U.S. relations continue to make progress to the greater benefit of our peoples and the people throughout the world."
The press release said that it is crucial to always bear in mind that development is a constant theme in China-U.S. relations and a sound and steady development of China-U.S. relations ahead is the shared aspiration of the peoples of the two countries and where their fundamental interests lie.
It said the Chinese side is ready to work together with the U.S. side to approach bilateral relationship from the strategic and long-term perspective. "The two countries should abide by the principles of the three joint communiques, maintain and intensify contacts at various levels, strengthen consultation and dialogue mechanisms, enhance mutual strategic trust and continue to explore new areas of cooperation," it said.
The press release called for joint efforts to build "a new type of state-to-state relationship" featuring harmonious coexistence and win-win cooperation between the biggest developed country and the biggest developing country in the world.
"The next 30 years will be even more splendid for China-U.S. relationship," the press release said.
(Xinhua News Agency January 1, 2009)