Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Tuesday that China and the United States are not rivals but partners in cooperation and they should work together to further strengthen bilateral relations.
In a speech delivered at a luncheon co-hosted by the National Committee on US-China Relations and other friendly American organizations, Wen said China-US relations have made significant progress since his first official visit to the United States in 2003.
High-level contacts between the two sides are more frequent than ever before, said Wen, who arrived in New York on Tuesday to attend meetings at the headquarters of the United Nations.
"There are now over 60 dialogue and consultative mechanisms between our two countries. The Strategic Economic Dialogue and the Strategic Dialogue have in particular played an important part in increasing strategic mutual trust between the two sides."
On economic cooperation, Wen noted that China and the United States are now each other's second largest trading partners.
Dialogue and cooperation have also extended to a number of new areas, such as energy resources and climate change, he added.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao speaks in a welcoming banquet in New York, the United States, September 23, 2008. Wen is to attend a high-level UN meeting for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the general debate of the 63rd UN General Assembly during his three-day stay here. [Liu Jiansheng/Xinhua]
In addition, China and the United States have maintained communication and coordination on global security issues such as counter-terrorism and non-proliferation and on regional and international hot-spot issues, the Chinese premier said.
The ever-deepening friendship between the two peoples is an integral part of growing relations between the two countries, Wen said.
He also expressed sincere appreciation to the American people from all walks of life for their abiding commitment to China-US friendship and extended heartfelt gratitude to the US government and people for their strong support for China's earthquake relief and efforts in hosting the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
As to the China-US relations after the upcoming US presidential election, Wen said China hopes to maintain and develop the constructive and cooperative relations with the United States whoever becomes the next US president.
"We are confident that China-US relations will continue to move forward, as the trend of history will not turn back," he added.