Visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping met in Washington on Monday evening with several former senior U.S. officials, Xinhua reported.
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping (central) meets with several former senior U.S. officials in Washington, capital of the United States, Feb. 13, 2012. Among the former officials are former U.S. secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright, former U.S. treasury secretary Henry Paulson, former U.S. national security advisers Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft and Sandy Berger, and former U.S. secretary of labor Elaine Chao. [Lan Hongguang/Xinhua]
Xi met with former U.S. secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright, former U.S. treasury secretary Henry Paulson, former U.S. national security advisers Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft and Sandy Berger, and former U.S. secretary of labor Elaine Chao.
This was Xi's first major event after he arrived in Washington on Monday afternoon for an official visit to the United States.
During the meeting, Xi hailed their contribution to promoting the Sino-U.S. relations during different periods.
Kissinger made a secret visit to China in July 1971, paving the way for a groundbreaking 1972 summit meeting in Beijing between then U.S. President Richard Nixon and China's late Chairman Mao Zedong. Kissinger's visit opened a door for Sino-U.S. relations that had been closed for many years.
The two countries officially established diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial-level on Jan. 1, 1979.
Brzezinski was then U.S. President Jimmy Carter's national security advisor from 1977 to 1981, and made important contribution to the normalization of Sino-U.S. relations.
Xi said his visit is aimed at implementing the important consensuses reached by Chinese President Hu Jintao and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama during Hu's visit to the United States in January last year and advancing the Sino-U.S. cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit.
He added that this year marks the 40th anniversary of Nixon's visit to China and the issuance of the Shanghai Communique, noting that the development of the bilateral ties has exceeded the expectations of many people.
As the international situation is witnessing complex and profound changes, Sino-U.S. cooperation and coordination has become all the more crucial and vital, Xi said.
He also noted that building a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit is a strategic decision made by both countries' presidents on the basis of an objective assessment of the Sino-U.S. mutual strategic interests and the world situation.
It is vital to substantially implement the decision so as to maintain a stable and sustained development of the bilateral relations, Xi said.
Xi put forward a four-point proposal on boosting the cooperative partnership between the two countries.
Firstly, he said, the two sides should take history as a mirror.
The four-decade development of Sino-U.S. relations has proved four pieces of historic experience: shared interests serve as the impetus; the three joint communiques signed between the two sides provide institutional guarantee; mutual understanding and strategic trust are important prerequisites; the innovative spirit of keeping abreast of the times is the driving force, Xi said.
"All the experience is well worth cherishing and should continue to be followed," Xi said.
Secondly, he said, both sides should adopt a long-term perspective.
To build a cooperative partnership between China and the United States is a great try in the establishment of ties between world powers, which concerns the benefits of people of both countries and the goodness of the whole world at large, Xi said.
The vice president believed that no insightful Americans from any walk of life would like to see regrettable after-effects caused by U.S. election factors to the development of Sino-U.S. ties.
Thirdly, he said, the two sides should respect each other and build mutual trust.
China firmly adheres to the path of peaceful development, and "we hold frank, sincere and consistent views regarding the development of Sino-U.S. relations," Xi said.
He said China hopes the U.S. side could view it in an objective and rational way, and adopt concrete measures to promote mutual trust, especially to properly and discreetly handle the issues concerning the core interests of China.
Fourthly, Xi said, the two sides should achieve mutual benefits and win-win results.
Bilateral trade volume hit 440 billion U.S. dollars last year, reflecting the essential feature of bilateral economic and trade cooperation with complementary advantages and win-win results.
"We should deal with friction and differences in bilateral economic and trade cooperation in the spirit of seeking mutual benefits and win-win results through a positive and constructive way," Xi said.
Kissinger and other former U.S. officials extended their warm greetings to Xi, saying that Xi's visit is of vital importance to the U.S.-China relations.
They said the U.S.-China relations are at a new historic starting point, and it is very important for the two countries to enhance cooperation in the face of an increasingly complex world.
They believed that promoting the U.S.-China cooperative partnership is beneficial not only to both countries, but also to the world at large.
About Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping, born in Beijing in 1953, is the son of Xi Zhongxun – a hero of the Long March and China’s former vice premier. Xi’s ancestors came from Shaanxi Province.
During the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), Xi joined millions of other urban youths at the countryside to receive re-education from peasants when he was 16 years old.
He arrived in the village of Liangjiahe, Shaanxi Province, in January 1969, lugging “a whole box of books” with him. The village is in a narrow valley about 70 miles from Yan’an, the revolutionary base for the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) during the 1930s and 1940s.
Villager Liang Youchang, now 83 years old, called Xi a hardworking and remarkably fine young man. “It was in early spring and snow just melted. Xi Jinping always worked in freezing water with bare feet,” Liang recalled.
Xi joined the Communist Party in 1974 and left Liangjiahe in 1975 to further his education in Tsinghua University, majoring in basic organic synthesis at the chemical engineering department.
Xi’s first official post was in Hebei Province. He served as secretary of the CPC Zhengding County Committee in 1983, where he promoted local tourism and rural enterprises.
He moved to Fujian Province in 1985, where he rose through the ranks starting from vice mayor of Xiamen City and was elected provincial governor in 2000. He worked as secretary of the CPC Zhejiang Provincial Committee since 2003 before becoming party secretary of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee in 2007.
Xi was elected as vice president of China as well as a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee in 2008.