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Remarks Following Discussions With President Hu in Beijing

November 20, 2005

President Hu. The honorable President, George W. Bush, dear friends from the media, ladies and gentlemen: I'm delighted to have this opportunity to meet with the press. And to begin with, I would like to extend a warmest welcome to President Bush. Welcome to China.

Just now I had a friendly and candid talk with President Bush. The two sides were able to have an indepth exchange of views on the China-U.S. relationship as well as on major international and regional issues of shared interest.

We both are very delighted to see the good development in the China-U.S. relationship over a recent period of time. We both believe that to keep the China-U.S. relationship on a track of sustained, healthy, and stable development is not only what is required by our times but also the shared aspiration of our two peoples.

We both agree to view and handle the China-U.S. relationship from a strategic plane and in a long-term perspective, jointly acceptable by our common interests, properly handle each other's concerns, increase our mutual understanding, expand our common ground, and deepen our mutual trust, in an effort to comprehensively move forward the China-U.S. constructive and cooperative relationship in the 21st century.

We both believe that it serves the common interests of our two countries and two peoples to further expand the economic cooperation and trade between our two countries. The two sides will continue to follow the principle of equality, mutual benefit, and common development, and continuously expand the scope of our cooperation in an effort to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.

The two sides also expressed their willingness to join hands together to gradually achieve a balanced trade between China and the United States in the process of further expanding the trade between the two countries. The frictions and problems that may arise in this rapid development of the two-way trade may be properly addressed through consultations.

I made it clear to Mr. President that the Chinese side is willing to step up its protection for intellectual property rights, enhance its efforts in fighting crime involving the violations of intellectual property rights, and stands ready to further increase its cooperation with the United States in this regard. We will follow the principle of benefiting not only China but also the world at large and unswervingly press ahead with the reform of the formation mechanism for the RNB exchange rate.

We both indicated our willingness to deepen our counterterrorism cooperation on the basis of reciprocity and mutual benefit. The two sides have already reached a memorandum of understanding on their cooperation on the Megaport Initiative.

We both agree to further expand the exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in such fields as culture, education, science and technology, and youth.

We both believe that the spread and the possible spread to humans of the avian flu is a common threat facing all countries in this world, and we reached an agreement on strengthening a joint initiative on better cooperation in the prevention and control of the avian flu. And we will jointly support and take part in the prevention and control cooperation of avian flu in the region and the world at large.

I reaffirmed to President Bush that the Chinese Government and that the Chinese people are committed to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, and we are ready to do our utmost with all sincerity to strive for the prospect of a peaceful reunification of our country. This being said, we will by no means tolerate so-called Taiwan independence. I highly appreciate that President Bush has, on various occasions, stated his commitment to the "one China" policy, the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques, and his opposition to so-called Taiwan independence. To oppose and check so-called Taiwan independence and safeguard peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait serves the common interest of China and the United States.

We both believe that China and United States share broad, common interests on a number of important issues like the U.N. reform, the development issue facilitating the Doha round negotiations, addressing regional flashpoints, preventing and tackling terrorism, and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, preventing and controlling natural disasters, and controlling epidemic and other major diseases. And we also shoulder great common responsibilities in all those areas. The two sides both agree to step up their cooperation in the affairs in the Asia-Pacific region and in the world arena.

We both said that major progress for current stage has been produced at the fourth round of the six-party talks, and as far as the first phase of the fifth round of the six-party talks is concerned, generally speaking, the atmosphere has been businesslike and pragmatic. The two sides will continue to work together with other parties involved to move forward the process of the six-party talks in an endeavor to peacefully resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula at an early date.

Besides, I also briefed President Bush about China's unswerving commitment to a role of peaceful development and China's development in terms of democratic politics and human rights. China's commitment to a role of peaceful development is a choice that China must make in light of its national conditions. It's a choice that China must make on the basis of its historical and cultural heritage, and also a choice that China must make in light of the current trend in the development of the world. China's development is peaceful, open, and cooperative in nature.

Ever since the founding of the People's Republic several decades ago, and particularly since the start of China's reforms and opening up, notable and historic progress has been made in China's development of a democratic political system and human rights. The Chinese people are exercising their right of democratic elections, democratic decisionmaking, democratic management, and democratic supervision, according to law.

In the future, we'll continue to take into account China's national conditions and follow the wishes of the Chinese people and continuously build democratic politics of Chinese characteristics in the process of continuously raising the level of human rights enjoyed by the Chinese people.

Win-win cooperation is the mainstream of the China-U.S. relationship. Given their different histories, cultures, and national conditions, it is inevitable that China and the United States may have some different opinions on some issues. The two sides ought to follow a spirit of mutual respect and seeking common ground while reserving their differences and act on the basis of the basic norms governing international relations and handle and advance their differences properly through dialog.

President Bush issued a kind invitation to me for a visit to the United States, which I accepted with pleasure. Ladies and gentlemen, looking ahead, the Chinese side is willing to work together with the U.S. side to continuously move forward the China-U.S. relationship and continuously move forward the lofty cause of mankind, peace, and development, to the benefit of the Chinese and American peoples and people throughout the world.

Thank you. Now the floor is yours, Mr. President.

President Bush. Mr. President, thank you very much, and thank you for your hospitality. Laura and I are glad to be back in China. And I thank you for the constructive conversation we just had.

The United States and China share many common opportunities and challenges in the 21st century. We're important trading partners. We benefit from a system of free and fair trade. We'll continue to work with China to open up markets and level the playing field for American goods and services and work with China to strengthen protection of intellectual property rights. And we'll continue to work with China to help implement its July commitment to a flexible market-based currency.

It is important that social, political, and religious freedoms grow in China. And we encourage China to continue making the historic transition to greater freedom.

The United States expresses our deepest condolences to China for the Chinese citizens killed in the terrorist attack in Amman, Jordan. Terrorism is a threat to both our countries, and I welcome China's cooperation in the war against terror.

Our two nations seek a Korean Peninsula that is stable, at peace, and free of nuclear weapons. Thank you for taking a lead in the six-party talks. The fourth round of the six-party talks in September ended with a joint statement in which North Korea committed to abandon all nuclear weapons and all existing nuclear programs. The United States expects them to honor that commitment.

And we had a good talk about energy. China is a growing economy, and China recognizes, like the United States recognizes, in order to keep our economies growing in the years to come, we've got to share technologies and diversify away from hydrocarbons.

Our two countries are working together to address the threat of the pandemic disease through the international partnership on avian and pandemic influenza. Mr. President, thank you for your lead on this issue. The President gave a very strong statement at APEC about the need for all of us to work together on a potential pandemic.

The relationship between China and the United States is an important relationship. This trip will make it stronger. And, Mr. President, Laura and I look forward to welcoming you and Madam Liu to the White House next year. Thank you very much.

NOTE: The President spoke at 12:05 p.m. in the Hebei Room at the Great Hall of the People. In his remarks, he referred to Liu Yongqing, wife of President Hu.

George W. Bush, Remarks Following Discussions With President Hu in Beijing Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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