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Remarks of the President and Premier Zhao Ziyang of China on Signing Two United States-China Agreements

January 12, 1984

The President. Good morning. Thank you for joining us.

We've been delighted with all that's been accomplished as a result of Premier Zhao's visit. His trip has solidified the good will between us, and this morning we will sign two agreements that represent measurable steps forward in the relations between our countries. In China the difference in time zones makes it almost tomorrow. Today we sign two agreements aimed at making China's tomorrow, as well as our own, a better day. The first is an extension of our agreement on cooperation in science and technology. Cooperation between our two countries in the area of science and technology not only contributes to the scope of human knowledge and to China's own modernization; it also cements the ties between our governments and our peoples.

The joint science and technology commission overseeing this part of our relations has done a tremendous job. Today's extension is a tribute to the successful and growing cooperation that we're already experiencing in this vital area.

Signing this first accord will be our science adviser, Dr. Jay Keyworth, and his counterpart, Mr. Zhao Dongwan.

The Premier. I fully agree with President Reagan. The two agreements we are going to sign—one of them is an extension of the existing agreement; the other a new one. The signing symbolizes that we should preserve what we have already achieved and open up new areas in our bilateral relations. It shows that there are broad vistas for the development of Sino-U.S. relations. Let us continue our efforts to achieve new successes in our cooperation in the economic and technological fields.
Thank you.

[At this point, Mr. Keyworth and Mr. Zhao signed the Agreement To Extend the Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the People's Republic of China on Cooperation in Science and Technology.]

The President. Next, Premier Zhao and I will affix our signatures to an accord on industrial and technological cooperation.

China is now engaged in a vast modernization program, and this agreement will encourage further cooperation between our countries, especially in those industrial sectors on which China has placed a top priority. American know-how and investment should prove invaluable in these endeavors, and this accord will stimulate participation by our private sector in China.

Premier Zhao, any business deal that makes sense is based on mutual benefit. By signing this document, we are helping ourselves by helping each other. That should be the basis of our friendship.

[At this point, the President and the Premier signed the Accord on Industrial and Technological Cooperation Between the United States of America and the People's Republic of China.]

The President. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I've come away from my working sessions with Premier Zhao more convinced than ever the importance of good U.S.-China relations and more determined than ever to ensure that our relationship is placed on a stable and enduring footing.

Our talks covered a broad spectrum of global and bilateral issues. China is a leading nation on the international scene, and I appreciated hearing directly from the Premier on his views. It was clear during our discussions that China and the United States agree on a number of questions and that the leaders of our two nations should come together regularly to compare notes.

Even on matters of disagreement, the Premier and I were able to clarify our respective positions. Though our strategies sometimes converge and sometimes differ, our goals remain the same. We both are committed to peace and stability in the world so that we can concentrate our energies and resources on improving the wellbeing of our people.

With respect to our bilateral relations, I think that Premier Zhao would agree that we've made considerable progress. Our economic cooperation, despite occasional problems, is healthy and holds enormous promise.

Several months ago, we expanded the potential for the transfer of American technology to China. Our scientific and student exchanges are flourishing. Building on this positive trend are the two specific agreements that we signed here today. Our agreements and understandings underscore my conviction that a modern, economically developing, and politically stable China is in the best interest of all peace-loving peoples.

Nancy and I will journey to China in April. We were delighted to get to know Premier Zhao before our visit to his country, and we now look forward all the more to our trip, knowing that friends will be there to meet us. So, let me wish Premier Zhao a happy continuation of his travels in the United States. I know that he'll be warmly welcomed everywhere.

And I won't say goodbye, Mr. Premier. I will only—and try to say correctly—Tsai jen, which I'm told means "See you again soon."

The Premier. Mr. President, the visit to the United States by the head of government of the People's Republic of China itself fully shows that there's some progress in Sino-U.S. relations.

Since I set foot on your land, I've been deeply impressed by the American people's warm friendship for the Chinese people. I personally feel the American people want Sino-U.S. relations to develop, not to stand still; to advance, not to retrogress. Therefore, I think there is, indeed, the basis for the amicable coexistence between China and the United States, and such a basis is very deep-rooted.

My colleagues and I have held friendly, candid, and serious talks with the American President and other leaders of the American Government. Through these talks, we enhanced our mutual understanding. It undoubtedly is useful to the promotion of the Sino-American relations on the road of steady development.

Of course, much remains first to be done to really solve the outstanding problems between us and implement the cooperation we have already committed to.

Mr. President, before I leave you, I should like to thank you once again for your gracious hospitality. I would also like to thank Mrs. Reagan. I know it was her thoughtful arrangement that made our stay in Washington so pleasant.

Mr. President, I look forward to seeing you and Mrs. Reagan in Beijing this spring when it is warm and beautiful so as to reciprocate your hospitality here. What is more important is that I look forward to more substantial content in our future talks in Beijing to continue on the talks we have already started in Washington. Then we'll be able to show to both the Chinese and the American peoples how important these mutual visits are.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 8:42 a.m. in the East Room at the White House. The Premier spoke in Chinese, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Earlier, the President and the Premier attended a working breakfast in the State Dining Room. They were accompanied by U.S. and Chinese officials.

Ronald Reagan, Remarks of the President and Premier Zhao Ziyang of China on Signing Two United States-China Agreements Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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