Jimmy Carter photo

Visit of Vice Premier Deng of China Remarks Following the Signing of Agreements Between the United States and the People's Republic of China.

January 31, 1979

THE PRESIDENT. Mr. Vice Premier, American and Chinese friends:

What we have accomplished in the last 3 days is truly exceptional. But our aim is to make this kind of exchange between our countries no longer the exception, but the norm; no longer a matter of headlines and historians, but a routine part of the everyday lives of both the Chinese and the American people. With the signing of these agreements, we have begun to do just exactly that.

After too many eras in which one or the other of our nations has sought to dominate the relations between us, China and the United States of America are now meeting on a basis of equality, with full diplomatic relations. We've charted a new and irreversible course toward a firmer, more constructive, and a more hopeful relationship.

I have come to know Vice Premier Deng well in the hours we have spent together. He speaks his mind, and he values results. In our conversations about world affairs, we have found that we share many common perspectives. While we pursue independent foreign policies, our separate actions in many places can contribute to similar goals. These goals are a world of security and peace, a world of both diversity and stability, a world of independent nations free of outside domination.

Both our countries have a special interest in promoting the peace and prosperity of the people of East Asia. We have agreed to consult regularly on matters of common global interest. The security concerns of the United States do not coincide completely, of course, with those of China, nor does China share our responsibilities. But a strong and secure China which contributes constructively to world affairs is in our interest, and a globally engaged, confident, and strong America is, obviously, in China's interest.

The agreements that we have just signed for cultural, scientific and technological exchanges, and for consular arrangements will bring the tangible benefits of normalization to increasing numbers of both our peoples. We look forward to an early settlement of the issue of claims and assets, to the reunification of families, to expanded tourism, and to the development of a healthy and a vigorous trading relationship between our countries.

In the near future, because of these agreements, American consulates will open in Shanghai and Guangzhou, and Chinese consulates will open in Houston and San Francisco. Hundreds of American students will study and will learn in China, and hundreds of Chinese students will further their education in the United States.

Our National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, will launch a civilian communications satellite, paid for by China, that will bring color television and expanded communications to all of the people of China for the first time.

Mr. Vice Premier, your stay in Washington is nearly over, but your trip to the United States has just begun. You leave tomorrow for three of the most interesting cities in our country: Atlanta, Houston, and Seattle. You will see something of the way Americans work and live.

And as you travel from one end of our country to the other, I think you will find that the American people are eager to get to know you and to join in building the new relationship between our two countries.

You leave Washington with many new friends, and you will return to China with a great many more. And when you return to your homeland, I hope that you will convey my best wishes to Premier Hua Guofeng and to the people of China.

THE VICE PREMIER. Mr. President and Mrs. Carter, ladies and gentlemen:

First of all, allow me to express my thanks to you, Mr. President, for the many friendly words which you have just said with regard to developing the relations of friendship and cooperation between our two countries and two peoples. We have just done a significant job. But this is not the end, but a beginning.

We anticipated that following the normalization of relations, there would be a rapid development of friendly cooperation between our two countries in many broad fields. The agreements we have just signed are the first fruits of our endeavors. There are many more areas of bilateral cooperation and many more channels waiting for us to develop. We have to continue our efforts.

It is my belief that extensive contacts and cooperation among nations and increased interchanges and understanding between peoples will make the world we live in more safe, more stable, and more peaceful.

Therefore, the work we have just done is not only in the interests of the Chinese and American peoples but of the peoples of the world as well. It is with these remarks that I mark the signing of the agreement between China and the United States on scientific and technological cooperation, the cultural agreements, and other documents.

Finally, I would like once again to express sincere thanks to Mr. President and Mrs. Carter for your very warm and kind reception which you have given us in Washington. And I look forward to meeting with Mr. President and Mrs. Carter in the near future in China.

Note: The President spoke at 4:40 p.m. at the signing ceremony in the East Room at the White House. The Vice Premier spoke in Chinese, and his remarks were translated by an interpreter.

Jimmy Carter, Visit of Vice Premier Deng of China Remarks Following the Signing of Agreements Between the United States and the People's Republic of China. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/247963

Filed Under




Washington, DC

Simple Search of Our Archives