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U.S. Department of State
96/11/21 The US & China: Building a New Era of Cooperation
Office of the Spokesman

                         U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                         Office of the Spokesman


For Immediate Release                             November 21, 1996

                                ADDRESS BY

                   "The United States and China:
       Building a New Era of Cooperation for a New Century"

                            Fudan University
                             Shanghai, China
                            November 21, 1996

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Good morning.  President Yang, thank you very 
much for that nice introduction.  Vice Mayor Zhao, honored guests:

I'm delighted to be here today.  It really gives me great pleasure to be 
at this Center, which has played such a valuable role in promoting the 
study of American history, culture and foreign policy.  I am honored to 
meet with the scholars and students here of Fudan University, one of 
China's most distinguished institutions of intellectual achievement.  
Here in this city where East and West have long met and mixed, you are 
helping to shape a modern China with growing links to the wider world.

On behalf of President Clinton, I have come to this great city to speak 
to you about the challenges now facing our two nations.  My message is 
clear:  Now, more than ever before, the American and Chinese peoples can 
and must work together to advance our interests.  Like all great 
nations, we will no doubt at times have divergent views.   But history 
has given our two countries a remarkable opportunity -- the opportunity 
to build a new era of cooperation for a new century.  It's an 
opportunity which we simply must seize.

The shape of the world is changing almost as dramatically as this city's 
skyline.  Today, the Cold War is over, the risk of global nuclear 
conflict has been greatly reduced, and the free flow of goods and ideas 
is bringing to life the concept of a global village.  But just as all 
nations can benefit from the promise of this new world, no nation is 
immune to its perils.  We all have a great stake in building peace and 
prosperity, and in confronting threats that respect no borders -- 
threats like terrorism and drug trafficking, disease and environmental 

To meet these challenges most effectively, China and the United States 
must act together, must act in concert.  Some have argued that with the 
Cold War's end, the strategic importance of the United States-China 
relationship has somehow diminished.  I believe they have it exactly 
backwards.  As a new century begins, the importance of strengthening the 
ties between the United States and China will grow even stronger.

Last May, I proposed that we deepen our cooperation by developing a more 
regular dialogue, including meetings at the highest level.  During the 
last few months, contact between our government officials have 
intensified across a broad range of issues -- a healthy sign of maturing 
relations.  Yesterday in Beijing, I had the opportunity to meet with 
President Jiang Zemin, with Premier Li Peng, and my counterpart Vice 
Premier Qian Qichen.  And just three days from now, President Clinton 
and President Jiang will meet at the APEC Leaders' Meeting in the 

These meetings have one over-riding purpose:  to reach new 
understandings that will bring concrete benefits to the citizens of both 
countries and the citizens of the world.  The United States is convinced 
that by expanding our cooperation at every level -- global, regional and 
bilateral -- we will advance our shared interests.  Let me outline 
briefly why.

First, I want to talk about the need for the United States and China to 
work together on the international stage dealing with global events.

Our great nations share a weighty, heavy responsibility.  As nuclear 
powers, as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and 
as two of the world's biggest economies, we simply must lead.  We have a 
common stake in building and upholding an international system that 
promotes peace and security and prosperity around the globe.

Nowhere has cooperation been more crucial than in our efforts to halt 
the spread of weapons of mass destruction.  The last few years 
demonstrate just how much the United States and China can accomplish 
when we work together.  Together we helped to ensure the indefinite and 
unconditional extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  And 
together one of the landmarks of this current period was achieved, 
namely the conclusion of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.  These two 
giant steps have made our citizens safer.  Americans and Chinese will be 
even more secure if we can redouble our efforts to end the production of 
fissile material for nuclear bombs, if we can work together to join the 
global convention to ban chemical weapons and to strengthen the ability 
of the international community to detect and stop illicit nuclear 

While the United States and China have worked side by side to reach 
important understandings on non-proliferation, much remains to be done.  
Indeed in my meetings yesterday in Beijing we advanced our work together 
toward this goal.  The new regular dialogue that we'll have between 
officials from the United States and China on non-proliferation and arms 
control issues will facilitate further progress.  We have a shared 
interest in preventing the introduction of sensitive technologies into 
volatile regions such as South Asia and the Persian Gulf.  Let me be 
particularly clear on one point:  Countries such as Iran that sponsor 
terror and work against peace cannot be trusted to respect international 
norms or safeguards.  Their attempts to acquire nuclear and chemical 
weapons and missile technology threaten the interests of both our 
countries and indeed of all their neighbors.  We must work together to 
stop them.

Both of our countries will also benefit from an effective global 
coalition against terrorists, against international criminals and drug 
traffickers.  In his speech at the United Nations last September, 
President Clinton called on all nations to deny sanctuary to those 
global predators in the narcotics and terrorism field, and to ratify the 
conventions that prevent and punish terrorism.  In addition, China and 
the United States should forge strong ties between our law enforcement 
officials to fight common foes like the drug lords in Burma whose 
traffic in heroin threatens citizens from Shanghai to San Francisco.

China and the United States have an immense stake in building an open 
global trading system for the 21st Century.  Together our two nations 
account for almost one-third of the global trade and output.  For both 
our nations, exports are increasingly important to our economic growth.  
We can both profit by joining to establish and uphold rules that will 
open markets and will make trade fairer than it is now.

The United States actively supports China's entry into the World Trade 
Organization on commercially meaningful terms.  We welcome China's 
commitment not to introduce new laws or policies that would be 
inconsistent with its World Trade Organization obligations.  We are 
prepared to negotiate intensively to achieve a WTO accession package on 
the basis of effective market access commitments by China and adherence 
to WTO rules.

Our economic growth and well-being is also dependent upon responsibly 
managing our natural resources.  For the United States and China, 
choosing between economic growth and environmental protection is what 
President Clinton has called "a false choice, an unnecessary choice."  
Both are vitally important and both are mutually reinforcing.

Our nations must demonstrate a global leadership on these critical 
environmental challenges, perhaps the most dangerous current one and 
that is climate change.  The United States and China are leading 
producers of greenhouse gases.  These gases threaten to raise sea 
levels, damage our crop production, and spread deadly disease.  As two 
nations at different stages of development, we will shoulder our 
responsibilities in somewhat different ways, but we should agree to act 
together and to act now -- globally, regionally and bilaterally.  That 
is why we are jointly promoting renewable energy sources and energy 
efficiency.  Most important for the long term -- and especially to great 
cities like Shanghai -- we are exploring new energy technologies that 
are less harmful to the world's atmosphere.

On a wide range of environmental issues -- saving fisheries, controlling 
toxic chemicals, preserving forests -- our two countries have recently 
expanded our environmental dialogue.  We do this to spur progress 
through the Sustainable Development Forum which is led by Vice President 
Gore and Premier Li Peng.

Let me now turn to the second broad area for cooperation between the 
United States and China, namely the important regional interests that we 
share as great Pacific nations.

Across an ocean where terrible conflicts have given way now to more 
peaceful relations between nations, today's hard-earned security and 
prosperity depend upon maintaining and strengthening stability in this 
region.  We've had significant successes.  We've joined together to 
ensure a non-nuclear Korean Peninsula -- and we're working with China to 
push forward four-party talks to try to ensure permanent peace on the 
Korean Peninsula.  In Southeast Asia, our two countries have worked 
together with the United Nations to promote peace and reconciliation in 

Throughout the Asia-Pacific region, America's continuing military 
presence makes a vital contribution to stability.  Some in your country 
have suggested that our presence here in the Asia-Pacific region is 
designed to contain China.  They are simply wrong about that.  We 
believe that our security presence advances the interests not only of 
the United States, but China and all the countries of the region.  For 
this reason, the United States will remain a Pacific power in the next 
century no less than in the last century.

In the wake of the Cold War, the United States has taken steps to re-
invigorate our relationships across the Pacific.  We believe that our 
five alliances in this region reinforce peace and benefit all nations -- 
including China.  So do broader contacts between the militaries of the 
United States and China.  My nation looks forward to increased exchanges 
between our armed services, regular defense minister meetings such as 
the one that will take place between Minister Chi and my colleague 
Secretary Perry next month, and more port calls like the one paid by the 
U.S.S. Fort McHenry to Shanghai last February.  The United States and 
China will also gain from the success of new regional security dialogues 
such as the ASEAN Regional Forum.  These dialogues encourage meaningful 
talks, they defuse tension, and they promote confidence-building 

The United States is also committed to working with China to promote 
regional economic growth and prosperity.  When the original 12 members 
of APEC met in Canberra in 1989, they recognized that the best way to 
sustain Asia's dynamism was to ensure that the economies of the APEC 
countries would grow together.  And now today's APEC members conduct 
almost 70 percent of their trade with each other.  This week in the 
Philippines, the United States, China and all the other APEC economies 
will set out plans that will lead to the elimination of all barriers to 
trade and investment in this region by the year 2020.  We will also work 
on plans for economic and environmental cooperation throughout the 
region.  China and the United States, as APEC's two largest members, 
have a special responsibility to turn these plans into forthright 

Our ability to advance these regional and global goals ultimately rests 
on a strong U.S.-Chinese bilateral relationship -- and that's the third 
matter that I want to touch on briefly today.

Here in Shanghai almost 25 years ago, the People's Republic of China and 
the United States of America -- nations too long separated by mistrust 
and suspicion -- took an historic step.  We agreed to advance common 
strategic goals and broaden ties between our people.  Since then, 
relations between our nations have been guided by the set of principles 
set out in the Shanghai communique and the two communiques that followed 
in 1978 and 1982.

As I have said many times, the United States is firmly committed to 
expanding our relationship within the context of our "one China" policy 
as embodied in these three  communiques.  We believe that the PRC and 
Taiwan must act to resolve their differences between themselves.  At the 
same time, we have a strong interest in the peaceful resolution of the 
issues between Taipei and Beijing.  We believe that the PRC and Taiwan 
share that interest in a peaceful resolution of these issues.  We have 
emphasized to both Taipei and Beijing the importance of avoiding 
provocative actions or unilateral measures that would alter the status 
quo or pose a threat to peaceful resolution of the outstanding issues.  
(Aside --I'm glad to see you're listening.)  (Laughter.)  We are 
encouraged that both sides have taken steps to reduce tensions in the 
Taiwan Strait.  We hope the PRC and Taiwan will soon resume a cross-
Strait dialogue that can help build trust and settle differences.

Both China and the United States also have vital interests in a smooth 
and successful transition of Hong Kong from Britain to China.  More than 
40,000 U.S. citizens call Hong Kong home, and American investments total 
more than 13 billion Dollars in Hong Kong.  We have welcomed China's 
pledge to maintain Hong Kong's unique autonomy, to allow its open 
economy to flourish, and to respect its traditions of law and individual 
freedoms.  These guarantees are crucial to Hong Kong's continued 
dynamism -- and to the prosperity of China as a whole.  As that vital 
date approaches, as July 1, 1997 approaches, the world will look on with 
great interest and watch as China, we all hope, will respect its 
commitments to Hong Kong and to these important principles that will 
guide Hong Kong in the future.

China and the United States also stand to gain from the sustained 
economic growth that bring prosperity to every province of your nation.  
For two decades now, America's actions have reflected our deep interest 
in the success of China's efforts to lift the living standards of its 
people.  The United States has supported multilateral assistance to help 
China meet basic human needs.  American foundations have helped China to 
promote education and health.  And American universities have helped to 
educate almost 200,000 Chinese students -- some of whom, I'm sure, are 
here in the audience today.

Here in Shanghai, the economic benefits of our relationship are readily 
apparent.  About 2,000 American companies have contracted to invest 
almost 4 billion dollars in this city alone, more than anywhere else in 
China.  From aerospace and computers to capital markets and life 
insurance, our businesses and workers are turning Shanghai into an 
engine of growth and innovation not just for China and the United 
States, but for the world as a whole.

These economic links have already made America your largest export 
market and China one of our most important customers.  Now we can expand 
those links by cooperating to meet future needs in agriculture, energy, 
and infrastructure -- areas where American know-how is unrivaled.  We 
must work together to widen market access in China and open new 
opportunities for consumers and workers.  And we must consolidate the 
gains that we have already made by strengthening the protection of 
intellectual property.  Economic piracy poses a threat not just to 
American businesses, but to China's software, film, and music industries 
as well.  By upholding its commitments to protect intellectual property, 
China will enhance its ability to attract foreign investment in the 

Our work in these and other areas is bringing together our business 
representatives, scientists, legal experts and scholars -- in person and 
on the Internet.  Last year, more than 400,000 Americans came to China, 
and speaking of Americans in China I am very pleased and proud to have 
with me today Ambassador James Sasser and his wife Mary.  Ambassador 
Sasser was a leading American Senator for eighteen years, a member of 
the President's party, and now our Ambassador to China.  If you would 
join me in giving a hand to Ambassador Sasser (applause) -- (unclear) 
grows in both directions and last year more than 160,000 Chinese visited 
the United States.  From the Chinese officials who visit America's small 
towns to the Hollywood producers who flock to the Shanghai film 
Festival, we are building a human bridge across the Pacific, enriching 
our countries and cultures with new ideas and new products.  
Strengthening these links will deepen our understanding -- and our trust 
-- and will enable our ties of friendship to grow even stronger.

In all the areas that I have discussed today -- global, regional and 
bilateral -- one lesson stands out:  Containment and confrontation will 
hurt both of our nations; cooperation and dialogue on the other hand 
will best advance our mutual interests.  It is that spirit of 
cooperation and commitment that infuses my country's approach to our 
relationship.  Cooperation, of course, is a two-way street.  If we are 
to produce concrete results, China must also do its part.

The United States and China will continue to face profound differences, 
some rooted in history, others in tradition and circumstance.  During my 
meetings yesterday in Beijing, we discussed our disagreements quite 
openly and quite candidly.  We have a responsibility to ourselves and to 
the world to manage those differences constructively and to approach 
them in ways that do not undermine our ability to achieve our important 
common goals.

In recent years, our nations have had divergent views over democracy and 
the freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  
The United States tries to live up to these principles by fighting 
injustice at home and speaking up for all those who are persecuted for 
seeking to exercise universal rights -- wherever they may live.  While 
we recognize that each nation must find its own path, consistent with 
its own history, we believe that these ideals of the Universal 
Declaration reflect the values not just of the United States, but of 
countries and cultures all over the world.

We Americans promote individual freedoms and the rule of law not only 
because they reflect our ideals, but because we believe they advance our 
common interest in stability and prosperity.  History shows that nations 
with accountable governments and open societies make better neighbors.  
Nations that respect the rule of law and encourage the free flow of 
information provide a stable, predictable and efficient climate for 
investment.  And those that give their people a greater stake in their 
future are more likely to enjoy economic growth over the long term.  
China's recent efforts to invest authority in its people through legal 
and administrative reforms and village elections are a positive step in 
that direction.

For more than two centuries, Americans and Chinese have reached out to 
each other across a wide geographic and cultural divide.  Many of my 
country's finest entrepreneurs, architects, scientists and artists have 
come from your shores to shape our society and drive our economy.  At 
times, the results have been nothing short of brilliant.  Americans, in 
turn, have made contributions to China, whether building factories that 
provide jobs or bringing ideas that open new opportunities.  Yet too 
often in our history, distance and difference have blinded us to our 
common hopes and interests, creating distorted images of each other that 
drive us apart.

Each of us still has much to learn.  But technology has shrunk the miles 
between us and given us new insight into one another's lives.  We know 
each other better now than ever before.  In a world where barriers are 
falling and borders are blurring, our nations are united by increasingly 
shared opportunities and challenges.

The United States strongly supports China's development as a secure, 
open and successful nation.  We welcome its emergence as a strong and 
responsible member of the international community.  Now, on the brink of 
a new century, our nations have a chance to establish a broad and 
durable set of ties for the new era.

As we meet together in this city "above the ocean" that links our great 
lands, let us rededicate ourselves to advancing shared goals.  If we 
unite ourselves in common purpose, we can create a new era of promise.  
History has given us this priceless opportunity -- and we must and will 
meet the challenge.

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, I'm a student in the Department of 
International Economics and I am very happy to hear the theme of your 
speech today, "Cooperation in the 21st Century."  To my knowledge, 
during the first term of the Clinton administration, comprehensive 
engagement has been stated as the China policy.  Mr. Secretary, would 
you please elaborate between the connections between engagement and 
cooperation.  Thank you.

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  First let me begin by saying that I've been told 
by some of my Chinese friends and by interpreters that "engagement" is a 
word that does not translate well into Chinese. (Laughter)  So I think 
if you go back over the text of my speech you will find that I did not 
use the word "engagement."  Apparently it has some misleading 
connotations.  I find a better word is "intensive dialogue."  (Clapping)  
And let me tell you I had a day of "intensive dialogue" yesterday. (More 
clapping)  More than seven hours with Vice Premier Qian Qichen, Premier 
Li Peng and President Jiang Zemin.

I think that this dialogue is what leads to cooperation.  When we talk 
with each other, understand each other's problems, then we provide the 
foundation for the kind of cooperation that we can have.  And as the 
theme of my speech today indicates, I believe that we can have this kind 
of cooperation effectively, not only at the bilateral levels, that is 
between our two countries, but at global levels as well as at regional 
levels.  Sometimes in the past, I think, we have not seen an adequate 
understanding of the importance of cooperating at global levels.  But as 
we move to a new century, I think it will become more and more apparent 
that these global issues are the decisive ones.  Issues such as the 
environment, non-proliferation, terrorism, international law enforcement 
and narcotics -- those are the issues that may well preoccupy us in the 
21st Century, as perhaps the threat of bilateral wars recede, we'll be 
dealing with these very gripping and dangerous problems and dangerous 
global problems.  So if we do have intensive dialogue then I think we 
can move better to cooperation on these issues of the 21st Century. 

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, just now you have mentioned the service of 
human rights as used in China.  I have different views from you.  I 
think that our special culture should have a special view on human 
rights.  How do you deal, treat and handle differences on this issue on 
human rights?  Thank you.

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  The differences over human rights or the 
divergence of views on human rights are quite often based upon 
historical backgrounds or other matters that are deeply rooted and each 
nation must find its own way but there are some fundamental principles, 
I think, that underlay or at least reflected in the International 
Declaration of Human Rights which both of our countries have given 
strong support.  I think what we need to do is to once again have 
intensive dialogue so that we can come to understand and appreciate each 
others point of view on that subject.  I've been working on human rights 
problems almost as long as I can remember from my earliest days as a 
young lawyer, but especially in the Carter Administration where I was 
very active in establishing the first American precepts on human rights.  
And I can tell you it's a very long-term project.  There are no miracles 
that are likely to be created in the human rights field.  It's a matter 
where we need to have important dialogues around the world to understand 
each other's cultures and history, but all working toward the ends 
reflected in the Universal Declaration.  And I think the fundamental 
issue that always brought me home on these kind of issues is to remember 
the dignity of the individual and the need to treat the individual with 
concern and care and compassion -- from that foundation I think I find 
it much easier to address a number of the human rights problems.  Each 
nation, with its own history and with its own set of requirements must 
find its own way on this, but we will do much better if we have an open 
dialogue on that subject.  The United States is far from perfect on the 
subject.  Frequently when I talk to colleagues in other countries about 
this issue I begin by talking about the human rights problems that we 
have in the United States and our own shortcomings.  It tends to ease 
the situation somewhat if we recognize our own failures as we begin to 
talk then about shortcomings we see in other countries.  So there is no 
magic wand on this subject, it will take long hard work, but for me it's 
well worth it.  (Applause)

QUESTION:  I'm from the Department of International Business Management.  
Mr. Secretary, your colorful diplomatic career is very impressive.  
We've heard that you are going to leave office next year.  I'm 
interested in knowing what is the most memorable experience in your 
career and what kind of lesson you would like to give us younger 
generation.  Thank you.  (Applause)

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well that's a very nice question.  (Applause and 
laughter)  Maybe I'll write a book.  You know after I left law school in 
1949, I spent a year law-clerking for Justice William O. Douglas, one of 
the most famous jurists in the United States.  And as I was leaving my 
year with him, he gave me lunch one day and he uttered just a few words 
that I've always remembered, he said, "Get out in the stream of history 
and swim."  And I think that I've tried to always engage in public 
affairs and activities, and put myself in the stream of history, not to 
isolate myself.  We all, of course, have to be concerned about our 
families and our work and our communities.  I think we all ought to try, 
especially people with the great advantages of education that you have, 
to remember that you have things to contribute to the broader society.  
So one piece of advice I would give you, as Justice Douglas said to me, 
get out in the stream of history and swim.

You know I don't believe I can separate out a most meaningful time.  All 
of you who are parents will probably know that the birth of your first 
child may be the most meaningful thing that ever happened.  And so it's 
very hard and maybe I can look back, but I'll never be able to identify 
a single event.  I think I'll be able to say that I was extremely 
fortunate to have lived in a very evocative time in history, and to live 
this long, and to feel this well.  Thank you.  (Applause)

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