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Bush Calls U.S., China "Partners in Diplomacy"

Bush Calls U.S., China "Partners in Diplomacy"

Transcript: Bush Calls U.S., China "Partners in Diplomacy"
(Arrival ceremony remarks by Bush, Premier Wen Jiabao)

The United States and China share many interests, including counter-terrorism, free trade, and peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, President Bush said in remarks welcoming Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to the White House on December 9.

"We are partners in diplomacy working to meet the dangers of the 21st century," Bush said. "We are full members of a world trading system that rewards enterprise and lifts nations."

Expressing gratitude for China's leadership in hosting six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program, the president promised continued cooperation in efforts to resolve the issue peacefully.

Bush also praised the rapid growth of the Chinese economy, but said that "if prosperity's power is to reach in every corner of China, the Chinese government must fully integrate into the rules and norms of the international trading and finance system."

"China has discovered that economic freedom leads to national wealth," the president observed. Bush said that the growth of economic freedom in China gives reason to hope for increased social, political, and religious freedom, and said that "[i]n the long run, these freedoms are indivisible and essential to national greatness and national dignity."

The constructive relationship between the two nations allows for candid discussion of disagreements, the president said. "The growing strength and maturity of our relationship allows us to discuss our differences, whether over economic issues, Taiwan, Tibet, or human rights and religious freedom, in a spirit of mutual understanding and respect," he said.

Premier Wen said that the United States and China are at a "crucial juncture," but emphasized that the bilateral relationship had withstood many challenges over the last 25 years and had made great progress.

"Our cooperation in a wide range of areas such as counterterrorism, economy, trade, and international and regional issues, has effectively safeguarded our interests and promoted peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region and the world at large," Wen said.

Following is the White House transcript of the arrival ceremony remarks:

(begin transcript)

The White House

For Immediate Release Office of the Press Secretary December 9, 2003

Remarks by President Bush and Premier Wen Jiabao in Arrival Ceremony The South Grounds

10:00 A.M. EST

PRESIDENT BUSH: Mr. Premier, members of the delegation, it is my honor to welcome you to the White House. Your visit reflects the increasing ties of cooperation and commerce between our two nations.

America and China share many common interests. We are working together in the war on terror. We are fighting to defeat a ruthless enemy of order and civilization. We are partners in diplomacy working to meet the dangers of the 21st century. We are full members of a world trading system that rewards enterprise and lifts nations.

Our two nations seek a Korean Peninsula that is stable and at peace. The elimination of North Korea's nuclear programs is essential to this outcome. Realizing this vision will require the strong cooperation of all North Korea's neighbors. I am grateful for China's leadership in hosting the six-party talks which are bringing us closer to a peaceful resolution of this issue. And my government will continue to work with China as it plays a constructive role in Asia and in the world.

The rapid rise of China's economy is one of the great achievements of our time. China's increasing prosperity has brought great benefits to the Chinese people and to China's trading partners around the world. We recognize that if prosperity's power is to reach in every corner of China, the Chinese government must fully integrate into the rules and norms of the international trading and finance system.

China has discovered that economic freedom leads to national wealth. The growth of economic freedom in China provides reason to hope that social, political and religious freedoms will grow there, as well. In the long run, these freedoms are indivisible and essential to national greatness and national dignity.

As our two nations work constructively across areas of common interest, we are candid about our disagreements. The growing strength and maturity of our relationship allows us to discuss our differences, whether over economic issues, Taiwan, Tibet, or human rights and religious freedom, in a spirit of mutual understanding and respect.

China is a great civilization, a great power, and a great nation. Premier Wen, when my country looks forward to -- my country looks forward to working with you as China increasingly takes its place among the leading nations of the world.

The United States and China have made great progress in building a relationship that can address the challenges of our time, encourage global prosperity and advance the cause of peace. It is my hope that your visit will further that progress. Welcome, and thank you for coming. (Applause.)

PREMIER WEN: Mr. President, Mrs. Bush, ladies and gentlemen, friends. I wish to thank you, Mr. President, for your kind invitation. It is with pleasure that I'm paying an official visit to the United States. I have brought with me the sincere greetings and good wishes of the great Chinese people to the great American people.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you, sir.

PREMIER WEN: A quarter of a century ago, leaders of our two countries made the strategic decision to establish diplomatic relations, thus opening a new era in China-U.S. relations. In the past 25 years, our relations have stood tests of all kinds, moved forward through twists and turns, and made great progress. Our cooperation in a wide range of areas such as counterterrorism, economy, trade and international and regional issues, has effectively safeguarded our mutual interests and promoted peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region and the world at large.

At present, we are at a crucial juncture of carrying our relationship into the future where we face both opportunities and challenges. The changing situation has continued to add new substance to our relations. The fundamental interests of our two peoples and the people across the world require that China and the United States step up cooperation, increase mutual trust, and further push forward the constructive and cooperative bilateral relations. In the final analysis, China-U.S. relations must go on improving. It is with this earnest desire that I've come to visit your country.

We should view and handle China-U.S. relations in an historic perspective, and with strategic foresight and courage. The three Sino-U.S. communiques drawn up by our two sides sets the guiding principles for appropriately addressing differences between the two countries, and continuing to broaden bilateral exchanges and cooperation. So long as the two sides continue to strictly abide by the principles as set forth in the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques, and boost cooperation, our relationship will keep moving forward steadily. Let us join hands to create an even better future for two great countries and the wider world.

Mr. President, once again, thank you for your warm welcome. (Applause.)

(end transcript)


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