The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 20, 2006

President Bush and People's Republic of China President Hu Exchange Luncheon Toasts
The East Room

President's Remarks

      In Focus: Global Diplomacy

1:20 P.M. EDT

PRESIDENT BUSH: Mr. President, Madam Liu, Laura and I are honored to welcome you and your delegation to the White House. It's a pleasure to have you here, along with our other distinguished guests.

China is home to an ancient civilization, and it is helping to shape the modern world. In a single generation, China's economy has moved from isolation and stagnation to engagement and expansion. As China has grown, our two peoples have come to known one another better.

Thirty-five years ago this month, the Chinese government welcomed the United States ping pong team to Beijing. (Laughter.) It's an event that marked the beginning of renewal -- renewed cultural exchanges between our two nations. Today Chinese athletes compete professionally in the United States, and Americans appreciate the opportunity to see them play.

In 2008, China will welcome athletes from all over the world as your great nation hosts the summer Olympics. Beijing will showcase China's transformation and demonstrate China's commitment to the international institutions that make fair and peaceful competition possible for all nations.

Mr. President, I thank you for the constructive and candid conversations we had this morning. I appreciate the opportunity to expand the dialogue between our two great nations. And Mr. President, I'm pleased to offer a toast to you and to your gracious wife, and to the people of China.

(A toast is offered.)

PRESIDENT HU: (As translated.) Mr. President, and Mrs. Bush, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends: First of all, I wish to express on behalf of my wife and my colleagues and in my own way, my sincere thanks to you, Mr. President, and Mrs. Bush for your thoughtful arrangements and gracious hospitality. I also wish to thank the President and Mrs. Bush for giving me this important opportunity to renew my friendship with old friends and make new ones at this grand welcoming luncheon.

Over the years, all of you present here have worked to promote the friendship between our two peoples and promote China-U.S. relations. On behalf of the Chinese government and the people, I wish to hereby extend our warm greetings and best wishes to you and through you to all the Americans who care about and support the growth of China-U.S. relations.

On this visit, I have keenly felt the warm friendship of the American people towards the Chinese people. In the past, the Chinese and the Americans sympathized with, helped and supported each other. We will never forget the invaluable support given to us by the American government and people in our struggle against fascist aggression. We will always cherish our profound friendship with the American people forged over the long years.

In the past 27 years, since the establishment of our diplomatic ties, China-U.S. relations have, as a whole, moved ahead, despite difficulties and problems. Recent years, in particular, have seen major progress in building a constructive and cooperative China-U.S. relations. We have carried out fruitful cooperation in wide-ranging areas, including trade, counterterrorism, nonproliferation, and on major international and regional issues. This has expanded the common strategic interests of our two countries, and promoted world peace and development.

As history has shown, to ensure the continued growth of China-U.S. relations represents the shared desire of our two peoples and meets the fundamental interests of our two countries and peoples.

As we look across the world, we find ourselves in an era of both opportunities and challenges. China and the United States, respectively being the largest developing country and the largest developed country, share growing common interests, expanding areas for cooperation and increasing historical responsibilities. China-U.S. relations have gone far beyond the bilateral context and have become increasingly global in nature. China and the United States are not only stakeholders, but they should also be constructive partners -- be parties of constructive cooperation.

Just now, President Bush and I have concluded an in-depth exchange of views and reached a broad and important agreement on China-U.S. relations, and regional and international issues of mutual interest. We agreed to maintain regular high-level exchanges and increase interactions at various levels. We agreed to deepen economic and trade cooperation, enhance dialogue on macroeconomic policies, and strengthen communication and coordination of major regional and international issues.

We also agreed to promote people-to-people exchanges, especially those among young people, and promote exchange and cooperation in cultural, educational, and other fields. In short, we are committed to increasing mutual trust, deepening cooperation, and advancing in an all-around way, the constructive and cooperative China-U.S. relationship in the 21st century.

As you all know, China has, since the late 1970s, gone through major transformations in the process of reform and opening up. In the years to come, China will continue to make economic development a top priority, press ahead with the reform and the opening up program, promote its modernization drive, and endeavor to make life better for its 1.3 billion people.

China will keep firmly to the path of peaceful development and work unswervingly to safeguard world peace and promote common development. What has happened has proven, and it will continue to prove, that China's development has brought about prosperity and stability to the Chinese people, and peace and progress to people elsewhere in the world.

China will, as always, live in peace with other countries and work with them to promote mutually beneficial cooperation and common development, contributing even more to the lofty cause of peace and development and of mankind.

China-U.S. relations now stand at a new historical juncture. Let me quote here the lines of a poem written by Du Fu, a great Chinese poet, in the Tang Dynasty, entitled, "A View From The Top of Mount Tai," which reads something like this: "Climb up to the summit and see the mountains around and below are we."

We should view and handle our relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, keep to the common strategic interests of the two countries, enhance dialogue, mutual trust and cooperation, accommodate each others' interests, and properly address differences. By doing so, I'm confident that we can ensure the sound and steady growth of China-U.S. relations and bring more benefits to both our two peoples and to people of other countries.

Now, please join me in a toast to the health of the President and Mrs. Bush, to the health of all friends present here today, to the friendship between the Chinese and the American peoples, and to the bright future for China-U.S. relations.

(A toast is offered.) (Applause.)

END 1:36 P.M. EDT

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