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Speech by Consul General Zhang Ping at the Concert in Commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Ties between China and the U.S.
(Nixon Library, January 13, 2019)

40 years ago, China and the United States established formal diplomatic ties. This was a historic event which produced far-reaching impact on the evolution of international relations. It opened a new chapter in bilateral relationship, ushering in a new era of exchange and cooperation between the two countries.

It is known to all that though the formal diplomatic ties were established in 1979, the normalization process started in early 1970s when President Nixon made his historic visit to China, which resulted in the issuance of the Shanghai Communiqué, ending more than two decades of estrangement between the two big nations.

Tonight, as we gather here at the Nixon Library to commemorate the 40th anniversary of establishment of China-US diplomatic relations, it is important that we remember the legacy of President Nixon and pay tribute to those great statesmen of our two countries, including Chairman Mao Zedong, Premier Zhou Enlai, Mr. Deng Xiaoping, President Carter, Dr. Kissinger and many others.

Since the establishment of China-US diplomatic relations, successive leaders of both countries, with their vision and courage, guided the Chine-US relations through all complexities and difficulties. The relationship has achieved historic progress, bringing huge benefits to our two peoples and contributing greatly to world peace, stability and prosperity.

For many years, Southern California has been running at the forefront in leading the China-US sub national exchange and cooperation. It provides a good example to illustrate the mutually beneficial nature of our relations. Thanks to the joint efforts, we have seen not only the increase of two way trade and investment, but also more substantive exchanges and closer cooperation in culture, education, tourism, science and technology and many others areas.

Here in Orange County, the bilateral cultural ties and people to people connections remain particularly strong. Exhibitions featuring China in Boer Museum, Chinese cultural activities in South Coast Plaza showcase the American people’s affection and nice sentiments towards the Chinese culture and people. Educational programs in Nixon Library tell people the importance of China-US relations. Last year, the Pacific Symphony made its successful debut tour to China, becoming one of the highlights of many cultural exchange activities that have been going on between China and Southern California.

As we look at the journey that the bilateral relations have gone through, we are gratifying to see that our people are always standing behind the relationship. No matter in good times or bad times, they always hold the belief that China and the US should only remain as friends. Out of a simple desire for a better relationship, many people of different walks of life in both countries and various organizations devoted themselves to promoting mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation, contributing in their own way to the development of the bilateral relations. The Chinese community also played an important role in fostering close cooperation and strong bonds between our two countries and peoples. The understanding and support from our two peoples gave us the strength and confidence to sustain the relationship through many difficulties.

I wish to take this opportunity to pay tribute to all those who have made great contributions to the development of China-US relations. I also wish to express my profound thanks and appreciation to the Roundtable of Chinese American Organizations and Nixon Library for organizing this commemorative event.

Today as China-US relationship is standing at another crucial juncture, we need to draw more strength from our two peoples to ensure that China-US relationship stays on the right track.

Just as President Xi Jingping said while meeting with President Trump in Mar-a-Lago in 2017, “there are a thousand reasons to make the China-US relationship work, and no reason to break it.” History tells us that our two countries stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. Cooperation is the only right choice.

We are encouraged that President Xi and President Trump had reached important consensus during their recent meeting and communications. It is important that we make concerted efforts to implement these consensus.

We should respect each other and seek common ground while shelving differences and adhere to the three joint communiqués.

We should expand common interests, deepen pragmatic cooperation to bring our two peoples a greater sense of gain.

We should maintain the momentum of sub national exchange and cooperation by encouraging more interactions from all circles so as to consolidate the public opinion and social foundation for bilateral relations.

Let ‘s work together for greater prosperity and further development of China-US relations.

Thank you.

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