Cui Tiankai, Chinese Ambassador to the United States, delivers a keynote speech at the China General Chamber of Commerce-USA Chinese Lunar New Year of the Pig Gala in New York on January 7, 2019 (COURTESY OF CGCC)
The past 40 years have proven that China's reform and opening up and the normalization and development of China-U.S. relations have benefited both countries and the entire world. China will continue to work with the United States to build a strong and stable relationship, said Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai, in a keynote speech at an event hosted by the China General Chamber of Commerce-USA (CGCC) in New York on January 7, 2019. Cui also encouraged companies from both countries to keep the bigger picture in mind, remain open and have a clear view of right and wrong. An edited excerpt of Ambassador Cui's speech at the CGCC Chinese Lunar New Year of the Pig Gala follows:
Forty years ago when China first launched reform and opening up, another important event took place almost at the same time: the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States. It was no coincidence that these two historic events took place simultaneously. And it was no coincidence either that those who have supported China's reform and opening up, people like (Maurice R.) Greenberg, have also contributed a great deal to the normalization and development of China-U.S. relations. We all owe so much to these pioneers.
Now 40 years later, China's reform and opening up has been a great success story and the journey continues. The China-U.S. relationship has also been a great success story and its journey also continues.
As we celebrate these two important anniversaries, we will also be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China later this year. So as we celebrate all of these important anniversaries, it is a good time for us to look forward to the coming decades and plan our work together for even greater success. Indeed, the choices we make today will help shape our common future.
For China, the choice is clear.
China will continue to seek people-centered development, sustainable development and peaceful development. We will strive to meet the growing needs of our people for a better life and realize the Chinese dream. This is our goal. And this is also our inalienable right.
China will continue to carry out reform and opening up because this has been the key to our success so far. And this will continue to be the key to our future success and to the realization of the further development and rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
We will continue to work with the United States to build a strong and stable relationship. Reform and opening up in China and the normalization and development of China-U.S. relations have benefited both countries and the entire world. This has been proven by the history of the last four decades. Thus, the success story is not just China's, or just America's. It is our shared success story; it's the world's success story. People normally question failures, but no one with good common sense would ever question their own successes.
History has shown us that for China and the United States, cooperation benefits both countries, while confrontation hurts both sides. Therefore, cooperation is the only correct option for us.
Of course, profound changes have taken place in both countries and in the world; we are not the same as 40 years ago. Thus, our relations have to evolve with the times. But all this only underscores the need for closer China-U.S. cooperation and the dire consequences if we fail to do so in this fast changing world. Let me reiterate here that China remains committed to expanding our cooperation with the United States on the basis of mutual benefit, managing our differences on the basis of mutual respect and developing a relationship with the United States based on closer coordination, more cooperation and greater stability.
In this context, I would like to offer a few words to the business communities of both countries.
My first suggestion is to keep the bigger picture in mind. The growing aspirations of our peoples for a better life, the continued advancement of technology and the rise of more developing countries onto the global stage from Asia, Africa and Latin America are the historical trends that are transforming our world in a most profound way. These are also the historical trends that are opening up enormous opportunities for business all over the world. To go with these trends certainly serves the interests of our peoples and our countries. It will also enable members of the business community to make the best use of the new opportunities for their own growth and rise within the historical tide.
My second suggestion is to remain open. There are now in some quarters of the world attempts to close the door to others and cut off ties with them. This represents a narrow-minded and shortsighted world outlook. The reality is that if people try to close the door, they're not just shutting others out, they're actually shutting themselves in. No one can have greater access to others if they are raising barriers.
Now let me say a couple of words to the Chinese companies here today. I'm fully aware of the situation you sometimes have to face now when doors are closed on you. I fully share your concerns and your opposition to these attempts. But my advice is to never give up, never give in. The best response to such actions is greater openness. Have confidence in openness, and have confidence in your pursuit of win-win cooperation. For Chinese companies, this kind of openness also means having a readiness to learn from your American partners, not only in terms of technology and management skills, but more importantly, from their capacity for imagination and culture of innovation.
My third suggestion to business communities of both countries is to have a clear stand on what's right and wrong. In order to succeed in today's world, people have to understand the interactions between politics and economics. But please don't allow yourselves to be misguided by some narrowly defined "political correctness." Be clear about what you really want. Don't have the illusion that some self-proclaimed strategists who are actually new cold warriors, can solve your problems for you. A free ride on their wagon will not take you to the right destination. Have the moral courage to say no to those advocating the disruption of the international supply chain, the fragmentation of the global market, the decoupling of our two economies, a zero-sum confrontation and even a new Cold War.
Over 100 years ago, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when Japan was going through its industrialization, there was a very prominent Japanese business leader by the name of Shibusawa Eiichi. He put forward some ideas about the relationship between the abacus, the traditional Chinese calculating tool, and the teachings of Confucius. Eiichi believed that a good business person should have the abacus in one hand and the teachings of Confucius in the other. His point was to strike a balance between commercial profits and moral principles, between self-interests and the public good.
Of course, we're living in a very different world with even fiercer competition among countries, where super computers have long replaced the abacus. But despite all these changes, and perhaps exactly because of all these changes, because today we're living in a world with greater capability and higher stakes, there is an even more urgent need to have a broad perspective and keep a long-term view. There is a greater need to have a strong sense of justice and responsibility. And there is a greater need for us to always keep in mind the real interests of our peoples. So perhaps the advice given by Eiichi is still somewhat relevant. Perhaps this is something we can all think about as we start the New Year.
Copyedited by Rebeca Toledo
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