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Cover Story
Print Edition> Cover Story
UPDATED: January 12, 2009 NO. 3 JAN. 15, 2009
History in the Making
Remarkable changes have taken place in China-U.S. relations over the past three decades

Since the beginning of the 21st century, China and the United States have upgraded their partnership in an all-round way.

China-U.S. relations have remained stable since July 2001. This is the longest period of stability in their bilateral relations since they established diplomatic relations in 1979.

Over the past seven years, Chinese and U.S. leaders have held frequent meetings to exchange views on bilateral, regional and global issues in a bid to give their relations fresh vigor and vitality. Dozens of exchange platforms have helped institutionalize their relations. For instance, the China-U.S. Strategic Dialogue and the China-U.S. Strategic Economic Dialogue have borne abundant fruit. The two countries have also cooperated on antiterrorism and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Relations between the two countries have transcended their own borders to have implications for economic development and security in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. China has more exchanges, linkages and cooperative projects with the United States than with any other foreign country.

China-U.S. relations have exhibited two salient features in this period:

--China and the United States have made joint efforts to safeguard stability across the Taiwan Straits.

The Bush administration has reaffirmed its adherence to the "one-China policy" and the three China-U.S. joint communiqués and its opposition to de jure "Taiwan independence." After Taiwan authorities proposed a referendum to gain UN membership in June 2007, high-ranking Bush administration officials publicly voiced their opposition time and again.

--The two countries' trade relations have made great headway as their economic interdependence deepens. Since China entered the WTO at the end of 2001, bilateral trade between China and the United States has skyrocketed. Today, they are each other's second largest trading partners. China-

U.S. trade accounts for more than 14 percent of China's total foreign trade volume and more than 11 percent of America's total foreign trade volume. While the United States has plenty of investment in China, China holds large quantities of U.S. treasury bonds. Most of China's foreign exchange reserves are in U.S. dollars as well. All this is evidence that the two countries' economies are extremely interdependent.

Despite lingering disputes, China and the United States are cementing their bonds given their wide-ranging common interests. In December 1989, when China-U.S. relations faced severe difficulties, Deng asserted that relations between the two countries "must eventually be improved," which he believed was required for world peace and stability.

Chinese and U.S. Presidents Hail Anniversary

Chinese President Hu Jintao and U.S. President George W. Bush sent each other letters of congratulations on January 1 to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

In his message of congratulation, President Hu said the establishment of a formal diplomatic relationship 30 years ago was a "milestone" in the history of the two countries' bilateral relations, which also had a significant international impact. "Our two peoples are increasing mutual understanding and friendship day by day," said Hu, adding that the Sino-U.S. relationship not only benefits the two peoples, but also greatly contributes to peace, stability and development in Asia and the world.

Under the current complex and profound circumstances in the world, China is willing to strengthen its relationship with the United States to face both opportunities and challenges based on mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, so as "to promote sound, stable and in-depth growth of our constructive and cooperative relationship," Hu said.

In his message of congratulation, President Bush said the two countries overcame profound differences in history, culture and political systems to establish their diplomatic relationship.

Bush said that the two sides have come to know each other well over the last 30 years and developed cooperation in every conceivable field, from commerce and trade to education, science, sports and the arts. The two sides have also made progress in dealing with global challenges such as terrorism, disease and the proliferation of nuclear weapons, he said.

"I am confident that, working with common purpose and determination, our two nations can successfully address global challenges to ensure that our children inherit a truly better and safer world," Bush said.

(Source: Xinhua News Agency)


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