Prime Minister Zhao Ziyang speaks at a Foreign Policy Association luncheon

Event Details

Tuesday, January 17, 1984
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM 
Foreign Policy Association luncheon
, NY
Event type
Lunch / Dinner  

Event Transcripts and Video



Both China and the United States are great countries in the world. Over two centuries Sino-U.S. relations have gone through many vicissitudes. Historical experience has shown that whether China and the United States are on good terms concern not only the interests of the two peoples but also peace and stability in the Asian- Pacific region and the world at large. This is even more true in the turbulent world of today.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations five years ago, the relations between China and the United States have made fairly big progress and also met with difficulties and setbacks. Two possible futures lie ahead for Sino-U.S. relations: One is steady and sustained development of our friendly relations and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit with differences being ironed out and obstacles removed. The other is stagnation of our relations at the present level with frequent frictions and even setbacks.

To be frank, the Taiwan question is the main obstacle in the growth of Sino-U.S. relations.

We are making persistent efforts for a peaceful settlement of the question of Taiwan's return. We have proposed talks between the Chinese Communist Party and the Kuomintang on an equal footing and a third round of cooperation. Pledges on Taiwan

After the country is reunified, Taiwan, as a special administrative region of China, can retain much of its own character and keep its social system and life style unchanged. The existing party, government and military setups in Taiwan can also remain unchanged. The central Government will send no representatives or troops to station in Taiwan.

Using the name of ''Taiwan: China,'' Taiwan may also continue its external economic and cultural exchanges, and foreign investments in Taiwan will be fully protected. Of course, the People's Republic of China alone is to represent China on the international arena. In a word, neither party will swallow up the other. Far from losing anything, Taiwan will stand to gain from the reunion of families and relatives, from access to the resources and markets of the mainland, from sharing the honors of the motherland and from ending for good its present isolation.

Let me repeat, we are seeking settlement of the Taiwan question in good faith. But we cannot make a commitment to any foreign country that only peaceful means will be used in solving the Taiwan issue, because this is China's internal affair and within China's sovereign rights. What China Asks

Leaders of the U.S. Government have also stated more than once that the United States has no intention to interfere as this is an issue between the Chinese parties concerned. We are not asking the United States to help us reunify our country; we only ask the United States to observe truly and strictly the mutually confirmed principles contained in the Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China and the United States and the Communique of Aug. 17, 1982. If this is done, we can dispel the clouds hanging over Sino-U.S. relations.

Ladies and gentlemen, China always values the Sino-U.S. relations and desires to see their healthy development. I believe you share this desire. China and United States have different social systems and ideologies, but these need not impede the growth of Sino-U.S. relations. Facts prove that countries with different social systems can very well live together in harmony, friendship and cooperation while countries with similar social systems may come into confrontation or even conflict. As things stand, neither of our two countries pose a direct threat to the other.

On the contrary, we have common interests on larger issues affecting international peace and security. It is fully possible for each of us to proceed from its own differing position and do its part in safeguarding world peace. Maintenance of friendly relations between China and the United States is in itself an important factor making for world peace and stability.

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