I want to begin by expressing the appreciation of the American side to Vice Premier Wang and State Councilor Dai for hosting this fourth Strategic and Economic Dialogue. We also appreciated greatly the opportunity to meet with President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice President Xi Jinping. And I am grateful that we’ve had such cooperation and diligent work by the large teams on both sides who are committed to furthering the positive, cooperative, comprehensive relationship that our two presidents have set forth.
The strategic track of the S&ED is very broad. It includes science and technology; energy, environment, and climate change; health issues, such as greater surveillance to prevent the spread of disease; sub-national dialogue and cooperation; the People-to-People Exchange and consultation, and much more. State Councilor Dai and I just came from our plenary session, where we received reports from several of the leaders of our efforts on both sides.
So over the past two days, we have discussed a wide range of shared regional and global challenges and many of the most important issues in our bilateral relationship. Let me just mention a few of the areas that we covered.
We discussed a number of the global hotspots that require urgent action and cooperation. And I expressed the appreciation of the American Government for the good efforts that China and the United States made together in the Security Council on Wednesday to pass a resolution that strongly supports the African Union roadmap to bring an end to the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan.
We also had extensive discussions on the importance of maintaining stability and security on the Korean Peninsula, on preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, on supporting the full and immediate implementation of the Kofi Annan plan in Syria. Each of these crises represents a shared challenge to global security and each provides an opportunity for us to work more closely together to advance our common interests in peace and stability.
Second, as part of the Strategic Security Dialogue, we have had discussions between our civilian and military leaders on a range of important matters, including cyberspace and cyber security. And State Councilor Dai and I heard reports out of that dialogue. The United States expressed its growing concern about the threat to economic and national security across the world posed by cyber intrusions, the theft of intellectual property and commercial data by cyber means.
As two of the world’s largest cyber actors, it is vital to the United States and China to have a sustained, meaningful dialogue on cyberspace issues and work together to develop a shared understanding of acceptable norms of behavior. This week, we had a very candid discussion, and we will continue that discussion and look toward making progress together.
We also discussed the areas of disagreement. We have, over the last four years, developed a level of trust that enables us to have open and candid conversations about our core interests and concerns. We listen respectfully and we look toward trying to find areas of common agreement wherever we can.
Of course, the United States continues to raise human rights, because we believe that they are essential for every country to uphold. And we raise specific matters of individuals and situations whenever necessary, because, of course, we cannot ignore our areas of difference in the comprehensive relationship that we are building. And we will remain engaged to work together toward positive outcomes. It is very important, however, to acknowledge that we cannot allow disagreements to derail our relationship or hold back our cooperation on the broad range of matters that are of vital importance to our two nations.
I’m told there is a Taoist wisdom that says to lead one must see the larger picture. I might say it a little differently, namely that you have to look at the trend lines, not just the headlines, and that is especially true in the China-U.S. relationship. The trend is clear. Our countries are growing more interdependent, and so we need to build a resilient relationship that allows both of us to thrive and meet our regional and global responsibilities without unhealthy competition, rivalry, or conflict. Zero-sum thinking will lead only to negative-sum results.
And resilience begins with trust. That’s why we’ve prioritized building a stronger relationship between our two militaries, improving transparency and communication. It’s also why we’ve worked hard to expand the connections between our people, including through exchanges like the 100,000 Strong Initiative. And earlier today, at our consultation on People-to-People Exchanges, I was delighted to announce the creation of an independent, nonprofit organization funded by the Ford Foundation that will sustain this 100,000 Strong Initiative for years to come.
The S&ED itself is our premier forum for building trust and promoting resilience in our relationship. For all of us up here, this is our fourth and final round, but we are committed to institutionalizing the mechanisms of cooperation so that the comprehensive engagement that we have pioneered together under the leadership of our two presidents does not slow or reverse.
So again, let me thank the vice premier and the state councilor for their cooperation, their friendship, and their candor, not only this year but for the previous three years. And as I told the state councilor, we may both be out of the direct role that we’ve held over the last four years, but I certainly intend to continue to follow and support the building of a positive cooperative, comprehensive relationship in the years ahead.
Thank you very much.