Remarks by Ambassador Cui Tiankai at the Ceremony of George H. W. Bush Award for Statesmanship in U.S.-China Relations Honoring President Jimmy Carter
Mr. Neil Bush,
Mr. James Earl Carter III,
Ambassador Mary Ann Peters,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It's a great pleasure to attend this Ceremony in which the George H. W. Bush Award for Statesmanship in U.S.-China Relations is presented to President Jimmy Carter. The significance of a Democratic President receiving an honor named after a Republican President in recognition of his outstanding and profound contributions to China-U.S. relations is not lost upon us. The China-U.S. friendship transcends partisanship; indeed a strong, stable consensus for its vitality exists in both countries.
The world was undergoing significant changes in the late 1970s, with emerging trends in the global power structure. That moment was met by inspired leadership in China and the United States. Their insightful observations of the world and the evolving international landscape enabled them to make the strategic decision to establish diplomatic relations, which actually sped up the ending of the Cold War and contributed to enduring world peace and stability.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. The world continues to evolve amid great challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. To address climate change, terrorism, infectious disease, poverty, and other transnational problems, it is imperative that China and the United States cooperate more closely. We cannot solve any of those problems alone, let alone through confrontation. As the world's two largest economies and Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council, China and the U.S. must work closely to promote coordination, cooperation and stability in their relations. This is also the broad-based expectation of the international community.
At this critical juncture, there are yet some irrational doubts about our relations. Some are clamoring for decoupling of our two countries and a new Cold War. These attempts are not only questioning the achievements we have made over the past four decades and challenging the very tangible outcomes of our cooperation, but also putting the future of our relations and prospects for global stability and prosperity at great risk.
Although differences between us are always there, our relationship remains mutually beneficial in nature. As President George H. W. Bush said, "I do not mistrust the future. I do not fear what is ahead. For our problems are large, but our heart is larger." I believe that as long as we have a big heart, we will overcome any difficulties and stay on the right track of our bilateral relations.