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Text: "the U.S. and China: Building a New Era of Cooperation for a New Century"

Good morning. President Yang, thank you very much for that nice introduction. Vice Mayor Zhao, honored guests:

I'm delighted to be here today. It really gives me great pleasure to be at this Center, which has played such a valuable role in promoting the study of American history, culture and foreign policy. I am honored to meet with the scholars and students here of Fudan University, one of China's most distinguished institutions of intellectual achievement. Here in this city where East and West have long met and mixed, you are helping to shape a modern China with growing links to the wider world.

On behalf of President Clinton, I have come to this great city to speak to you about the challenges now facing our two nations. My message is clear: Now, more than ever before, the American and Chinese peoples can and must work together to advance our interests. Like all great nations, we will no doubt at times have divergent views. But history has given our two countries a remarkable opportunity -- the opportunity to build a new era of cooperation for a new century. It's an opportunity which we simply must seize.

The shape of the world is changing almost as dramatically as this city's skyline. Today, the Cold War is over, the risk of global nuclear conflict has been greatly reduced, and the free flow of goods and ideas is bringing to life the concept of a global village. But just as all nations can benefit from the promise of this new world, no nation is immune to its perils. We all have a great stake in building peace and prosperity, and in confronting threats that respect no borders -- threats like terrorism and drug trafficking, disease and environmental destruction.

To meet these challenges most effectively, China and the United States must act together, must act in concert. Some have argued that with the Cold War's end, the strategic importance of the United States-China relationship has somehow diminished. I believe they have it exactly backwards. As a new century begins, the importance of strengthening the ties between the United States and China will grow even stronger.

Last May, I proposed that we deepen our cooperation by developing a more regular dialogue, including meetings at the highest level. During the last few months, contact between our government officials have intensified across a broad range of issues -- a healthy sign of maturing relations. Yesterday in Beijing, I had the opportunity to meet with President Jiang Zemin, with Premier Li Peng, and my counterpart Vice Premier Qian Qichen. And just three days from now, President Clinton and President Jiang will meet at the APEC Leaders' Meeting in the Philippines.

These meetings have one over-riding purpose: to reach new understandings that will bring concrete benefits to the citizens of both countries and the citizens of the world. The United States is convinced that by expanding our cooperation at every level -- global, regional and bilateral -- we will advance our shared interests. Let me outline briefly why.

First, I want to talk about the need for the United States and China to work together on the international stage dealing with global events.

Our great nations share a weighty, heavy responsibility. As nuclear powers, as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and as two of the world's biggest economies, we simply must lead. We have a common stake in building and upholding an international system that promotes peace and security and prosperity around the globe.

Nowhere has cooperation been more crucial than in our efforts to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction. The last few years demonstrate just how much the United States and China can accomplish when we work together. Together we helped to ensure the indefinite and unconditional extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. And together one of the landmarks of this current period was achieved, namely the conclusion of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. These two giant steps have made our citizens safer. Americans and Chinese will be even more secure if we can redouble our efforts to end the production of fissile material for nuclear bombs, if we can work together to join the global convention to ban chemical weapons and to strengthen the ability of the international community to detect and stop illicit nuclear programs.

While the United States and China have worked side by side to reach important understandings on non-proliferation, much remains to be done. Indeed in my meetings yesterday in Beijing we advanced our work together toward this goal. The new regular dialogue that we'll have between officials from the United States and China on non-proliferation and arms control issues will facilitate further progress. We have a shared interest in preventing the introduction of sensitive technologies into volatile regions such as South Asia and the Persian Gulf. Let me be particularly clear on one point: Countries such as Iran that sponsor terror and work against peace cannot be trusted to respect international norms or safeguards. Their attempts to acquire nuclear and chemical weapons and missile technology threaten the interests of both our countries and indeed of all their neighbors. We must work together to stop them.

Both of our countries will also benefit from an effective global coalition against terrorists, against international criminals and drug traffickers. In his speech at the United Nations last September, President Clinton called on all nations to deny sanctuary to those global predators in the narcotics and terrorism field, and to ratify the conventions that prevent and punish terrorism. In addition, China and the United States should forge strong ties between our law enforcement officials to fight common foes like the drug lords in Burma whose traffic in heroin threatens citizens from Shanghai to San Francisco.

China and the United States have an immense stake in building an open global trading system for the 21st Century. Together our two nations account for almost one-third of the global trade and output. For both our nations, exports are increasingly important to our economic growth. We can both profit by joining to establish and uphold rules that will open markets and will make trade fairer than it is now.

The United States actively supports China's entry into the World Trade Organization on commercially meaningful terms. We welcome China's commitment not to introduce new laws or policies that would be inconsistent with its World Trade Organization obligations. We are prepared to negotiate intensively to achieve a WTO accession package on the basis of effective market access commitments by China and adherence to WTO rules.

Our economic growth and well-being is also dependent upon responsibly managing our natural resources. For the United States and China, choosing between economic growth and environmental protection is what President Clinton has called "a false choice, an unnecessary choice." Both are vitally important and both are mutually reinforcing.

Our nations must demonstrate a global leadership on these critical environmental challenges, perhaps the most dangerous current one and that is climate change. The United States and China are leading producers of greenhouse gases. These gases threaten to raise sea levels, damage our crop production, and spread deadly disease. As two nations at different stages of development, we will shoulder our responsibilities in somewhat different ways, but we should agree to act together and to act now -- globally, regionally and bilaterally. That is why we are jointly promoting renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. Most important for the long term -- and especially to great cities like Shanghai -- we are exploring new energy technologies that are less harmful to the world's atmosphere.

On a wide range of environmental issues -- saving fisheries, controlling toxic chemicals, preserving forests -- our two countries have recently expanded our environmental dialogue. We do this to spur progress through the Sustainable Development Forum which is led by Vice President Gore and Premier Li Peng.

Let me now turn to the second broad area for cooperation between the United States and China, namely the important regional interests that we share as great Pacific nations.

Across an ocean where terrible conflicts have given way now to more peaceful relations between nations, today's hard-earned security and prosperity depend upon maintaining and strengthening stability in this region. We've had significant successes. We've joined together to ensure a non-nuclear Korean Peninsula -- and we're working with China to push forward four-party talks to try to ensure permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. In Southeast Asia, our two countries have worked together with the United Nations to promote peace and reconciliation in Cambodia.

Throughout the Asia-Pacific region, America's continuing military presence makes a vital contribution to stability. Some in your country have suggested that our presence here in the Asia-Pacific region is designed to contain China. They are simply wrong about that. We believe that our security presence advances the interests not only of the United States, but China and all the countries of the region. For this reason, the United States will remain a Pacific power in the next century no less than in the last century.

In the wake of the Cold War, the United States has taken steps to re-invigorate our relationships across the Pacific. We believe that our five alliances in this region reinforce peace and benefit all nations -- including China. So do broader contacts between the militaries of the United States and China. My nation looks forward to increased exchanges between our armed services, regular defense minister meetings such as the one that will take place between Minister Chi and my colleague Secretary Perry next month, and more port calls like the one paid by the U.S.S. Fort McHenry to Shanghai last February. The United States and China will also gain from the success of new regional security dialogues such as the ASEAN Regional Forum. These dialogues encourage meaningful talks, they defuse tension, and they promote confidence-building measures.

The United States is also committed to working with China to promote regional economic growth and prosperity. When the original 12 members of APEC met in Canberra in 1989, they recognized that the best way to sustain Asia's dynamism was to ensure that the economies of the APEC countries would grow together. And now today's APEC members conduct almost 70 percent of their trade with each other. This week in the Philippines, the United States, China and all the other APEC economies will set out plans that will lead to the elimination of all barriers to trade and investment in this region by the year 2020. We will also work on plans for economic and environmental cooperation throughout the region. China and the United States, as APEC's two largest members, have a special responsibility to turn these plans into forthright action.

Our ability to advance these regional and global goals ultimately rests on a strong U.S.-Chinese bilateral relationship -- and that's the third matter that I want to touch on briefly today.

Here in Shanghai almost 23 years ago, the People's Republic of China and the United States of America -- nations too long separated by mistrust and suspicion -- took an historic step. We agreed to advance common strategic goals and broaden ties between our people. Since then, relations between our nations have been guided by the set of principles set out in the Shanghai communiqu?and the two communiqu廥 that followed in 1978 and 1982.

As I have said many times, the United States is firmly committed to expanding our relationship within the context of our "one China" policy as embodied in these three communiqu廥. We believe that the PRC and Taiwan must act to resolve their differences between themselves. At the same time, we have a strong interest in the peaceful resolution of the issues between Taipei and Beijing. We believe that the PRC and Taiwan share that interest in a peaceful resolution of these issues. We have emphasized to both Taipei and Beijing the importance of avoiding provocative actions or unilateral measures that would alter the status quo or pose a threat to peaceful resolution of the outstanding issues. We are encouraged that both sides have taken steps to reduce tensions in the Taiwan Strait. We hope the PRC and Taiwan will soon resume a cross-Strait dialogue that can help build trust and settle differences.

Both China and the United States also have vital interests in a smooth and successful transition of Hong Kong from Britain to China. More than 40,000 U.S. citizens call Hong Kong home and American investments total more than 13 billion dollars in Hong Kong. We have welcomed China's pledge to maintain Hong Kong's unique autonomy, to allow its open economy to flourish, and to respect its traditions of law and individual freedoms. These guarantees are crucial to Hong Kong's continued dynamism -- and to the prosperity of China as a whole. As that vital date approaches, as July 1, 1997 approaches, the world will look on with great interest and watch as China, we all hope, will respect its commitments to Hong Kong and to these important principles that will guide Hong Kong in the future.

China and the United States also stand to gain from the sustained economic growth that bring prosperity to every province of your nation. For two decades now, America's actions have reflected our deep interest in the success of China's efforts to lift the living standards of its people. The United States has supported multilateral assistance to help China meet basic human needs. American foundations have helped China to promote education and health. And American universities have helped to educate almost 200,000 Chinese students -- some of whom, I'm sure, are here in the audience today.

Here in Shanghai, the economic benefits of our relationship are readily apparent. About 2,000 American companies have contracted to invest almost 4 billion dollars in this city alone, more than anywhere else in China. From aerospace and computers to capital markets and life insurance, our businesses and workers are turning Shanghai into an engine of growth and innovation not just for China and the United States, but for the world as a whole.

These economic links have already made America your largest export market and China one of our most important customers. Now we can expand those links by cooperating to meet future needs in agriculture, energy, and infrastructure -- areas where American know-how is unrivaled. We must work together to widen market access in China and open new opportunities for consumers and workers. And we must consolidate the gains that we have already made by strengthening the protection of intellectual property. Economic piracy poses a threat not just to American businesses, but to China's software, film, and music industries as well. By upholding its commitments to protect intellectual property, China will enhance its ability to attract foreign investment in the future.

Our work in these and other areas is bringing together our business representatives, scientists, legal experts and scholars -- in person and on the Internet. Last year, more than 400,000 Americans came to China, and speaking of Americans in China I am very pleased and proud to have with me today Ambassador James Sasser and his wife Mary. Ambassador Sasser was a leading American Senator for eighteen years, a member of the President's party, and now our Ambassador to China. If you would join me in giving a hand to Ambassador Sasser. From the Chinese officials who visit America's small towns to the Hollywood producers who flock to the Shanghai film Festival, we are building a human bridge across the Pacific, enriching our countries and cultures with new ideas and new products. Strengthening these links will deepen our understanding -- and our trust -- and will enable our ties of friendship to grow even stronger.

In all the areas that I have discussed today -- global, regional and bilateral -- one lesson stands out: Containment and confrontation will hurt both of our nations: cooperation and dialogue on the other hand will best advance our mutual interests. It is that spirit of cooperation and commitment that infuses my country's approach to our relationship. Cooperation, of course, is a two-way street. If we are to produce concrete results, China must also do its part.

The United States and China will continue to face profound differences, some rooted in history, others in tradition and circumstance. During my meetings yesterday in Beijing, we discussed our disagreements quite openly and quite candidly. We have a responsibility to ourselves and to the world to manage those differences constructively and to approach them in ways that do not undermine our ability to achieve our important common goals.

In recent years, our nations have had divergent views over democracy and the freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United States tries to live up to these principles by fighting injustice at home and speaking up for all those who are persecuted for seeking to exercise universal rights -- wherever they may live. While we recognize that each nation must find its own path, consistent with its own history, we believe that these ideals of the Universal Declaration reflect the values not just of the United States, but of countries and cultures all over the world.

We Americans promote individual freedoms and the rule of law not only because they reflect our ideals, but because we believe they advance our common interest in stability and prosperity. History shows that nations with accountable governments and open societies make better neighbors. Nations that respect the rule of law and encourage the free flow of information provide a stable, predictable and efficient climate for investment. And those that give their people a greater stake in their future are more likely to enjoy economic growth over the long term. China's recent efforts to invest authority in its people through legal and administrative reforms and village elections are a positive step in that direction.

For more than two centuries, Americans and Chinese have reached out to each other across a wide geographic and cultural divide. Many of my country's finest entrepreneurs, architects, scientists and artists have come from your shores to shape our society and drive our economy. At times, the results have been nothing short of brilliant. Americans, in turn, have made contributions to China, whether building factories that provide jobs or bringing ideas that open new opportunities. Yet too often in our history, distance and difference have blinded us to our common hopes and interests, creating distorted images of each other that drive us apart.

Each of us still has much to learn. But technology has shrunk the miles between us and given us new insight into one another's lives. We know each other better now than ever before. In a world where barriers are falling and borders are blurring, our nations are united by increasingly shared opportunities and challenges.

The United States strongly supports China's development as a secure, open and successful nation. We welcome its emergence as a strong and responsible member of the international community. Now, on the brink of a new century, our nations have a chance to establish a broad and durable set of ties for the new era.

As we meet together in this city "above the ocean" that links our great lands, let us rededicate ourselves to advancing shared goals. If we unite ourselves in common purpose, we can create a new era of promise. History has given us this priceless opportunity -- and we must and will meet the challenge.