Remarks at the Beginning of the Strategic Track Session 1 on Bilateral Cooperation

John Kerry
Secretary of State
State Councilor Yang Jiechi
Diaoyutai State Guesthouse
Beijing, China
July 9, 2014

STATE COUNCILOR YANG: (Via translator) I thank you, Secretary Kerry, first of all, for the warm hospitality accorded to us during our previous meeting, when Vice Premier Wang Yang and I was in the States. And also thanks, Secretary Lew.

I think this afternoon's strategic dialogue is very important. We will first hear a report on the discussions during the Strategic Security Dialogue, or the SSD, and followed by our discussions on some practical issues, as well as issues of our common interest.

We have very limited time. Therefore, my opening remarks will be very short. So, once again, welcome to China, Secretary Kerry.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, thank you very much. Thank you, State Councilor. Thank you for a wonderful banquet. Thank you for, again, a generous welcome here. And I think, thus far, the meeting has, without any question, underscored the desire of both of us to see the relationship between the United States and China be targeted, focused, and as productive and constructive as possible. And I think we have had a very good beginning to that (inaudible) morning.

Obviously, there are security issues in the region that we need to talk about this afternoon. We are convinced that the United States and China do not have to be rivals, but can be partners and find things to cooperate on that are important to the security of the region. We are very hopeful that, in the course of the afternoon, we can work through some of those issues in a very positive way. And I know our presidents, both of them, want us to be able to do that as effectively as we can.

So, again, in the spirit of time being critical, why don't we get right into the meat? And I know Deputy Secretary Burns has to leave, because he is flying from here to yet another location.