Remarks at Strategic Track Plenary Session

John Kerry
Secretary of State
State Councilor Yang Jiechi
Diaoyutai State Guesthouse
Beijing, China
July 10, 2014

STATE COUNCILOR YANG: (Via interpreter) (In progress) and the president (inaudible) advancement in (inaudible) major country relationship between the countries. (Inaudible) plenaries (inaudible) dinner with Secretary Kerry exchanging (inaudible).

(Inaudible) 35 years, China-U.S. relations has made historical progress, despite some twists and turns. It has brought huge benefits to our two peoples and helped to promote peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large. I’m deeply aware that a positive, coordinated, and (inaudible) relations doesn’t come by easily, and we need to work together to cherish it and maintain it.

And I wish to take this opportunity to make three points. First, to build this new model major country relationship, we need to respect each other and treat each other sincerely, look at each other’s strategic intention correctly, and to avoid any strategic misjudgment. The Chinese people are working to achieve (inaudible) goals. We will remain committed to the road of peaceful development. We hope our U.S. (inaudible) a rational perspective.

Second, to build this new model major country relationship we must bear in mind the larger picture, be firm in our commitment, and not to be perturbed by individual incidents or particular circumstances, because this is the only and correct choice for both of us.

And thirdly, to build this new model major country relationship we must work from the groundwork (inaudible) step-by-step manner. We must build a solid foundation for this relationship so that the whole (inaudible).

Now I give the floor to Secretary Kerry for some opening remarks, and I’ll ask the lead persons of different agencies to speak. Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, thank you very much. Appreciate again, State Councilor Yang, your leadership. And I just pick up on what you just said. I think it really is a good idea not to be perturbed by differences. There will be some. But as we said yesterday, the key to this relationship, and the key of building the future for both of us, is to be able to manage those differences effectively while we find a way to cooperate on the most significant challenges.

I think it is fair to say that on those most significant challenges, China and the United States have been finding a way to cooperate. We are working together with respect to the security challenge of North Korea. We are working with respect to the regional challenges. We are working on the nuclear program of Iran as a partner in the P5+1 process. We are working together effectively in Afghanistan, and we appreciate the cooperation there. Your support for the Middle East peace process and counterterrorism is very significant.

And I think we have broken ground here in the last two days on both a series of small steps that we can take that will make a difference, but also an understanding of how we can do better on some of the large issues.

Climate change is a tremendous example of that. China and the United States both bear special responsibilities; we both accepted them, and we both come here with a working group and with a very special focus to try to find a way for us to be able to help lead the rest of the world as we head into important negotiations in Paris next year.

So I want to thank you for making this what I think has been one of the most successful, comprehensive, and disciplined dialogues that we’ve had. And we certainly look forward to continuing that. You’ve set a high standard for us to meet at the next meeting.

So the key here, now, is to really hear from the speakers who are going to summarize the progress that’s been made. And I am particularly pleased to be joined by our Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Cathy Novelli, who came to us from the private sector, from – (ends in progress).