Remarks With Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi Before Their Meeting

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Beijing, China
January 27, 2016

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, Mr. Minister, my friend, thank you very, very much. You and I have indeed met a great deal in the last three years. China and the United States have been able to find a level of new cooperation with respect to a number of issues.

On Iran and the Iran nuclear agreement, China took on major responsibility. We worked very effectively as the P5+1. On counterterrorism, we’re engaged in major initiatives and we obviously all share a very common interest. On climate change, we really had a very important moment that broke the mold of the past and showed new leadership, and we were able to achieve a landmark, groundbreaking agreement in Paris. On Afghanistan, we have worked together. On Ebola, we worked together.

So we found important common ground. And I appreciate your comments about Laos, Cambodia, ASEAN. These are all important countries all with important interests. But clearly, we have several important issues we need to find a way to move forward on. One is the issue of the nuclear program of the DPRK, North Korea – a major challenge to global security, one of the most important issues of security to the United States of America.

And the second issue, of course, is concerns and activities in the South China Sea, which we’ve talked about before, and we obviously will talk about today. We have proven, as you said, when our two countries find a common ground and work together we can make things happen. And it’s my hope that today we can be constructive and find a way forward.

I thank you for your welcome. I know you had Deputy Secretary Blinken here just a few days ago. And I look forward to picking up on his conversation.