Remarks at the S-Track Plenary

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi
Diaoyutai State Guesthouse
Beijing, China
June 7, 2016

STATE COUNCILOR YANG: (Via interpreter) Honorable Mr. Secretary, I’m very pleased to co-chair this talks with you in the strategic track of the S&ED. Over the last two days, you and I have had two sessions – one working dinner and one working lunch. We had a sincere, candid, and in-depth exchange of views on building the new model of major country relations, realizing positive interactions in the Asia Pacific region, encompassing strategic cooperation across the world, and promptly handling our difference and sensitive issues.

The tone of our dialogue has been positive and constructive and we reached the goal of building mutual trust, promoting cooperation, and managing our differences. Now, this is the most extensive session of the strategic track with a good opportunity for the different agencies and departments to meet and talk face to face. The theme of our discussion this morning is ways to promote practical cooperation in various fields. As the participants and contributor to the China-U.S. relationship, I hope the departmental and agency heads will adopt a realistic and pragmatic attitude, propose new ideas for deepening win-win cooperation, and strive for new outcomes so as to strive to inject new impetus into our relationship.

Now, I’d like to turn over to Secretary Kerry, and then the agency heads from the two sides will speak in turn. Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, thank you very much, State Councilor, and I agree with you completely. I think this has been extremely constructive. While we’ve been having some of our smaller meetings, our teams have been working very, very hard and I think they made a lot of progress. I want to thank you again for your tremendous hospitality and the wonderful dinner last night. We really appreciated it very, very much. I think, also, the meetings altogether have been constructive. As we’re aware, this round of our dialogue has a special significance because it is the last one for the Obama Administration. And it comes only a few months before our presidents meet again at the G20, which you are hosting in September. So we have every reason in the world to try to push as hard as we can to get as much done as possible and reach new levels of understanding and confidence.

I think that – I don’t know any bilateral meeting we’re involved in that involves quite as many people discussing on as many different levels with as many different departments as this. And it reflects the importance that we both attribute to the China-U.S., U.S.-China relationship. It’s referred to by many as the most consequential in the world, and what we are able to agree on has significance to people all over the world. So it gives us lot of chances to make progress here. I look forward, frankly, to hearing from everybody because I think it’s the summaries now that are the most important thing.

But one note of optimism I want to express, and that is many of the issues on which we are cooperating today are issues where we previously had contention, differences. And because we continue to look for new areas, like health or science and development or oceans or aviation, and even military-to-military contacts, where we’re going now way beyond what we were able to accomplish previously.

So let’s hear from our folks – I think that’s what’s significant today – but I thank you very much again for the tremendous cooperation over the last 24 hours. With that, I think it is my privilege to begin the review on science and technology cooperation and I think you’re going to start with the – your side on that discussion.