Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at Welcome Dinner by Friendly Organizations in the United States, in San Francisco, the United States, Nov. 15, 2023. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed here Wednesday the role of people in China-U.S. relations at a welcome dinner by friendly organizations in the United States.
"The foundation of China-U.S. relations was laid by our peoples," Xi said, stressing that "the door of China-U.S. relations was opened by our peoples," "the stories of China-U.S. relations are written by our peoples" and "the future of China-U.S. relations will be created by our peoples."
"We should build more bridges and pave more roads for people-to-people interactions. We must not erect barriers or create a chilling effect," he said.
The Chinese president said he was convinced the door of China-U.S. relations cannot be shut again once opened, and the cause of China-U.S. friendship cannot be derailed halfway once started.
Meanwhile, Xi stressed that the United States should not see China as its primary competitor.
"I have always had one question on my mind: How to steer the giant ship of China-U.S. relations clear of hidden rocks and shoals, navigate it through storms and waves without getting disoriented, losing speed or even having a collision?" he said.
"In this respect, the number one question for us is: are we adversaries, or partners? This is the fundamental and overarching issue," said Xi.
"The logic is quite simple. If one sees the other side as a primary competitor, the most consequential geopolitical challenge and a pacing threat, it will only lead to misinformed policy making, misguided actions, and unwanted results," Xi said.
China is ready to be a partner and friend of the United States, the Chinese president noted. "The fundamental principles that we follow in handling China-U.S. relations are mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation," he said.
Just as mutual respect is a basic code of behavior for individuals, it is fundamental for China-U.S. relations, Xi said. "The United States is unique in its history, culture and geographical position, which have shaped its distinct development path and social system. We fully respect all this."
The path of socialism with Chinese characteristics has been found under the guidance of the theory of scientific socialism, and is rooted in the tradition of the Chinese civilization with an uninterrupted history of more than 5,000 years, said the Chinese president.
"We are proud of our choice, just as you are proud of yours. Our paths are different, but both are the choice by our peoples, and both lead to the realization of the common values of humanity. They should be both respected," Xi said.
"Peaceful coexistence is a basic norm for international relations, and is even more of a baseline that China and the United States should hold on to as two major countries," Xi said.
"China never bets against the United States, and never interferes in its internal affairs. China has no intention to challenge the United States or to unseat it," Xi added.
Noting that win-win cooperation is the trend of the times, and it is also an inherent property of China-U.S. relations, Xi said, "China is pursuing high-quality development, and the United States is revitalizing its economy. There is plenty of room for our cooperation, and we are fully able to help each other succeed and achieve win-win outcomes."
The Chinese president announced that China is ready to invite 50,000 young Americans to China on exchange and study programs in the next five years to increase exchanges between the two peoples, especially between the youth.
Xi also emphasized that China will not fight a cold war or a hot war with anyone.
"Whatever stage of development it may reach, China will never pursue hegemony or expansion, and will never impose its will on others," he said.
"China does not seek spheres of influence, and will not fight a cold war or a hot war with anyone," he added. ■
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at Welcome Dinner by Friendly Organizations in the United States, in San Francisco, the United States, Nov. 15, 2023. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)
Chinese President Xi Jinping meets and poses for a group photo with representatives of friendly personages before attending Welcome Dinner by Friendly Organizations in the United States, in San Francisco, the United States, Nov. 15, 2023. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)