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Remarks With Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi

John Kerry
Secretary of State
Diaoyutai State Guest House
Beijing, China
January 27, 2016

STATE COUNCILOR YANG: (Via interpreter) (Inaudible) Secretary Kerry, welcome you as you pay a visit to China at the start of the new year. This really shows how much importance you attach to the China-U.S. relationship.

China-U.S. relations made significant and positive progress in the past year. President Xi Jinping's very successful state visit to the United States in particular further affirmed the right direction of building a new model of major country relations between our two countries. And practical cooperation in terms of business ties, cultural exchanges, law enforcement, sub-national cooperation, military-to-military relations, and so on, made steady progress. And our two countries have had effective communication and coordination on major international, regional, and global issues. Such cooperation has enriched and expanded our bilateral relations.

We are just into 2016, and Mr. Secretary, you've already visited quite a few countries. This year will witness an even more complex and volatile international situation and mounting new challenges and problems. Sustained and steady growth of China-U.S. relations not only serves the interests of our two peoples, but is also what the entire international community wishes to see.

The two sides need to work in real earnest and act on the important agreement reached between our two presidents. We need to maintain close and regular exchanges at various levels, even cooperation and collaboration across the board at the bilateral, regional, and global levels, and appropriately handle differences and sensitivities in order to move our relations forward along the right track.

Again, welcome to you, Mr. Secretary, and the other members of your team.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, thank you, Mr. State Councilor. It's good to see you again. You and I have spent a lot of time together in the last three years and I appreciate enormously the cooperation that we've been able to extend to each other, and it's made a difference. We've been able to work together really effectively. I think we surprised the world in our joint initiative on climate change. I think it made an enormous difference – most people have said perhaps even the difference in being able to reach a climate agreement.

Do you want to do translation? I know you're – I know you have (inaudible).


SECRETARY KERRY: No, it's okay?

INTERPRETER: No, we're good. We're good.

SECRETARY KERRY: And finally, we have worked together on Afghanistan, we've worked on counterterrorism, we've worked on Ebola, and the Iran nuclear agreement – a very significant contribution (inaudible) China. So we've shown that when we put our minds to it, we can avoid conflict and we can make a difference.

As you know, we face a very serious security situation with respect to North Korea. I'm not going to go into it now in depth, but we look forward to working with you in the same way to resolve that challenge and others, and I think this year can be a year with the meetings we have already assembled for some very significant progress. And I look forward personally to working with you as we try to achieve that. Thanks.

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