Vice President Xi Jinping of China is scheduled to meet with President Obama on Tuesday at the White House. In advance of his visit, the Chinese government invited The Washington Post to submit written questions to the vice president. Following is a transcript of his written answers, as translated and provided to The Post by the Chinese government.
Views from China’s vice president
ON U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS
Forty years ago, leaders of our two countries, with extraordinary wisdom and vision of statesmen, reopened the long-closed door to China-U.S. exchanges. Since then, China-U.S. relations have forged ahead despite some twists and turns and made historic achievements, bringing huge benefits to both countries and peoples. China-U.S. relations have become one of the most important, dynamic and promising bilateral relationships in today’s world. When I visited the United States for the first time in 1985, our bilateral trade was merely US$7.7 billion, and only some 10,000 mutual visits were made each year. Last year, our trade topped US$440 billion, and mutual visits exceeded 3 million.
What has happened over the past 40 years tells us that a sound and stable China-U.S. relationship is crucial for both countries and for peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large. During President Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States in January last year, the two presidents agreed to build a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. This decision fully captures the features and requirements of China-U.S. relations in the new era, that is, to develop mutually beneficial cooperation as partners based on the principle of mutual respect.
Mutual benefit is the defining feature of China-U.S. business ties. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China-U.S. trade has grown over 180 times. Over the past 10 years, U.S. exports to China have increased by 468 percent and created more than 3 million jobs for the United States. Forty-seven out of the 50 U.S. states have seen three-digit or even four-digit growth in their exports to China. And U.S. consumers have saved over US$600 billion by using Chinese products. A survey conducted by AmChamChina last year shows that 85 percent of the U.S.-invested enterprises in China saw their revenue grow in 2010, and 41 percent of them recorded higher profitability in China than their global average. The U.S. investment in China has boosted U.S. exports to China, accelerated U.S. industrial upgrading, and contributed to the growth of the U.S. economy.
As economic globalization gathers momentum, China and the United States have become highly interdependent economically. Such economic relations would not enjoy sustained, rapid growth if they were not based on mutual benefit or if they failed to deliver great benefits to the United States. The Americans who know the real picture of China-U.S. economic relations, including those in the business community, will echo this point.