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Speech by President Jiang Zemin of The People's Republic of China

Jiang Zemin (

Jiang Zemin (

On the basis of clear recognition of our common interests and responsibility, we should summarize the past and look into the future and lay down a number of guidelines for our relationship oriented towards the 21st century. These guidelines are: 1. To view and handle China-U.S. relations from a strategic and long term perspective and keep a firm grip on the overall interest of bilateral relations. 2. To vigorously seek the converging point of the common interests, taking into account not only one's own interest but also that of the other side. 3. To scrupulously abide by the three China U.S. joint communiqués which form the basis of a growing relationship. 4. To correctly handle the differences through consultation on an equal footing in the spirit of mutual respect and seeking common ground while putting aside differences 5. To handle the Taiwan question properly. The U.S. Government has reiterated on many occasions its commitment to the "one China" policy and the three joint communiqués. As much as we appreciate that, we hope these words will count and be followed by productive actions.

When China and the United States moved to establish diplomatic relations, the U.S. Government made a decision to sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan, withdraw American troops from there and abrogate the treaties it had signed with the regime. This was a wise and politically farsighted decision which served the interests of both countries and world peace. The question of Taiwan has always been the single most important and most sensitive issue at the heart of China U.S. relations. Whenever trouble crops up there, the relationship will stagnate or even suffer setbacks. Unlike Hong Kong and Macao, Taiwan is an issue left over from the struggle between the Chinese Communist Party and the Kuomintang. Its resolution is entirely an internal affair of China and should be worked out by the Chinese people on both sides of the Straits. The basic policy of the Chinese Government for the settlement of the Taiwan question is "peaceful reunification based on one country, two systems."

We have already made a solemn appeal to the other side of the Straits that the two sides can hold negotiations and conclude an agreement on officially ending the state of hostility in accordance with the principle that there is only one China. On that basis, the two sides can undertake jointly to maintain China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and formulate plans for future development of cross straits relations. So long as the Taiwan authorities return to the one China principle and refrain from separatist activities aimed at the "independence of Taiwan", and so long as foreign forces do not interfere with China's reunification, the situation in the Taiwan Straits will remain stable and cross straits relations will move forward smoothly.

Both China and the United States are great nations and their people great people. In the past, we have made our respective contributions to the advancement of human civilization. Today, in response to the demand of the times, we should make fresh contributions to world peace, development and progress.

Thank you.