BEIJING, July 9 (Xinhua) -- China and the United States on Wednesday opened high-profile strategic talks, pledging to break old patterns of confrontation and build a new model of major-power relations.
"China and the United States' interests are deeply interconnected. Cooperation will lead to win-win results while confrontation will hurt both," said Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Xi made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the sixth round of China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) and the fifth round of High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) in Beijing.
COOPERATION INSTEAD OF CONFRONTATION
"Sino-U.S. cooperation will bring achievement that is beneficial to both countries and the world, while confrontation will surely spell disaster for the two sides and the whole world," Xi said.
Xi urged the building of a new model of major-power relationship between China and the United States, saying the strategic choice is in line with the fundamental interests of the people from the two countries and all others.
During a meeting between Xi and U.S. President Barack Obama in California in June 2013, they decided to build such a new-model relationship featuring no conflict and no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.
Xi's remarks were echoed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who acts as special representative of president Obama for the annual two-day talks, along with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.
"The new model (of our relations) is not defined in words, but in actions," said Kerry, adding the old pattern of "strategic rivalry between rising and established powers is not inevitable. It's a choice."
The talks came as China-U.S. tensions rise over cyber security after the United States indicted five Chinese military officers on charges of hacking U.S. corporate computer servers.
China dismissed the U.S. claim and canceled meetings on cyberspace planned for the current round of talks in response.
ENHANCE COMMUNICATION TO DEFUSE DIFFERENCES
"Given different histories, cultures, social systems, ideologies and levels of economic development, it's natural that China and the U.S. may have different views and even frictions on some issues," Xi said. "That makes communication and cooperation more necessary."
"The two countries should keep in mind that their common interests far outweigh differences," the president noted, saying that respect is needed in terms of each others' sovereignty, territorial integrity, and chosen model of development.
Xi reviewed achievements in bilateral diplomatic relations made in the past 35 years while addressing the opening ceremony at the Diaoyutai guest house, where former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had secret talks on the same day in 1971, laying the groundwork for then-president Richard Nixon's groundbreaking visit to China in 1972.
In the past few decades, growing and entwined relations between China and the U.S. have been seen as the two giants mark the 35th anniversary of the establishment of formal ties this year. Trade between the world's two largest economies hit 520 billion U.S. dollars last year, 200 times that in 1979.
More than 90 inter-governmental dialogue mechanisms have been set up, along with the establishment of 41 sister province and state relationships, and 202 sister city relationships. An average of over 4 million trips between the two countries are taken each year.
Xi called on both sides to avoid being distracted by accidental issues, and said they should stick to dialogue, consultation and other constructive means to expand understanding and consensus.
TAP COOPERATIVE POTENTIAL
This year's strategic dialogue covers a wide range of topics in domestic and foreign policy, including climate change, science and innovation, Sudan and South Sudan, UN peacekeeping and the illegal trade in animals and plants, as well as interactions in the Asia-Pacific region.
Efforts are needed to accelerate negotiations on the Bilateral Investment Treaty, strengthen military dialogue, and combat all forms of terrorism, Xi said.
The Chinese president also underlined Sino-U.S. people-to-people exchanges, saying both sides should encourage friendly exchanges between their people and broaden social communication channels to consolidate public opinion in favor of bilateral friendship.
The U.S. side also showed a positive attitude toward future cooperation between the giants, whose economies together account for one-third of the world economy.
"It's our shared interest to foster economic growth through research and innovation, to protect IPR, to preserve open markets, and to build a more stable global financial system that is less prone to crisis," U.S Secretary of Treasury Lew said.
China and the United States have been holding the annual S&ED talks since 2009 when Obama came to power as a major channel of communication to enhance mutual trust, boost cooperation and properly handle differences.
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