Good morning. I want to thank State Councilor Dai and Vice-Premier Wang for their very warm hospitality. It is a pleasure for our entire delegation to be here in Beijing. And it is an honor to join my colleague, Secretary Geithner, and the many officials from across our government in representing the United States at this second round of the strategic and economic dialogue.
I first visited China in 1995, and I have been privileged to return since then. Every trip to China offers fresh insights and images of the dynamism of this country and its people, the pace of change, and the possibilities for the future. Back in 1995, trade between our two nations was measured in the tens of billions of dollars. Today it is counted in the hundreds of billions. Few people back then had cell phones, and almost no one had access to the Internet. Today China has the world’s largest mobile phone network, and more Internet users than any other country on earth.
In 1995, both our countries signed on to the Beijing platform for action to advance equality and opportunity for women. And while there is still much to do in both of our countries, I know that Chinese women have made real progress in education, health care, and employment. Hundreds of millions of men, women, and children have been lifted out of poverty. And China has flourished in so many ways. Freer trade and open markets have created jobs in both our countries, and given Chinese consumers access to new goods and to higher standards of living.
The United States welcomes China’s progress and its accomplishments. And by establishing patterns of cooperation, rather than competition between our two countries, we see the opportunity, as we have just heard from Vice-Premier Wang, for win-win solutions, rather than zero-sum rivalries , for we know that few global problems can be solved by the United States or China acting alone. And few can be solved without the United States and China working together.
With this in mind, I would like to read a few lines of a letter from President Obama that I will be personally handing to President Hu Jintao. President Obama wrote: “Our relationship with China is guided by the recognition that we live in an inter-connected world. One country’s success need not come at the expense of another. Our progress can be shared. Indeed, the United States welcomes China as a strong, prosperous, and successful member of the community of nations.”