U.S.-China cooperation: a critical priority

The United States and China have a profoundly important and complex diplomatic, economic and strategic bilateral relationship -- one with challenges, no question, but one which also holds great promise for extended cooperation and collaboration. I look forward to working with the Chinese Government to fulfill that promise but, more importantly, to build the positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship that President Obama and President Hu have agreed that our two countries should aspire to. We are already seeing examples of how this future can play out as our businesses and our governments collaborate to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges. And I fully intend to support our ongoing bilateral and cooperative efforts on a host of critical international issues from climate change to the search for new, cleaner sources of energy, to stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons and materials and to promote new areas of collaboration.

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It’s been my good fortune over the past decade to have had the opportunity to visit and meet with many Chinese Government officials and private sector executives in support of greater commercial cooperation and market access for U.S. goods and services. I look forward to continuing this dialogue, creating win-win scenarios for both of our countries, because American businesses and workers can help China meet its goals of modernization as well as improving the quality of life for the Chinese people, all at the same time creating jobs here at home for workers of America.

In those sensitive areas where America and China have differences or serious disagreement, I will work to keep the lines of communication open, to convey the administration’s positions clearly, and to engage with Chinese Government officials at the highest levels. At the same time, I hope to do more to communicate directly with the Chinese people to improve understanding between our two great nations.

I firmly believe improved U.S.-China cooperation is critically important, not just for our own two countries but for the world community. As a child of Chinese immigrants growing up in the State of Washington, having the opportunity to represent America, the land of my birth, and to represent American values was surely beyond any dream I could possibly have. And I can only imagine just how proud my dad, Jimmy, who passed away in January, would be for his son to be the first Chinese American to represent the United States in the land of his and my mother’s birth. It may be cliché to say only in America, but in this case and for this role, it is both profoundly true and profoundly important. It is America and America’s promise as a land of freedom, equality, and opportunity that I will represent when serving the President and the American people as the United States ambassador to China.