SPEAKER 1: For Student and Academic Services, and on behalf of my colleague, David Whitman, the Vice Provost for University Relations, and all of us at Cornell, I want to welcome you to a very special afternoon when we welcome our ambassador to the People's Republic of China to Cornell University. As we often do when we invite distinguished speakers to campus, I want to remind you of a few of our expectations for us all so that they may have the most welcome time with us. As you well remember, Cornell is committed to a freedom to express oneself, a freedom to be heard, a freedom to assemble, and even a freedom to lawfully protest peacefully as part of our academic commitment to academic freedom.
Our campus code of conduct outlines these expectations. And they apply to all of us who come to events at Cornell and use our buildings. So let us just-- let me remind all of us that, today, our speaker, like anyone who is welcomed to the Cornell campus, has a right to say whatever he wishes to say without intimidation, and each of us in the audience has a right to hear what is going to be said.
It is also the case that, should anyone disagree with the speaker, he or she has a right to make that known as well, but not in any fashion that will disrupt today's speech. Disagreement may be made by asking pointed questions should the time arise for that, by standing with signs in the back of the room, by disagreeing and quietly walking out should that be the case. But I ask all of us to remember that we are thrilled to have a distinguished speaker with us. We are interested to hear what he has to say. And each of us has that right.
So I want to thank you for welcoming our ambassador to the university. And I, like you, look forward to a very interesting and exciting afternoon. Thank you very much.
DAVID WHITMAN: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome. I'm David Whitman, the Vice Provost for International Relations here at the university. And it will be my great pleasure, in just a few moments, to turn over the microphone to our guest speaker today, Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong, the ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the United States.
I did want to take just a moment or two in particular to thank some of those who have been so actively involved in making today's presentation possible-- of course, Ambassador Zhou and his staff, but also professor Chen Jian, the director of the China Asia-Pacific Studies program, who's been really instrumental in organizing today's visit, our student trustee, Mao Ye, who's been very helpful in getting you all here, and David Yi and Laurie Damiani, who've played a key role in all the logistics for today's events.
This afternoon, I think, presents an extraordinary opportunity for those of us here at Cornell. Like all universities, our central mission is to educate, to foster critical thinking, and to prepare students to live and work in an increasingly international world. In the contemporary international environment, perhaps no relationship is more important than that between China and the United States. So we're particularly fortunate to have the ambassador with us today to talk about US-China relations and China's peaceful development.
As Ambassador Zhou noted in a speech he gave two years ago at the Asia Society, relations between China and the United States are at an important juncture. When China and the US reestablished diplomatic relations in the 1970s, trade, investment, political and economic intercourse between the two countries was very limited. But since that time, there have been extraordinary changes. China is now one of the United States' principal trading partners. And there is extensive cooperation on many issues between the US and Chinese governments.
Of course, tensions and differences remain, fueled in part by China's extraordinary economic rise. I've had the opportunity myself to witness, firsthand, the incredible transformation that has taken place in China over the last 25 years or so. I first visited China in 1983. My second visit occurred 21 years later in 2004. I now have the opportunity to travel regularly to China. And I think those of you who are from China or have been there recently can attest to the fact that it is now one of the most vibrant and exciting societies on Earth. Places like Shanghai are as modern as any I have visited. .
So one thing, though, at least, has remained constant over the last century or so. And that are the connections between Cornell and the Chinese Society and population. We have had ties, extensive ties, to China for over a century. One of the first Chinese students to attend Cornell graduated in 1901. His name was Alfred Tsu. He became China's ambassador to the United States. So he held the position that Ambassador Zhou now holds.
And in fact, he was instrumental in getting then Cornell University President Jacob Sherman to take the converse position. President Sherman became the United States' ambassador to China in the same year, 1921. Since that time, of course, we have had many, many prominent alumni who are from China. Just to name one example-- Hu Shih, who graduated from the university in 1914, became one of the leading figures in Chinese education reform and a leading figure in the promotion of the Chinese literary Renaissance. And of course, there have been many more since then.
We also have many, many important research collaborations with China. I think we have at least 20 foremost memoranda of understanding with different Chinese academic institutions and universities. We have over 400 students from China, dozens of faculty, and at least 250 visiting scholars. So we are very proud of Cornell's ties to China. And we're eager to strengthen and develop those ties. And as part of that, we're very pleased to welcome Ambassador Zhou to campus.
He was educated in China, and also the United Kingdom. He was a student at Bath University, and also the London School of Economics. From 1975 to 1978, he served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before assuming a series of diplomatic posts in both the US and China. Eventually, he became ambassador to Barbados, Antigua, and Barbuda in 1990. From 1993 to 1994, he served as the deputy director general in the Department of North American affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He became, in 1994, consul general in Los Angeles, and later, minister of the embassy in the District of Columbia in 1995. In 1998, he became China's ambassador to Australia. In 2001, he assumed the position of the assistant minister of foreign affairs. And in 2003, he became vice minister of foreign affairs. He assumed as president position as ambassador to the United States in 2005. It's my honor and my pleasure to welcome Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong.
ZHOU WENZHONG: Thank you. Thank you, Vice President, for your very kind introduction. And it is, indeed, a great pleasure for me to be here. And I want to thank the university for your kind invitation. And I want to thank you to give me the opportunity to meet with the faculty and the students here in this renowned university.
The topic I wish to talk about today is China's peaceful development and China-US relations. The international situation is undergoing profound and complex changes with many new developments and features. As economic globalization and regional integration gather momentum, countries are more closely connected and have become more interdependent than ever before. Converging interests have bound us all together. In other words, we are all in one boat.
On the other hand, there are mounting threats and challenges for every country, such as regional conflicts, terrorism, weapons proliferation, and even development, environmental degradation, and financial risks. It is increasingly important for China and the United States, as the biggest developing country and the biggest developed country in the world, to strengthen consultation, coordination, and cooperation. China is a responsible member of the international community, and it is committed to peaceful development. This commitment is in keeping with the global trends. And it is called for by China's traditions and its realities.
The domestic and the foreign policies of China give full expression to its strategy of peaceful development. Domestically, we are guided by the thinking on harmonious socialist society and a scientific concept on development. High priority is given to resolving issues affecting the life of the people and addressing imbalances in economic development.
China's industrialization is following a new path. We will focus on scientific progress, good economic returns, low resource consumption, and less environmental pollution. And we will fully tap our rich human resources to promote comprehensive, balanced, and sustainable development in the economic, political, cultural, and social fields. This is our goal.
In external relations, we regard our development as an integral part of mankind's common pursuit of development and progress. We will seize the opportunities created by the peaceful international environment to develop ourselves and contribute to world peace and prosperity with our own development. We aim to build a harmonious world. We will continue to work with other countries to advance political relations, share economic prosperity, build mutual trust and coordination in the security field, and promote mutual cultural enrichment.
China is committed to developing mutually beneficial and friendly relations with all the countries of the world, working hard to promote South-South cooperation and North-South dialogue, maintain and advance the shared interests of the developing countries. And extending the mutually beneficial cooperation with Africa, China hosted the Beijing Summit of the Forum of China-Africa Cooperation. And President Hu Jintao visited eight African countries last February.
China is also working hard to expand converging interests and make further strides in its relationships with the developed countries, including the US. China, and Japan have reached agreement that the two countries will address political obstacles and promote sound and steady development of their bilateral relationship. Chinese Premier Wen Jiaobao will visit Japan from April 11 to 13. This visit will be significant to the continued improvement and development of China-Japan relations.
China is committed to maintaining peace and stability in its region and the world at large. We advocate and pursue a new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, and coordination. We have made extensive mediation efforts to prevent escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula and have succeeded in bringing about the resumption of the six-party talks, and are putting the Korean nuclear issue back on track towards a peaceful solution through negotiation.
On the Iran nuclear issue, we have played an important and constructive role in promoting a negotiated settlement. On the Darfur issue, China stands for a political solution on the basis of respect for Sudan's sovereignty, and territorial integrity, and dialogue, and consultation on an equal footing. And it calls for the constructive roles of the African Union and the United Nations in peacekeeping.
China has made significant efforts to encourage the Sudanese government to accept the Annan plan. And it provided assistance, to the best of its ability, to help improve humanitarian and security situations in Darfur. In our view, the solutions to the above issues require the concerted efforts of various parties. China will continue to work for solutions, and it will spare no effort.
China is committed to promoting mutually beneficial international economic cooperation and trade. Five years after its WTO accession, China is now more actively involved in international trade and economic cooperation, having trade ties with more countries in the world. It is essential-- it is estimated that China's trade volume in 2006 exceeded $1.76 trillion US, a net increase of $1.2 trillion US over 2001, when China became a WTO member.
The fast growth of China's trade has changed the landscape of global trade, with China becoming a major driving force of global trade growth. In the next few years, China's annual import will exceed $600 billion US. And by 2010, it is expected to exceed $1 trillion US. This will create enormous business opportunities for all the countries in the world.
China is committed to building a fairer and a more equitable international order. As a founding member of the United Nations and a permanent member of the Security Council, China is committed to multilateralism, that it carries out its international responsibility and honors its obligations in good faith. It is actively engaged in multilateral cooperation in a wide range of fields, including counterterrorism, nonproliferation, humanitarian assistance, environmental protection, and combating transnational crimes.
China is now a member of over 100 intergovernmental organizations and a party to nearly 300 international treaties. Over 6,000 Chinese military personnel, police, or civilian police have participated in 15 UN peacekeeping operations. Being an active member of APAC, ASEM, and other mechanisms, China has contributed its share to regional and inter-regional cooperation. I'm sure that a prosperous and stable China that has a sound environment, ensures the welfare of its people, and lives in harmony with the rest of the world, will not only benefit the 1.3 billion Chinese people, but also contribute more to world peace and prosperity.
Ladies and gentlemen, China-US relationship is one of the most important bilateral ties in today's world. Our countries have growing common interests and broadening areas of cooperation in maintaining global and regional security and stability, promoting world economic growth, and tackling non-traditional security threats. In fact, coordination and cooperation are becoming the mainstream of our bilateral ties.
Thanks to the joint efforts of both sides in recent years, China-US relationship has maintained overall stability and made continuous progress. Last year, President Hu Jintao and President Bush stayed in touch with each other, meeting three times, making several telephone calls, and exchange many letters. These allowed them to have in-depth exchanges of views on bilateral relations and major international and regional issues of mutual interest.
During his visit to the United States last April, President Hu Jintao and President Bush reached a new and important agreement on advancing the all-around constructive and cooperative China-US relationship in the 21st century. They agreed that China and the United States are both stakeholders in the global system and constructive partners of each other. This has clearly defined the strategic nature of China-US relationship. And it charted the course for the further development of our bilateral relations.
At the end of last year, the first China-US strategic economic dialogue was held in Beijing. The two sides focused, now, on the theme of China's development road and economic development strategy, had an in-depth discussion on the overarching strategic and long-term economic issue of shared interests to both countries, and they reached important consensus. In addition, the third China-US strategic dialogue at the deputy foreign minister level was held last November in Beijing. These interactions have greatly enhanced mutual trust between our two countries.
The Chinese and US economies have a lot to offer to each other, promising vast prospects for further cooperation. Last year, our two-way trade reached a new high. Exceeding $260 billion US, the trade volume was more than 100 times the figure when we established diplomatic ties. China and the United States have become the second biggest trading partner for each other.
According to US statistics, US exports to China grew by more than 30% last year and tripled in the last five years, China has been the fastest growing export market for the US for three years in a row. And the trade between China and the United States has helped create millions of job opportunities in America. US investment in China has kept growing. And more than 80% of American companies in China have seen their profit level rise. At the same time, more than 1,100 strong Chinese companies have also vigorously explored the US market, making contributions to local development and job creation.
China and the US have also further enhanced exchanges and cooperation in science, technology, education, culture, and other fields. In addition to bilateral cooperation, the importance of China-US relationship is also reflected in the cooperation between the two sides on major international and regional issues where they have shared similar interests. China, the US, and other relevant parties have worked hard, and together, to bring about the resumption of the six-party talks on the Korean nuclear issue last February, which produced the document entitled "Initial Actions for the Implementation of Joint Statement." This is a progress in the process of the six-party talks and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
On Iran, Middle East, Darfur and UN affairs, China and the United States are also in close consultation and cooperation with each other. On questions that directly affect the well-being of all mankind such as energy, environmental protection, and disease control, China-US cooperation is increasing. China-US friendship continue to grow, again, grassroots support in recent years, to the satisfaction of all those who have worked hard to bring our countries and people closer.
There are 35 pairs of province-state ties and 135 pairs of sister cities between China and the United States that serve as bridges of friendship between China and the Americans. At present, over 2 million visits are made between China and the United States each year, which means more than 5,000 people are flying across the Pacific every day. Close to one third of the over 900,000 overseas Chinese students are in the United States. Over 300 of them are in Cornell. There are more than 10,000 American students in China. These friendly exchanges keep adding new momentum to the growth of China-US relations.
This year offers new hope for China-US relationship, but there are also some complicating factors. President Hu Jintao and President Bush will have opportunities to meet alongside the G8+5 in Germany in June and APEC Informal Economic Leaders' Meeting in Australia in September. The second round of the strategic economic dialogue will be held in Washington, DC in May. And the fourth round of strategic dialogue will also be held this year. The Chinese side will join hands with the US side to get ready for these meetings and dialogues and try to make them positive and fruitful.
We will also make good use of other dialogue and the consultation mechanism between our countries to enhance exchanges and mutual trust and lend fresh impetus to the advancement of the constructive and the cooperative China-US relationship. China will continue to expand the scope and explore new growth areas for the economic cooperation and trade with the US this year. China is also ready to have candid dialogues and equal consultations with the US side in the spirit of mutual benefit and common development in order to appropriately resolve the problems existing in our economic and trade ties.
Now I have a few more words on a very important question, the Taiwan question. The Taiwan question bears on China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, involves China's core national interests, and touches upon the national sentiments of the Chinese people. It is always the most important and the most sensitive issue at the core of the China-US relationship. If the Taiwan question is handled well, the relationship between China and the US will develop steadily. If not, there will be twists and turns, and even grave setbacks.
There were lessons of setbacks in the past. And remembering past lessons will help guide future actions. Appropriate approach to the Taiwan question is crucial in maintaining stability and development of China-US relationship and ensuring smooth cooperation between the two countries in important areas. The head of the Taiwan authorities, Chen Shui-Bian, made further separatist remarks, the so-called Four Ones and One Without, while attending a function by a pro-independence organization on March the 4th.
He openly claimed that Taiwan wants independence, Taiwan wants name rectification, and Taiwan wants a new constitution. This sent out a dangerous signal that he may completely abandon his four noes commitment. Chen Shui-Bian also incited pro-independence [INAUDIBLE] to put together a draft Second Republic constitution that incorporates typical Taiwan independence propositions such as one country on each side of the Taiwan Straits and a two-state theory.
This would completely overthrow the so-called constitution that is currently in force in the Taiwan region. It has every look of a constitution making. These latest developments within the island show that the Chen Shui-Bian authorities have become more reckless and dangerous in pursuing de jure Taiwan independence through the so-called constitutional reform.
As the Chinese idiom goes, "blood is thicker than water." Conflict within the family is nobody's desire. It is precisely because of this that we will continue to promote peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits with utmost sincerity and maximum efforts. However, we will never tolerate Taiwan independence or allow anyone to separate Taiwan from the motherland in any name or through any means.
China hopes that the United States will honor and adhere to its One-China policy, the three Sine-US Joint Communiques, and its opposition to Taiwan independence, stop selling advanced weapons to Taiwan, and stop sending any wrong signals to the Taiwan independence forces. We hope that the US will work with China to unequivocally oppose and repulse any form of Taiwan independence activities by the Chen Shui-Bian authorities so as to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits and to safeguard the shared strategic interests of both our countries.
Ladies and gentlemen, looking into the future, I believe that both China and the United States should always approach and handle our relationship from a strategic height and a long-term perspective and work together to further strengthen our dialogue, enhance mutual trust, and widen our horizon, and open our minds to expand the areas of our cooperation and our shared interests. We should also appropriately handle our differences and the sensitive questions in order to safeguard the overall interests of our relationship, namely, stability, cooperation, and development. As long as we both act in this way, we will surely be able to further advance our constructive and cooperative relationship. As long as we both act in this way, tomorrow will surely be an even better day for China-US relations. Thank you very much.
DAVID WHITMAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Ambassador. The ambassador has kindly consented to take questions. We're going to set up a microphone in each aisle. So you can line up as you like to ask your questions.
Of course, there are more questions, I'm sure, than we have time. So I have to ask all of you who are going to ask questions to please keep your questions short. Make sure they are questions and not statements or speeches. The microphone sometimes exerts a fascination for those speaking into it that might not be widely shared. So please keep the questions short. Professor Chen Jian, do you want to start the questions?
AUDIENCE: Thank you. Is that on? Thank you very much. And I will make sure I'm not giving a speech. But still, I would like to give a greeting in Chinese if that's allowed.
DAVID WHITMAN: Please.
AUDIENCE: [SPEAKING CHINESE]
ZHOU WENZHONG: Thank you very much.
AUDIENCE: Thank you very-- thank you very much for your very informative speech. And I have two questions. So first question, actually, is related to my experience with knowing you. 12 years ago, when you were Chinese minister to the United States-- and that's 1995-- we know, at that time, Chinese-US relations sometimes were in trouble. And now you are Chinese ambassador to the United States. From your perspective, my question is, how do you see the biggest change in Chinese-American relations? That's question number one.
Question number two-- Cornell University's position in the larger picture, in the 12 years, have been very, very different. And from our perspective as the faculty of Cornell University, I think we are willing to do everything possible to enhance the overall development of Chinese-American relations. And from your perspective, what do you see we can do at Cornell University to enhance the long-term cooperation between China and the United States? Thank you.
ZHOU WENZHONG: I left United States in 1998 after a tour of duty of about three years in Washington starting in 1995. And if we look back, I think the biggest change in our relations is that we share more and more common interests. So as President Hu Jintao pointed out when he was here on a visit April last year, he made a speech at the South Lawn of the White House. And he pointed out that China believes that China and the United States share many common strategic interests. So I think this is a very important conclusion.
I think the fact that we share many-- an increasing number of common interests has made it possible for us to work together, not just bilaterally, but also regionally, and also on world issues. And it has also made it possible for the two countries to try to resolve differences through consultations rather than through confrontation. So I think this is the biggest change in our relations.
And as far as Cornell is concerned, I'm very pleased to learn that the-- first of all, I want to thank you for your very strong interest in China. And secondly, I am very happy to learn that you have developed very good, positive exchange programs with various institutions in China. So I wish you every success in your future efforts. And the embassy will try to be of help to you. And so whatever we can do to help you in this regard, just let us know.
AUDIENCE: Hello, ambassador. I have several questions regarding-- well, a couple of questions, concisely worded, regarding China's energy policy.
DAVID WHITMAN: So pardon me, I did allow Chen Jian to ask two questions, because he helped bring the ambassador here. But for everyone else, if we could just ask one question so everybody can get a chance.
AUDIENCE: Very well, thank you. China recently announced that it would decrease oil import by 1,000 barrels per day from Iran. Does this reflect a concern for Iran's geopolitical posture vis-a-vis the United States? Was the timing of the announcement connected to the current US criticism of China-Iran relations, especially oil investment in the past two years? And if so, what was your role in this exchange?
ZHOU WENZHONG: First of all, I think as far as nonproliferation is concerned, China's position is very clear. It's very clear-cut. And we are a member of NPT, and we have a commitment to the NPT. And we are very serious about it. And I think our record this is a very good one. And China will continue to honor its commitment in terms of nonproliferation.
And China has voted for the two resolutions, at the Security Council, in a row So China-- where China stands is very clear as far as the Iranian nuclear issue is concerned. On the other hand, China and Iran do maintain normal state-to-state relations. And China is not the only country which are still doing-- is still doing business with China. But of course, we will go along with the UN Security Council resolutions in doing so.
AUDIENCE: Thank you.
AUDIENCE: Thank you, Mr. Ambassador. When will China start reducing its greenhouse gas emissions?
ZHOU WENZHONG: We have set a goal, I think, last year, at the last year's National People's Congress annual session. That is to reduce the emission of greenhouse gas by 10% at the end of the five years, and also to reduce the consumption of energy in terms of per unit GDP by 20%. So energy efficiency is certainly very high on the agenda of the Chinese government.
AUDIENCE: First, I also want to say [SPEAKING CHINESE].
My question is-- sorry, my question is about Taiwan. Next year, Taiwan will be having a presidential election. Will-- if President Chen Shui-Bian continues to talk about Taiwan, do-- or to talk about Taiwan independence-- will the People's Republic of China support the KMT in the 2008 presidential election?
ZHOU WENZHONG: The National People's Congress of China adopted the anti-secession law the year before. And so our attitude against separation is very clear. And we mean what we say. And I think you probably have read about it. The foreign minister said, to some of the journalists, that the anti-secessionist law is not there for see, for people to look at.
So we will do whatever to stop Taiwan independence. There is nothing-- there is no doubt about it. And so we hope the Taiwan authorities will agree to return to the 1992 consensus that's about One China. So as long as they agree to come back to One China, we would be-- we are prepared to resume dialogue with them, negotiation with them right away. And everything is on the table. But One China is not negotiable. And this is our position.
As far as the election in Taiwan is concerned, that's their internal affairs. We don't take a position. But our hope is whatever that may happen in Taiwan, we hope it would be conducive to the cause of a peaceful reunification of China.
AUDIENCE: Thank you.
AUDIENCE: Thank you, Mr. Ambassador. My question has to do with global imbalance. The United States, being a country with 70% of the world's deficit, while China is one of the largest countries with a surplus, do you think this trend is endangering the global imbalance balance, and if so-- global financial security-- and if so, what do you think China or the United States should do about this deficit and surplus?
ZHOU WENZHONG: It's not really for me to tell what they should do here. So I think people have a consensus-- that is, this situation should be addressed whereby you have both a fiscal deficit and also a very big trade deficit. But to have a consensus is one thing, and how to do it is another. So now we have this gap here.
But I think it's not good to blame others for the problem. And unfortunately, China has become a scapegoat, so to speak. I think the two economies are highly complementary to each other. And China is not a competitor, in many a way, in commercial terms. We are making-- the kind of things we are exploding to you and we are manufacturing in China, actually what you are not-- either you do not make at all, or you don't produce enough.
So that is to say, if you don't buy these things from China, you have to buy from other sources, maybe at a higher price. So this is our economic reality. But unfortunately, this issue has been highly politicized. So I hope sense will prevail. And China will do whatever we can to try to reduce the deficit. But in the meantime, we hope the Congress will agree to liberalize the export control to some extent so that we can increase our import as much as we like.
AUDIENCE: Thank you, ambassador. I was hoping that you could elaborate on China's stance on the current attempts by the US and some Western countries to separate Kosovo from Serbia, and if you can maybe tell us if you think that they may have impact on Taiwan and US-China relations.
ZHOU WENZHONG: Right now, the issue is being discussed at the Security Council. And our attitude is this-- the UN Secretary General's representative has finished his report. And he has presented his report to the Security Council. And he feels that the time has come for the Security Council, for the United Nations to agree to give Kosovo the status of a independent country.
But of course, there is a very strong-- there are many different views at the Security Council. Members of Security Council disagree with each other on this report. So we believe whatever in our plan the Security Council may agree to has to be acceptable to both sides of the issue in Kosovo. And we think it should be balanced. It should be it should take into consideration the interests of both ethnic groups-- that is, the Albanians and Serbians.
If that principle is not abided by, whatever report to it might be, it will not work. So that's our position. So we-- our position is that we should give the Security Council some more time. And some member is proposing to review the relevant Security Council resolution and to organize a mission, fact-finding mission, to pay a visit to Kosovo. So this issue is being debated, still being debated.
AUDIENCE: Thank you.
AUDIENCE: Honorable ambassador, United States Congress recognized Tibet as an independent country. In fact, the Dalai Lama is going to be honored with a Congressional Gold Medal this fall. Now, with this relationship between United States and China, my question is, why your government, the government of China, is so suspicious and failed to negotiate with the Dalai Lama even though he renounced Tibetan independence against the will of Tibet? And he's repeatedly said he is working within the framework of the People's Republic of China's constitution and not separation from it. Thank you.
ZHOU WENZHONG: First of all, I want to correct you by saying that I don't think anyone in the Congress agrees that Tibet is an independent country. And the official policy of the US government is that Tibet is part of China. This is the official US policy. And as to the question of Dalai Lama, Dalai Lama has not abandoned his advocacy of Tibet independence. He is only saying it in a very roundabout way.
He is advocating a higher level of autonomy in a larger Tibet. By that larger Tibet, he means, wherever there are Tibetan nationalities, that place should be incorporated into Tibet. So by that, he means a Tibet which would incorporate into Sichuan, Yunnan, and Qinghai. So it's not-- so it's half of China. And he also say that--
He also says that China-- the central government should not station any troops there. And Han should leave that Tibet part of China. So from our point of view, this is only a refurbished version of Tibet independence. And that's something we can never agree to.
And our position is as long as he abandons his Tibet independence position and stops advocating or working for that, so long as he agrees to the-- Taiwan as being part of China, then we are prepared to resume talks with him. And before that, pending that, the line of communication is open. And he is allowed to send his private representative to China from time to time.
AUDIENCE: Hello again. I do apologize. This is in regards to China's anti-satellites weapon testing in January. The Washington Post observed that the higher leadership seemed to have been unaware of the timing of the test. And in particular, China's diplomatic community was caught off guard by the timing as well. Will you just comment as to when you were personally made aware of the testing and whether you have made any representations to the US government regarding the timing of the anti-satellite system?
ZHOU WENZHONG: You know, this is a scientific test.
So this is-- you know, I want to make it clear. And our position has not changed. That is, China is against the weaponization of the outer space. China is against the militarisation of outer space. China is ready and prepared to join others in negotiating a treaty or agreement regarding the outer space. China will never be-- will never be engaging in arms race in outer space. So that's very clear. And that's our very solemn commitment and assurance.
With regard to the rest of your question--
AUDIENCE: Your timing, ambassador-- when were you aware of--
ZHOU WENZHONG: I don't think it's for me to answer that question.
AUDIENCE: Thank you.
AUDIENCE: Hi, ambassador, and welcome to Ithaca. My question is related to the Taiwanese-- Taiwan relate-- Taiwan issue. We all understand that a cross-strait relation is a very sensitive issue among many people. And as a member of Taiwanese community here in Ithaca, even though I do not share with your point of view, but I do respect your point of view that you have-- where you're coming from.
But my question is that, given the fact that there were missile heading directly to Taiwan, and given the fact that, I quote, in your statement, "One China is not negotiable," which, I interpreted that that is including to the possibility of military force taking over Taiwan in case of Taiwan declared independency, my question is, how would you explain that act itself will trigger the military imbalance in the Pacific region? And also, how would you define Chinese model or responsibility in terms of the regional peace holder? Thank you very much.
ZHOU WENZHONG: I think what's happening in Taiwan is really very sad. Because people in Taiwan are suffering from this very chaotic situation, political situation there. So there is a division between ethnic-- different ethnic groups, or different groups. And this is man-made. And it's not in the interest of people in Taiwan.
And the reason for that is the position of the authority in Taiwan has changed. And years ago, the position of the authorities in Taiwan is One China. So One China is the official position of the Taiwan authorities. And so that's why we can wait as far as a peaceful reunification is concerned. And it's because there is time. We could always try to increase exchanges and try to dissolve any differences that might be between the two sides.
But a change has taken place. And the leaders of that province of China are now advocating independence. And this is a threat to the security and stability of the region. So I think if there is any threat to the security of the region, that is the independence plan on the part of the authorities in Taiwan.
So the missiles deployed is entirely for the purpose of preventing that from happening. It's exactly for the purpose of maintaining peace and stability in that region. So this is a very important deterrence force. And we hope it will be able to deter the authorities in Taiwan from taking that very dangerous and risky road to independence.
AUDIENCE: Thank you for coming, ambassador. I posed this question to the former South Korean ambassador to Japan last week. And my question is that I know economic ties between US and China have been at an all-time high. Yet there seems to be, still, a lot of conflicting issues between the two countries, like increasing nationalistic tendencies of China, Japan, and South Korea, the work-- the comfort women issue that hasn't been resolved, as you said, Taiwan, the anti-satellites, dot, dot, dot. And I was just asking, how sustainable do you think the status quo is? Because with so many contentious issues and increasingly nationalistic tendencies of each of the Northeast Asian countries, how do you-- do you think this is sustainable in the long run? Thank you.
ZHOU WENZHONG: Premier Wen Jiabao is on his way to Japan soon. And during the visit, I think one thing he will do is to try to determine, or define, the content of the strategic reciprocal relationship which China and Japan agreed to establish when Abe was in China. So Abe paid a visit to China. During his visit, the two sides agreed that China and Japan should develop a strategic reciprocal relationship. So one thing the premier is going to do is to try to define what that means.
Secondly, what he is going to do is to do to hold a high-level economic dialogue with Japan. So I think the majority of people in Japan agree that good relations between Japan and China serve the interests of Japan, serves the interest of China, and serve the interests of the region. And we understand Japan wants to play an important role in the region. But I think they need to have the understanding of their neighbors first, including China.
And part of the understanding is their approach to history. And that is also in the commitment they made to China at the time of normalization of relations between China and Japan. So if they-- internally, if they can work out, and keep to that commitment, and take the right approach-- continue to take the right approach-- to history, then I think their neighbors will welcome a more important, more active role on the part of Japan in the region and in the world.
So I hope people in Japan will understand this. Because if you want to be a big guy in the world, you need to learn how to live with your neighbors first. So I think it's our sincere hope Japan will learn how to live in peace-- in peace with their neighbors and work together for common prosperity.
AUDIENCE: Ambassador Zhou, welcome. The trade imbalance between the United States and China has been a perennial issue. Recently, the Democratic Party, which took control of Congress, seems intent on addressing this issue by forcing China to revalue its currency, among other things. Recently, Congress has passed tariffs on Chinese paper imports. Given this trend, how does the Chinese government plan to address this issue and possible future tariffs levied by Congress if China does not revalue its currency?
ZHOU WENZHONG: Let me, first of all, get the facts correct. First of all, now, there are a number of China-related bills in both houses. So far, no bill has been put to a vote. So as far as the Congress is concerned, the Congress as a whole has not taken action-- has not taken any action. As far as the countervailing duty, that was not a decision of the Congress, but rather a decision on the part of Department of Commerce.
So it is true that the deficit is increasing. And we also want to increase our imports from the United States. As I said earlier, US export to China is increasing, and increasing very fast. And I am sure it will continue to increase. But we hope the US will do several things. One is to liberalize its export control somewhat. Last year, China imported high-tech products totaling $200 billion US, and United States only had 9% of it. So obviously, the export control is not serving your interests, simply because there are things which, if you don't buy-- you don't want to sell, there are other people which are willing to sell to China.
And of course, China is also going to make an investment in the United States. That will be another way of reducing China's deficit-- surplus. But then, of course, we hope the investment will not be politicized. You all know the case of Sihanouk. And that issue has been highly politicized. It's just purely a commercial issue, but it has been interpreted as a threat to US energy security. So if more investment-- if you want more investment from China, then that is the issue we need to resolve.
Thirdly, I hope US would open the door to Chinese tourists. Now the policy is not to issue a visa to Chinese tourists. And tourism is developing and increasing very fast. Every year, about 30 million Chinese people are travelling overseas. And they are becoming-- increasingly becoming big spenders. And for instance, in Hong Kong, every year, they have about 25 million tourists. Half of them were tourists from mainland.
So if the US could adjust its policy and open its doors to Chinese tourists, then that would also effectively help reduce China's surplus. So there are ways. But I think we need to-- first of all, we need to agree to these measures. And of course, we hope the political leaders in this country will join us in working to reduce the US deficit.
DAVID WHITMAN: I think we have time to take the questions from the two people remaining at the microphones. And then we'll have to close the session.
AUDIENCE: Thank you very much, ambassador, for coming to Cornell. I'm very happy you came. My question is, 18 years ago, I was born in China. And approximately 10 years ago, my family moved to North America. And my parents, and by extension, me, we became Canadian citizens. However, I consider myself still very deeply Chinese. And it does sadden me sometimes that I technically-- I'm not Chinese, I'm Canadian. And I can't say that, technically, I'm Chinese.
So my question is, given that China has opened up so much-- and I think it would be a great benefit to China to allow overseas Chinese who have become foreign citizens to retain their Chinese citizenship. In that light--
--my question is, would you-- would China, in the future, ever consider enabling the issue of the dual citizenship and allowing Chinese people to say that they're Chinese?
ZHOU WENZHONG: Thank you. Thank you very much. I can understand your feelings. China's position is not to recognize dual citizenship, dual nationalities. And that is a very important policy change on the part of China in the '50s. Earlier, China did recognize dual nationality. But that has become an issue in our relations, particularly with Southeast Asian countries. And so gradually, we have made that policy change.
The purpose of that is to assure Southeast Asian countries that China has no other intention. And once they have taken nationality of the country which they choose to be their residence, then, automatically, they forfeit their Chinese nationality. So that has become our policy since.
I don't know whether this policy will change or not. But actually, you know, the key is not on our side. The key is with the countries on the other side. So we hope China will be perceived as a friend, as a partner, as a force making for peace. Maybe as time goes by and everyone in the world feels-- looks at China that way, then this issue will be resolved.
AUDIENCE: Thank you very much.
AUDIENCE: Ambassador Zhou, [SPEAKING CHINESE]. And I only do hope that the weather had been as welcoming as it was last week.
ZHOU WENZHONG: Oh, thank you so much. Thank you.
AUDIENCE: And xiexie, Chen Jian. You've been wonderful pulling events together like this. My question touches on internet privacy, and more specifically, Google. As you may know already, Google is pushing internet privacy. In an article yesterday in Businessweek, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, said that internet-- for example, internet cookies would protect users and their names from being, I guess, put forward to companies, et cetera. My question is simple but three-fold. Will China collaborate with the US on the issue of internet privacy? How much collaboration will occur? And when will this collaboration occur?
ZHOU WENZHONG: With regard to internet, I think, first of all, China has enacted a series of laws, regulations governing the internet management. And the legal framework in this regard is very similar to that here and in other countries. So we will manage the internet accordingly. And with regard to the anti-piracy issue, I think this is a very important issue. And it's part of the IPR issue.
Between China and the United States, we have two working groups. One is under the umbrella of JCCT, Joint Commerce Trade Commission. And the other is under the umbrella of Joint Legal Liaison Group. So there are two working groups. So both are working very closely with each other.
So I think this will be one of the issues on their agenda. And this issue actually will be also discussed at the upcoming second strategic economic dialogue. I can't predict the results of the discussion, which will take place soon. But I think I would-- I think, in principle, we should all work together if we want to stop the piracy online.
AUDIENCE: OK. Xiexie.
DAVID WHITMAN: Ambassador Zhou, thank you very much for a wonderful lecture. Thank you all for coming.
ZHOU WENZHONG: Thank you.
AUDIENCE: Thank you very much, Mr. Ambassador.
ZHOU WENZHONG: My pleasure, yeah.
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The world is becoming more interested in China. And while the country faces plenty of challenges, its government says it is committed to promoting international harmony and dialogue—except when it comes to Taiwan and Tibet, stressed Zhou Wenzhong, China's ambassador to the United States.