|09BEIJING2478||2009-08-31 09:07:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Beijing|
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 002478
1. (C) Summary: Following his August 28 credentialing
ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, the Ambassador
outlined for PRC President Hu Jintao his and President
Obama's vision for the U.S.-China relationship and the goals
of his mission. The Ambassador said he wanted to build a
more "stable, positive, constructive and comprehensive"
U.S.-China relationship. President Hu concurred, adding that
U.S.-China relations were "enjoying good momentum" thanks to
both sides' efforts to implement the consensus reached by the
two Presidents in London in April. Both the Ambassador and
President Hu looked forward to President Obama's visit to
China in November as the capstone to a significant year in
U.S.-China relations. End summary.
Building the Relationship
2. (SBU) In a 20-minute meeting following the Ambassador's
presentation of credentials August 28 at the Great Hall of
the People, President Hu complimented the Ambassador's rich
political experience and familiarity with China. Noting
media reports that President Obama had chosen a true "China
hand" to be U.S. ambassador to the PRC, President Hu offered
his government's full assistance to the Ambassador's efforts
to build the U.S.-China relationship.
3. (C) The Ambassador, accompanied by the DCM, PolMinCouns,
interpreter and PolOff (notetaker), thanked President Hu for
his comments, expressed pleasure at being in Beijing, and
noted the great honor it was to serve as the U.S. Ambassador
to China. The Ambassador, noting that the call from
President Obama had been unexpected, said he would like to
build a more "stable, positive, constructive and
comprehensive" relationship with China. President Obama had
a good feel for the U.S.-China relationship, had established
a good relationship with President Hu, and was looking
forward to his trip to China in November. The Ambassador
expressed hope that by the end of the year the U.S.-China
relationship would be at its most stable and positive in the
last 30 years.
Presidents' Consensus and National Differences
4. (C) President Hu responded that as result of "hard work"
by both sides, U.S.-China relations were "enjoying good
momentum" and there was "comprehensive progress across the
spectrum of the relationship." Hu spoke positively of his
April meeting with the President in London, at which the two
Presidents had agreed to build a "positive, cooperative and
comprehensive U.S.-China relationship for the 21st century,
had launched the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (SnED) in
July, and had "reached consensus on other matters." He
called the SnED "productive" and noted that both governments
were working hard to implement the SnED outcomes.
5. (C) The United States and China were influential countries
and faced common global challenges, President Hu continued.
To develop "positive, cooperative and comprehensive"
relations was in both countries' fundamental interest as well
as in the interest of "peace, stability, and development"
around the world. It was important to manage the
relationship "from a strategic height and long-term
perspective" and to increase exchange between the two
countries. Because of "differences in history, culture,
social systems, and development level," disputes were
inevitable, but there could be "good progress" between the
two countries if the two sides "treated each other with
mutual respect, dealt with each other as equals, engaged in
consultation, and handled carefully each other's core
6. (C) In response, the Ambassador pointed out that the
upcoming year presented unprecedented opportunity for
U.S.-China cooperation. The world depended on the well-being
of our bilateral relationship. He told President Hu he had
been closely following the U.S.-China relationship since his
first trip to China in 1983 as part of the advance team for
President Reagan's 1984 visit, and so he knew how much the
relationship had evolved. Generally speaking, despite
disagreements, U.S. and PRC leaders had remained focused on
keeping their nations' mutual interests in the forefront. We
would have to work hard to resolve issues between us, and
communicating "openly, respectfully and as equals" was the
BEIJING 00002478 002 OF 002
only way the relationship could succeed. Referencing a
Chinese saying that he had used during the President's
announcement of his appointment, the Ambassador said that the
United States and China needed to "to help each other and to
learn from each other ("huxiang bangmang, huxiang xuexi").
7. (C) President Hu replied that he had noted the
Ambassador's confirmation hearing remarks and expressed
appreciation for the Ambassador's desire and determination to
push forward the U.S.-China relationship. "There are
valuable opportunities to develop the relationship, and we
are prepared to work in concert with the United States to
improve the relationship." Hu added that he was looking
forward to seeing President Obama in September in New York
and Pittsburgh and welcomed the President to conduct a state
visit to China in November. The "whole world will be
watching" this "memorable visit." Both sides should work
hard to ensure the visit would be a success.
8. (C) In closing, the Ambassador declared that this would be
an important year for the U.S.-China relationship. With the
SnED, the JCCT, and the Presidential visit and, the two
countries would have had many opportunities to interact and
work together on key global issues such as climate change and
the environment, regional security and global finance.
Without the United States and China working together, the
solution to any of these global problems would be incomplete.
9. (U) The Ambassador presented President Hu with a ping-pong
paddle celebrating 30 years of U.S.-China relations and a
Chicago picture book with a commemorative "Chicago 2016"
relay baton, noting that Chicago would be an excellent host
for the 2016 Summer Olympics.