Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai on Wednesday met the press in Alaska before China-U.S. High-level Strategic Dialogue, with China's latest information and comments on the first face-to-face high-level meeting since U.S. President Biden took office.
China does not expect one dialogue to resolve all the issues between China and the U.S., Cui Tiankai said.
He also said China does not have overly high expectations, and hopes the meeting can set in motion a candid, constructive and rational process of dialogue and communication between the two sides.
"If we can achieve this, we can call this dialogue a success." Cui said.
Here's the full transcript:
China Media Group: The China-U.S. High-level Strategic Dialogue is approaching. This Dialogue has attracted worldwide attention. In the past few years, China-U.S. relations have dropped to the lowest point since their establishment of diplomatic relations. This is the first face-to-face high-level meeting since U.S. President Biden took office. What is China's expectation on this meeting?
Ambassador Cui: This high-level dialogue between the two sides in Anchorage is indeed the first face-to-face dialogue and communication between officials of this level since the Biden administration took office. I think both sides attach great importance to it. We have done a lot in preparation in the past few days.
Of course, we don't expect to solve all problems in one dialogue, so we don't have anything unrealistic. We hope this can be a beginning, and the two sides will start a process of honest, constructive, and rational dialogue and communication. If this can be achieved, the dialogue will already be successful. In short, I hope that both parties will come with sincerity and leave with a better understanding of each other.
Xinhua News Agency: Ahead of this dialogue, a senior official of the U.S. State Department decided to visit Japan and South Korea first after taking office. A video summit was also held among the United States, Japan, India and Australia. Some analysts say that the U.S.'s move is intended to win over allies in order to gain a "dominant position" in this strategic dialogue with China. What do you think about it?
Ambassador Cui: There are always some issues that need to be discussed and communicated between countries. In my opinion, they can talk on the issues that they are concerned. Of course, it is their business if the United States and other countries want to develop their bilateral relations. We just hope that any such bilateral activities will not target on a third country or harm the interests of a third country.
Some people may think that they meet with other countries to raise their voices before the meeting with the Chinese officials. In fact, this approach is not necessary and not very useful at all. Just like someone who walks at night alone will sing to help increase courage, but it is not of much use. If you have any questions, you should talk to the Chinese side face-to-face directly.
And I think that most countries in the world, including some allies of the United States and the U.S. allies in Asia have several big questions. One is whether the United States can truly play the role of a responsible stakeholder in international affairs. The second question is whether the United States is really ready to return to multilateral cooperation and make its due contribution to multilateral cooperation. There is another question. Is the United States really prepared to show due respect to the interests of other countries and listen to the voices of other countries? I think these concerns exist in the hearts of most countries in the world, including allies of the United States, but some countries do not speak up. I hope that the United States can understand everyone's concerns.
Phoenix TV: We saw yesterday the U.S. State Department announced that it had imposed sanctions on 24 Chinese officials due to the Hong Kong-related matters. During the previous visit to Japan, senior U.S. officials have repeatedly made some negative remarks and even criticisms of China. Will these U.S. actions affect the atmosphere of the dialogue? Will China lower its expectations because of this?
Ambassador Cui: In fact, it is not the first time that the U.S. has harmed China's sovereignty and bilateral relations. Our position is very clear. We firmly oppose it and will take necessary countermeasures, and this time is no exception. We will also express our position clearly in this meeting, and will not make compromises and concessions on these issues in order to create a so-called "atmosphere." We'll never do that!
China Media Group: According to the information released by the U.S., the U.S. will discuss issues related to Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Taiwan in this dialogue, and only when this dialogue achieves the U.S expectation, it will get continued. What does China respond to this? Will China compromise on some issues?
Ambassador Cui: I believe that the prerequisite for dialogue and communication between any countries is that both sides should have the spirit of equality and mutual respect. The several issues you mentioned just now involve China's national sovereignty, territorial integrity, and national unity. With regard to these core interests, China has no room for compromise and concessions. This is also the attitude we will make clear in this meeting. If they think China will compromise and give in under the pressure of other countries, or China wants to pursue the so-called "result" of this dialogue by accepting any unilateral request, I think they should give up this illusion as this attitude will only lead the dialogue to a dead end.
To be honest, my colleagues in Beijing have made a lot of preparations for this dialogue, including preparations on the discussion topics and epidemic prevention. My colleagues in Beijing have adopted the most comprehensive and strictest safety and precaution measures, including getting vaccinated and taking COVID-19 tests. It should be said that a lot of efforts have been made. If someone thinks that China came to snowy Alaska with sincerity this time to make compromise and concession, then I would suggest that my colleagues in Beijing cancel this trip as soon as possible. Why bother to come here? I hope the people with such idea should give up this illusion.
Phoenix TV: You mentioned that China will take countermeasures. Are there any specific actions that China is considering?
Ambassador Cui: We've already taken some countermeasures. With the situation evolving, we will continue to do that if necessary.
Press: Thanks Ambassador
Ambassador Cui: Thank you all.