The U.S. is committed to a relationship with China that is defined by mutual interests and not by disagreements. As Secretary of State Colin Powell said on November 5th, “Our two great countries are exploring new ways to cooperate on issues of worldwide concern, whether it be conflict management, combating terrorism, or energy.” In the case of North Korea, the U.S. and China are in agreement that Pyongyang must comply with its international commitments and terminate its nuclear weapons programs.
China is also contributing to the global campaign against terrorism. China publicly supported Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan –- the campaign that removed the Taleban regime from power and al-Qaida’s presence from the country. China was also in accord last year when United Nations Resolution fourteen-forty-one was passed, putting Iraq on notice that it was in breach of its obligations.
China is participating more actively in world affairs. The U.S. welcomes these efforts. But as Secretary of State Powell said, the U.S. “will also expect China to accept world standards in trade and proliferation and human rights, and openness and transparency in business and information.”
China is the fourth largest trading partner of the U.S. In 2002, the U.S. and China had a one-hundred-forty-seven-billion dollar trade relationship. Alhough that figure is expected to rise in 2003, Mr. Powell says that problems remain:
“We are concerned and we are still burdened by the disparity in the trade balance, by market access problems that American manufacturers are having, and by a non-market exchange rate.... Our message to China is that our commercial engagement must be one that provides prosperity to both of our countries.”
As President George W. Bush has said, “China is on a rising path, and America welcomes the emergence of a strong, peaceful and prosperous China.”