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Huntsman On U.S.-China Relations

"The U.S.-China relationship is among the most complex and important relationships in the world today."

In his new year's greeting to the People's Republic of China, U.S. Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman said, "the U.S.-China relationship is among the most complex and important relationships in the world today."

"There are real differences between our two nations; differences in interests, differences in values, differences in approaches to issues both at home and abroad," said Ambassador Huntsman. "But more noteworthy are our common interests and the increasingly common approaches that have developed with the maturing of our relationship."

The United States, Ambassador Huntsman noted, can't address the challenges of the world alone. Nor can the U.S. and China do it by themselves. Success, he said, depends upon both the U.S. and China pulling together in the same direction and jointly moving the global community to action.

For its part, the United States understands China core interests and takes those interests seriously. China wants to develop as a stable, harmonious community. Ambassador Huntsman said U.S. actions throughout its thirty-year bilateral diplomatic history, from working on China's accession to the World Trade Organization and promoting a peaceful Asia-Pacific community to promoting energy conservation and efficiency and environmental protection, demonstrate how aware the United States is of the importance China places on development and enhancing the quality of life of the people of China.

With regard to Taiwan, Ambassador Huntsman stressed that the U.S. recognizes "the strong feelings that the people of China have regarding sovereignty." He also noted that the U.S. acknowledgement in 1972 that "all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China," allowed the U.S. to resume a relationship that had been estranged for nearly a quarter century.

"I commend China's leadership for building confidence between the people of Taiwan and the mainland," said Ambassador Huntsman. "But I also believe that U.S. policies during this time have played an important role in helping create a better, stronger, and more confident cross-Strait dynamic and a more peaceful, prosperous and secure Asia-Pacific region."

The U.S. and China, he said, "cannot, and must not, allow our disagreements to negate aspects of our relationship that are so critical to the region and the world. ... Improving the human condition for people in both our countries should always drive the priorities on which our relationship is based."