Remarks by Vice President Joe Biden and President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China

By:  Joe Biden, Jr.
Date: Dec. 4, 2013
Location: Beijing, China

PRESIDENT XI: Honorable Vice President Biden, let me again warmly welcome you to China, my old friend.

You have long been committed to the growth of China-U.S. relations, and I commend you for the large amount of work you have taken. And I hope your current visit will help us to further deepen mutual trust, exchanges, and cooperation between China and the United States.

The China-U.S. relationship has gotten off to a good start since the beginning of this year and has generally maintained the momentum of positive development. In my two meetings with President Obama -- first at the Annenberg estate, and then in St. Petersburg -- we agreed to work together to build a new model called Major Country Relationship between China and the United States based on mutual respect and win-win cooperation. In so doing, we set a direction for the future growth of this relationship.

We're happy to see that in the recent period our two teams have worked actively to expand coordination and cooperation on bilateral, regional, and global levels, and helped to make important progress in our bilateral relationship.

At present, both the international situation and the regional landscape are undergoing profound and complex changes. The world economy has come into a period of in-depth readjustment. Regional hotspot issues keep cropping up and there are more pronounced global challenges such as climate change and energy security. The world as a whole is not tranquil. As the world's two largest economies and two permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, China and the United States shoulder important responsibilities for upholding world peace and stability and promoting human development and progress. To strengthen dialogue and cooperation is the only right choice facing both countries.

We will soon enter into the 35th year of our diplomatic relationship. For over 30 years, our relationship has gone through a lot and made historical progress. Looking ahead to the future, we stand ready to work with the U.S. side to continue to move in the right direction, building a new model of Major Country Relations, respect each other's core interests and major concerns, continue to enhance practical cooperation, and increase our communication and coordination on international, regional and global issues, to appropriately handle sensitive issues and differences between us so that together we can make sure our bilateral relationship will continue to move forward in a sustained, healthy and stable way.

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Mr. President, thank you very much. And I say to your colleagues I hope you don't think that I trespassed on taking advantage of my friendship with the President to keep him as long as I did in the other room. But I thank you very much, Mr. President, for the opportunity to meet with you again.

As we've discussed in the past, this new model of major country cooperation ultimately has to be based on trust and a positive notion about the motive of one another. The relationship that you and President Obama have established thus far is full of promise and real opportunity for us. If we get this relationship right, engender a new model, the possibilities are limitless.

This is a hugely consequential bilateral relationship that is going to play a significant part in affecting the course of the 21st century. And we're fortunate that at the moment to have two men leading each of our countries who have the capacity to maybe bring this to fruition.

You pointed out all the change that is taking place in the world and the challenges it presents -- they present. But the way I was raised was to believe that change presents opportunity -- opportunity on regional security -- on a global level; opportunity on climate change, energy, and a whole range of issues that the world needs to see change in the next decade or so.

As you have pointed out, Mr. President, complex relationships call for sustained, high-level engagement. And that's why I'm here. And that's why I am so grateful, and so is the President, that you would give me the time to attempt to help further develop that engagement. As we've both acknowledged in the past, this new relationship requires practical cooperation to deliver concrete results. We've done much of that already.

Because I have had the benefit of being around for a long time as a senator and as the Vice President, I've had the opportunity to engage, not directly, but peripherally, with a number of world leaders. The thing that has impressed me from the beginning, and I stated to the President early on, after his meetings with you, which he concluded as well, is that you are candid, you are constructive in developing this new relationship. And both qualities are sorely needed. Candor generates trust. Trust is the basis on which real change, constructive change is made. And I am delighted to be back with you.