China-US Joint Statement
Updated: 2009-01-07 14:34

October 29, 1997

China and the United States issued a joint statement in Washington on October 29, 1997, following the talks between visiting Chinese President Jiang Zemin and President Bill Clinton. Full text of the joint statement reads as follows:

At the invitation of President William J. Clinton of the United States of America, President Jiang Zemin of the People's Republic of China is paying a state visit to the United States from October 26 to November 3, 1997. This is the first state visit by the President of China to the United States in 12 years. President Jiang held formal talks with President Clinton in Washington D.C., and also met with Vice-President Al Gore, Congressional leaders and other American leaders. Talks also were held between Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

The two Presidents had an in-depth and productive exchange of views on the international situation, China-US relations and the important opportunities and challenges facing the two countries. They agree that a sound and stable relationship between China and the United States serves the fundamental interests of both the Chinese and American peoples and is important to fulfilling their common responsibility to work for peace and prosperity in the 21st century.

They agree that while China and the United States have areas of both agreement and disagreement, they have a significant common interest and a firm common will to seize opportunities and meet challenges cooperatively, with candor and a determination to achieve concrete progress. China and the United States have major differences on the question of human rights. At the same time, they also have great potential for cooperation in maintaining global and regional peace and stability; promoting world economic growth; preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; advancing Asia-Pacific regional cooperation; combating narcotics trafficking, international organized crime and terrorism; strengthening bilateral exchanges and cooperation in economic development, trade, law environmental protection, energy, science and technology, and education and culture; as well as engaging in military exchanges.

The two Presidents are determined to build toward a constructive strategic partnership between China and the United States through increasing cooperation to meet international challenges and promote peace and development in the world. To achieve this goal, they agree to approach China-US relations from a long-term perspective on the basis of the principles of the three China-US joint communiques.

China stresses that the Taiwan question is the most important and sensitive central question in China-US relations, and that the proper handling of this question in strict compliance with the principles set forth in the three China-US joint communiques hold the key to sound and stable growth of China-US relations. The United States reiterates that it adheres to its "one China" policy and the principles set forth in the three China-US joint communiques.

As permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, China and the United States support the UN in its efforts, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, to play a positive and effective role on global issues, including peacekeeping and the promotion of economic and social development. Both countries support efforts to reform the UN and to make the Security Council more representative, while retaining and improving its effectiveness. Stressing the need to put the UN on a firmer financial basis, both countries will participate actively in discussions on the Scale of Assessments in the UN.

As two major countries in the Asia-Pacific region, China and the United States are ready to strengthen their cooperation to meet various challenges and make positive contributions to promoting stability and prosperity in the region. Recognizing that maintenance of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula is of great importance, the two countries are working through the Four-Party Talks to help establish a durable peace on the Peninsula, and will continue consultations to this end. They also stress that it is in the interest of the two countries to maintain peace and stability in other important regions, including the Middle East, the Gulf, and South Asia.

The two President agreed on a number of steps that will provide a framework for further promoting China-US relations and strengthening their cooperation in international affairs.

High-level Dialogue and Consultations

China and the United States agree to regular visits by their Presidents to each other's capitals.

They agree to a Beijing-Washington presidential communications link to facilitate contact.

They also agree to regular exchanges of visits by cabinet and sub-cabinet officials to consult on political, military, security and arms control issues.

Energy and Environment Cooperation

China and the United States reaffirm the importance of bilateral cooperation across the broad range of environmental issues, as evidenced by the establishment of the China-US Forum on Environment and Development in March 1997.

They consider it a critical challenge to develop and efficiently use energy sources, protect the global environment, and promote environmentally sound growth and development. Accordingly, they agree to strengthen their cooperation in energy and environment through an initiative to accelerate clean energy projects and the appropriate transfer of related technologies. The principal areas of cooperation will be in clean energy, urban air pollution control and rural electrification. This initiative also will foster broader cooperation on global environment issues such as climate change, desertification and bio-diversity. China's State Planning Commission and the US Energy Department have signed the China-US initiative on Energy and Environment Cooperation to promote effective cooperation in these fields, including the use of clear energy.

Economic Relations and Trade

The two presidents are prepared to take positive and effective measures to expand China-US trade and economic ties. As both economies move into the 21st century, information technology will be critical to spurring technological innovation and improving productivity. In this regard, China indicated its intention to participate as soon as possible in the Information Technology Agreement. In addition, in the context of WTO negotiations, China will continue to make further substantial tariff reduction. China and the United States agree that China's full participation in the multilateral trading system is in their mutual interest. To this end, they agree to intensify negotiations on market access, including tariffs, non-tariff measures, services, standards and agriculture and on implementation of WTO principles so that China can accede to the WTO on a commercially meaningful basis at the earliest possible date.

Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation

China and the United States agree that it is in their mutual interest to cooperate in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. To this end, they each have taken the steps necessary to implement the China-US Agreement on Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation concluded in 1985. In addition, China's State Planning Commission and the US Department of Energy have signed an Agreement of Intent to promote peaceful nuclear cooperation and research between the two countries.


China and the United States agree to work to bring the comprehensive Test Ban Treaty into force at the earliest possible date. They also agree to pursue at the U.N. Conference on Disarmament the early start of formal negotiations on the Treaty on the Prohibition of the Production of Fissile Materials Used in Nuclear Weapons and Other Nuclear Explosives Devices.

The United States and China reiterate their commitment not to provide any assistance to unsafeguarded nuclear facilities and nuclear explosion programs. China has placed controls on exports of nuclear and dual-use materials and related technology and will take further measures to strengthen dual-use export controls by mid-1998. The United States will continue to enforce firm controls on the export of nuclear and dual-use materials and related technology.

As original parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, the United States and China agree to cooperate in implementing the Convention within a multilateral framework. Both countries agree on the importance of government oversight of chemical-related exports.

The United States and China agree to build on the 1994 Joint Statement on Missile Nonproliferation. They reaffirm their respective commitments to the guidelines and parameters of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

Human Rights

The United States and China both recognize the positive role of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and other international human rights instruments in promoting human rights. They reiterate their commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

While the two countries have not resolved their differences on human rights, they have agreed to discuss them through dialogue at both governmental and non-governmental levels in the spirit of equality and mutual respect. The two countries agree to hold discussions on the structure and functions of an NGO forum on human rights.

Cooperation in the Field of Law

The United States and China agree that promoting cooperation in the field of law serves the interests and needs of both countries.

They will strengthen cooperation in combating international organized crime, narcotics trafficking, alien smuggling, counterfeiting and money laundering. To this end, they intend to establish a joint liaison group for law enforcement cooperation composed of representatives of the relevant agencies of both governments. They agree to begin consultations on mutual legal assistance aimed at concluding a mutual legal assistance agreement.

The United States and China will assign counternarcotics officers to their respective embassies on a reciprocal basis.

Recognizing the importance the United States and China each attaches to legal exchanges, they intend to establish a joint liaison group to pursue cooperative activities in this area. These may include exchanges of legal experts; training of judges and lawyers; strengthening legal information systems and the exchange of legal materials; sharing ideas about legal assistance; consulting on administrative procedures; and strengthening commercial law and arbitration.

As part of this program of legal cooperation, China's Minister of Justice will visit the United States in November 1997 at the invitation of the U.S. Attorney General.

Military-to-Military Relations

The United States and China have reached agreement on the establishment of a consultation mechanism to strengthen military maritime safety, which will enable their maritime and air forces to avoid accidents, misunderstandings or miscalculations.

They agree to share information and discuss issues related to their respective experiences in the areas of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Science and Technology, Educational and Cultural Exchanges

The U.S.-China Joint Commission on Science and Technology will continue to guide the active bilateral scientific and technological cooperation program, which involves more than 30 agreements reached since 1979, and will promote the further use of science and technology to solve national and global problems. The United States and China will identify areas for cooperative projects using space for Earth science research and practical applications.

The United States and China will expand educational and cultural exchanges. Both Presidents believe that increased people-to-people exchanges will help cultivate long-term bilateral relations.

President Jiang Zemin expressed his thanks to President Clinton and the American people for their warm reception and invited President Clinton to visit China in 1998. President Clinton accepted this invitation with pleasure.


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