US-China relations to flourish under new administration
Updated: 2009-01-08 16:00

BEIJING -- Visiting US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte said Thursday he was confident of a bright US-China future under the new administration.

US Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte (R) poses with former Chinese ping-pong world champion Liang Geliang during the Friendship Ping-pong Match marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the China-US diplomatic relations, at the State General Administration of Sport in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 7, 2009. [Xinhua]

"I look forward to watching the US-China relationship develop in the coming years, and feel confident that it will continue to flourish under the new American administration," Negroponte told an audience of about 100 people at a breakfast meeting Thursday morning.

The meeting was hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham-China).

Negroponte, who arrived in Beijing Tuesday evening, was attending activities marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-US diplomatic relations, which fell on January 1.

He applauded the unveiling of China's policy of reform and opening in 1978 as a "pivotal moment" for the US- China relationship that has grown and transformed  over the past 30 years.

In his ten-minute address, Negroponte said the almost unprecedented speed of development in the bilateral relations over the past three decades sent a message to governments throughout the world that legacies of isolation and mistrust can be overcome by visionary actions.

Even today the two countries do not see eye-to-eye on every topic, however the commitment to discuss the differences and work through them is "a sign of maturity and strength" of the relations, he said.

Responding to a question, Negroponte said one of the legacies of the Bush administration was going to be the progress achieved in the US- China relations. He said he believed that one of the important things in the US current political transition period was trying to ensure strategic economic dialogue and other bilateral political dialogues would go on.

Asked to comment on the relations between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, Negroponte reiterated the US adherence to the one-China policy.

Though the cross-Straits relation was "delicate and sensitive," he said progress has been made in the past year, particularly since the leader's election in Taiwan last March.

"We are in a hopeful period in regard to the issue of Taiwan Straits," he said

Negroponte met with several senior Chinese officials Wednesday and attended a friendly ping pong game between Chinese and US players Wednesday afternoon to mark the historic "ping pong diplomacy" which broke the ice between the two nations 38 years ago.

Negroponte also said that the ping pong game Wednesday was a great deal of fun, and he considered the paddle given by a veteran Chinese player as an important souvenir during his visit.

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