February 2, 2014

Foreign Pool - Luncheon in the Department of State

White House Press Office Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Reply-To: White House Press Office 
To: Ching-Yi Chang 

From: Ching-Yi Chang
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 07:05 PM
Subject: Foreign Pool - Luncheon in the Department of State 
At the luncheon hosted by U.S. Vice President Biden and Sec. Clinton in the State Department, both Mr. Biden and China's Vice President Xi talked very candidly. 

Mrs. Clinton gave the remark first, she mentioned the significance of Mr. Xi's visit. The same month 40 years ago, President Nixon made a historic visit to China. And now, she said, "we are both committed to building a lasting framework of trust that will support a cooperative partnership for the next 40 years and beyond.

Then, Mr. Biden gave a roughly 17 minutes remark, he first gave his thoughts on the U.S.-China relations. "Mr. Vice President (Xi), even as our cooperation grows, as we've discussed, the United States and China will continue to compete. And as Americans, we welcome competition. It's part of our DNA, and it propels our citizens to rise to the challenge. But cooperation, as you and I have spoken about, can only be mutually beneficial if the game is fair."

Mr. Biden revealed a few detail during their three meetings this morning.

The economic issues they discussed are: the need to rebalance the global economy, to protect intellectual property rights and trade secrets, to address China's undervalued exchange rate, to level the competitive playing field, to prevent the forced transfer of technology.

On security issues, Mr. Biden first talked about the veto of U.N. resolution on Syria, "we saw this in the recent U.N. Security Council debate about Syria, where we strongly disagreed with China and Russia's veto of a resolution against the unconscionable violence being perpetrated by the Assad regime." And then, Mr. Biden said other issues were on the agenda as well: North Korea, Iran, Sudan, South Asia, maritime security, cyber security, nuclear security, climate change and the cooperation between two militaries. 

And he also didn't forgot to mention human rights issue, which he said, "we see our advocacy for human rights as a fundamental aspect of our foreign policy and, we believe, a key to the prosperity and stability of all societies. We have been clear about our concern of the areas in which, from our perspective, conditions in China have deteriorated and about the plight of several very prominent individuals."

With that, Mr. Xi responded in front of about 200 guests, "Of course, there is always room for improvement when it comes to human rights. Given China's huge population, considerable regional diversity and uneven development, we are still faced with many challenges improving people's livelihood and advancing human rights," Mr. Xi emphasized that, "the Chinese government will always put people's interests first and take seriously people's aspirations and demands. We will, in the light of China's national conditions, continue to take concrete and effective policies and measures to promote social fairness, justice and harmony, and push forward China's cause of human rights."

On China-U.S. relation, Mr. Xi did bring up a whole new concept called, "a new type of cooperative partnership between two major countries." In his definition, "China is the world's largest developing country, while the United States is the largest developed country. To build a new type of cooperative partnership between two countries like ours is a pioneering endeavor with great and far-reaching significance. There is no precedent for us to follow, and no ready experience for us to refer to."

On the solution, he used Deng Xiaoping's, Sec. Clinton's and even a pop song's words to describe, "Mr. Deng Xiaoping said, cross the river by feeling the stones; or what Secretary Clinton once quoted, when confronted by mountains, one finds a way through, when blocked by a river, one finds a way to bridge to the other side. A Chinese pop song goes like this: May I ask where the road is? It is under your feet."

Well, Mr. Biden gave a Chinese lesson as well when he talked about how to truly understand a country, "as you know, there's an old Chinese saying: Better to travel 10,000 miles than read 10,000 books."

Last but not least, please allow your Mandarin speaking pooler gives a little Chinese lesson as well. "Xi" pronunciates pretty much like "C" with longer "I" vowel, so it sounds like "Cee" rather than "Shee" or "Zee". However, the pronunciation of "Jinping" is very close to Mandarin. Now you know a very useful way to pronunciate "Thank You" in Chinese--Xie Xie!        

Ching-Yi Chang
White House Correspondent
Hong Kong Phoenix Satellite TV

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