On 7 February 2017 local time, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop of Australia jointly met the press after holding the fourth round of China-Australia Foreign and Strategic Dialogue in Canberra. Australian journalists inquired about the effect on China-US relations of the tough rhetoric expressed by certain US personnel.
Wang Yi said that the diplomatic relations between China and the United States have been there for almost four decades. In the past four decades, there has not been short of tough words on China from some people in the United States. But China-US relationship has defied difficulties and kept moving forward. Today, China and the United States have become interdependent with their interests closely intertwined. Last year bilateral trade exceeded US$500 billion. Almost all states in the United States do business with China, almost all US universities have exchanges and cooperation with China, and over 4 million visits were made between the two countries last year. This is the reality of China-US relations today. Any wise statesman will come to realize that a conflict between China and the United States would hurt both sides and neither side can afford it.
Wang Yi said that as for US policy on China, we pay closer attention to the official policy statements made by the new US Administration after its inauguration. I wish to tell you that after Mr. Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, President Xi Jinping had an important telephone conversation with him and the tone was very positive. During the phone call, President Xi stressed that China-US relations can grow even stronger and the then-President-elect Mr. Donald Trump said that he agrees 100 per cent and China-US relationship is the most important bilateral relationship in the world.
Wang Yi said it may take some time for the new US Administration to get acquainted and familiar with China, but I'm sure that going forward, as long as both sides remain committed to the commitments already made, as long as both sides remain committed to the political foundation which this relationship is built upon, China-US relations will get through this transitional period fairly quickly and get on a path of greater development. That is the expectation of people of both countries and it fully serves the common long-term interests of China and the United States.