Week Ending Friday, April 21, 2006

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Author: George W. Bush  | Date: April 20, 2006

Remarks at a Welcoming Ceremony for President Hu Jintao of China,
April 20, 2006

Good morning. Laura and I are pleased to welcome President Hu Jintao and his wife, Madam Liu, to the White House.

The United States and China are two nations divided by a vast ocean yet connected through a global economy that has created opportunity for both our peoples. The United States welcomes the emergence of a China that is peaceful and prosperous and that supports international institutions. As stakeholders in the international system, our two nations share many strategic interests. President Hu and I will discuss how to advance those interests and how China and the United States can cooperate responsibly with other nations to address common challenges.

Our two nations share an interest in expanding free and fair trade, which has increased the prosperity of both the American people and the Chinese people. Trade ingoods between our two nations has grown to $285 billion a year, and U.S. exports to China grew nearly 21 percent in last year alone. Our trade relationship can become even stronger as China adopts policies that allow U.S. companies to compete in China with the same freedom that Chinese companies are able to compete here in the United States. So we welcome China’s commitments to increase domestic demand, to reform its pension system, to expand market access for U.S. goods and services, to improve enforcement of intellectual property rights, and to move toward a flexible, market-based exchange rate for its currency. These policies will benefit the Chinese people and are consistent with being a responsible member of the international economic system and a leader in the World Trade Organization.

Prosperity depends on security, so the United States and China share a strategic interest in enhancing security for both our peoples. We intend to deepen our cooperation in addressing threats to global security, including the nuclear ambitions of Iran; the genocide in Darfur, Sudan; the violence unleashed by terrorists and extremists; and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. I appreciate China’s role as host of the six-party talks, which will be successful only if North Korea makes the right strategic decision: to abandon all its nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs as pledged to the other five parties. I will continue to seek President Hu’s advice and cooperation and urge his nation to use its considerable influence with North Korea to make meaningful progress toward a Korean Peninsula that is free of nuclear weapons.

The natural world also generates threats to international security, and the United States and China share a strategic interest in meeting these challenges as well. We will continue to cooperate to fight avian flu and other pandemic diseases. We will continue to cooperate to respond to natural disasters. We will continue to cooperate to develop alternatives to fossil fuels. New technologies can drive economic growth on both sides of the Pacific and help us become better stewards of our natural resources.

As the relationship between our two nations grows and matures, we can be candid about our disagreements. I’ll continue to discuss with President Hu the importance of respecting human rights and freedoms of the Chinese people. China has become successful because the Chinese people are—experience the freedom to buy and to sell and to produce. And China can grow even more successful by allowing the Chinese people the freedom to assemble, to speak freely, and to worship.

The United States will also be candid about our policy toward Taiwan. The United States maintains our "one China" policy based on the three communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act. We oppose unilateral changes in the status quo in the Taiwan Strait by either side, and we urge all parties to avoid confrontational or provocative acts. And we believe the future of Taiwan should be resolved peacefully.

The United States and China will continue to build on our common interests; we will address our differences in a spirit of mutual respect. We have made progress in building a relationship that is candid and cooperative, and President Hu’s visit will further that progress.

And so, Mr. President, welcome to the White House. We’re really glad you’re here. I’m looking forward to our meetings, and I’m so thrilled to welcome Madam Liu as well. Thank you for coming.

Note: The President spoke at 9:44 a.m. on the South Lawn at the White House, where President Hu was accorded a formal welcome with full military honors. In his remarks, President Bush referred to Liu Yongqing, wife of President Hu. The transcript released by the Office of the Press Secretary also included the remarks of President Hu.

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Chicago: George W. Bush, "Remarks at a Welcoming Ceremony for President Hu Jintao of China, April 20, 2006," Week Ending Friday, April 21, 2006 in United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, April 21, 2006 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2006), 42:740-741 Original Sources, accessed December 3, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=TT16USIRTT5L3ZY.

MLA: Bush, George W. "Remarks at a Welcoming Ceremony for President Hu Jintao of China, April 20, 2006." Week Ending Friday, April 21, 2006, in United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, April 21, 2006 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2006), 42:740-741, Original Sources. 3 Dec. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=TT16USIRTT5L3ZY.

Harvard: Bush, GW, 'Remarks at a Welcoming Ceremony for President Hu Jintao of China, April 20, 2006' in Week Ending Friday, April 21, 2006. cited in , United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, April 21, 2006 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2006), 42:740-741. Original Sources, retrieved 3 December 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=TT16USIRTT5L3ZY.