US-China ties at crucial moment: Albright

Updated: 2013-10-29 15:03


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HOUSTON - The United States and China are at a crucial moment in their bilateral relationship and the two countries should work with each other to help resolve world issues, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Monday.

In a live webcast interview hosted by the National Committee on US-China Relations, the former secretary of state recalled her diplomatic career with China starting from the mid-1970s when she accompanied a Senate delegation to China in an effort to normalize bilateral relations.

"That moment of connection continues to shape both our countries and the world," she commented on former US President Richard Nixon's ice-breaking visit to China in 1972.

Talking about the present, Albright, appointed secretary of state in 1997 and the first female to hold that position, said the consensus reached by Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping to build a new model of major-country relations is the "possible unifying goal" of the two largest economies in the world.

"The openness that Presidents Obama and Xi has displayed with one another and in their one-on-one interactions at the Sunnylands summit in June shows that our bilateral relationship is becoming not only more regularized but also more personalized," she observed.

Albright said the two countries can work together "so long as we recognize our disagreements and core differences with maturity, confront our challenges directly, and have leaders on both sides that are committed to this relationship."

She said we should work with each other "for our two societies are increasingly bound together. This doesn't mean we will always agree ... But whichever way the leaders choose to respond to these concerns, their policy should be based not on emotion but reason, not on myth but fact. There is ample opportunity to do this as I believe we are in a crucial moment in the relationship, a moment leaders on both sides recognize we have to seize."

"With history as a source of insight ... and with a hope of a stable and prosperous world as a guide, there is every reason to believe that we can advance this relationship for another 40 years and beyond," she said.