Sino-US Relations 

In February 1972, US President Richard Nixon visited China. The door to contact and exchanges between China and the US was reopened. During Nixon's visit to China, China and the US issued the "Joint Communique between China and the US" (also referred as the "Shanghai Communique"). China and the US issued the "Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China and the US" on December 16, 1978. The two countries formally established diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level on January 1st, 1979. On August 17, 1982, the Chinese and US governments issued the "China-US August 17 Communique". The US side undertook in the communiqu¨¦ that "it does not seek to carry out a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan."

 

In January 1984, the Chinese Premier visited the US. In April 1984, US President Ronald Reagan visited China. In July 1985, Chinese President Li Xiannian visited the US, which was the first visit to the US by a Chinese head of state.

 

In January 1998, during US Secretary of Defense William Cohen's visit to China, the two sides signed the Agreement between the Ministry of Defense of China and the US Department of Defense on Establishing a Consultation Mechanism to Strengthen Military Maritime Safety. On May 25, Chinese President Jiang Zemin and US President Bill Clinton had their first talk through the newly established direct secure telephone link, exchanging views on the situation in South Asia and China-US Relations.

 

From June 25 to July 3, US President Bill Clinton paid a state visit to China at the invitation of President Jiang Zemin.

 

President Jiang Zemin and Clinton reached important consensus on a wide range of issues in their talks. The two sides agreed that China and US should further strengthen dialogues and cooperation on major international issues. The two sides agreed to continue concerted efforts to make greater strides towards the goal of building a constructive strategic partnership between China and the US geared towards the 21st century. The two sides decided not to target the strategic nuclear weapons under their respective control at each other. The two sides agreed to further strengthen the strategic dialogue in economic and financial sector so as to make positive contributions to a healthy development of world economy and finance.


On January 1st, 1999, President Jiang Zemin and President Bill Clinton exchanged congratulatory letters on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the US. From April 6 to 14, 1999, Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji paid an official visit to the US at the invitation of US President Bill Clinton, which was the first visit to the US by a Chinese Premier in 15 years.

 

At 5:45 a.m. of May 8, 1999, Beijing time, the US-led NATO brazenly fired five bombs from different angles on the Chinese Embassy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which killed three Chinese journalists, injured more than twenty Embassy staff and seriously damaged the Embassy building. The Chinese people expressed their utmost indignation and severe condemnation of such a brutal act, which has considerably affected Sino-US ties.

 

On September 11, President Jiang Zemin and President Bill Clinton held an official meeting during the APEC Informal Leaders Meeting in Auckland, New Zealand. The meeting was positive and constructive.

 

Entering the year 2000, China-US exchanges and contacts have been increased in various fields. On December 15, the US Congress passed the "Omnibus Appropriation Act" providing for compensation of 28 million dollars for the property loss and damage suffered by China as a result of the US bombing of the Chinese Embassy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.


On April 1st, 2001, a Chinese F-8 fighter collided with a US EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft and was destroyed, causing the death of the pilot, Wang Wei. Without China's permission, the EP-3 made an emergency landing on China's Hainan Island. On April 11th, Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan accepted the US government's letter of apology letter for the incident.


On September 11, New York and Washington suffered terrorist attacks, causing huge casualties and property loss. On October 19, President Jiang Zemin and President Clinton held talks, exchanging views on Sino-US ties and anti-terrorism and reaching vital consensus. The two sides agreed to make joint efforts to develop constructive and cooperative bilateral ties.

 

In 2002, Sino-US relations mainly kept a good development momentum. From February 21 to 22, President George W. Bush paid an official visit to China at the invitation of President Jiang Zemin. The two leaders discussed bilateral relations and the current world situation and agreed to strengthen bilateral dialogue and cooperation, appropriately resolve divergences and jointly further promote constructive bilateral ties. President Jiang Zemin accepted Bush's invitation to pay a state visit to America before attending the APEC meeting in October in Mexico. Jiang Zemin stressed the importance for growing Sino-US relations by appropriately dealing with the Taiwan question. Bush reiterated that the US supported the one-China policy and abided by the three joint communiqu¨¦s between the two countries, which is the policy consistently pursued by the US government.