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Speech by Mr. Christopher Nixon Cox

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May 15th, 2014

It is a great honor for me to be here with you today in Beijing, in the Great Hall of the People, to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

Since it was founded sixty years ago this month, the Association has played an important part in the way China looks at the world --- and the way the world looks at China.

My grandfather, President Nixon, looked at China in a totally new way.  When he came here for the first time, forty-two years ago in February 1972, his meetings with Chairman Mao Zedong, and his discussions with Premier Zhou Enlai, ended a quarter century of separation between our two great nations.  His travels during those seven days in Beijing and Hangchow and Shanghai, represented a dramatic end to the unhappy era during which relations between China and America were unfriendly and frozen.

On his last day in China, he called his visit “the week that changed the world.”  And over the last four decades and more, the world has confirmed that assessment.

When there are hard times and rough patches ---as there inevitably will be between even the closest of friends--- it is important to be reminded of the underlying interests, and the common goals of peace and stability and prosperity, that can overcome particular problems and that will outlast temporary differences.

For six decades now, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries has played an important role in bringing the people of China together with the people of the world. 

The Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Richard Nixon Foundation have had a particularly close and fruitful relationship --- beginning with the memorable programs celebrating the internationally famous “ping pong diplomacy” that were held at the Nixon Library in California.  

Under Mme. Li’s leadership, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries has become admired and respected all around the world --- and especially in Yorba Linda, California.

I’m especially pleased that in July, the Association and the Nixon Foundation will be bringing together outstanding young American and Chinese students and entrepreneurs for two days of meetings and discussions at the Nixon Library.

I know that that great work will continue, and I hope that it will be possible to have even more people to people contacts between Americans and Chinese in the years ahead. 

My grandfather used to tell me how important it was to understand the differences between tactics and strategy.  He said that it was important not to view the world in terms of short term diplomatic battles and decisions, but to look for the great forces that really move the world.

President Nixon died twenty years ago last month.  He lived to see China reemerge as the great and powerful nation he knew it could become.  And he believed deeply in the importance of the deep friendship between America and China which benefited greatly two nations in the cold war era. I believe, it is that same deep friendship based on  understanding and respecting the interests we have and the ties we share constitutes the very foundation for building a new type of bilateral relations between the two greatest powers of this century.

Thanks to the work of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, our bonds are stronger and our friendship is deeper still. 

Fēicháng xièxie (FAY CHONG SHEY/SHEY-EH) ----- thank you very much.

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