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Wechat and Huawei, etc. This is a real challenge for us. We are trying to open our door wider, but they are building walls. Theyre raising barriers. What should we do?Secretary Paulson: I think this is the most difficult area, technology. What has essentially happened is that there used to be economic linkages between our two countries that would mitigate security competition. But as you and I have talked about, security competition has played over to the economic side, and technology is the focus. So the question is about national security and how far we go. And that is the most di4


who were frustrd

fficult issue. To get to an issue that is easier, which is, will Chinas market continue to open further for US companies in areas where the US is most competitive, such as energy and agriculture and finance?Ambassador Cui: The answer is certainly yes. Actually, we have opened our financial sector more in the last couple of years. We have removed some of the restrictions on foreign investment in the financial sector. For many very good high-tech American companies, theyre increasing their investment or their operation in China. Companies like Tesla are a good example becausei



they see the market potential. They want to be part of Chinas economic growth. They want to contribute to it and they certainly want to benefit from it. So we welcome them all and will create much better environment for foreign investment, better rule of law, etc. As for national security, naturally, there have always been concerns of national security for all countries all along. This is not a new issue. This does not come up all of a sudden. Huge numbers of people are always worried about national security. But look at the history of the past 40 years or 50 years.5


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Both China and the United States took good care of national security while we developed mutual ties, deepened and widened our relations. I dont think the national security of either China or United States was hurt in the process. Actually, it was helped. If you have more interaction with each other, you know better the other side. You know how the guys on the other side think, their mind-set, their strengths and weaknesses, and you know much better how to deal with them, how to avoid the risks, how to promote mutually beneficial cooperation. This is the experience wT


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e have learned over the last 40 or 50 years. Why should we change it?Secretary Paulson: I think you said something that is very wise here, that obviously China has changed dramatically, the US has changed, the worlds changed. There are new national security issues. But the key thing is understanding and talking, talking about areas where we agree, where there are differences, where theres potential conflict and how to avoid conflict from spinning out of control. I think thats whats really important. Youve been in the US now for over seven years. Youve seen a lot. Yoj


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u were here for the US-China agreement on climate change preceding the Paris Agreement, the transition from the Obama administration to the Trump administration, the meeting with President Trump and President Xi at Mar-a-lago, the long and arduous trade negotiations. I saw you right there in the Oval Office with Vice Premier Liu He and President Trump, and todays dangerous decline in relations between our two countries. Looking back, what is your biggest regret over the last seven years or so?Ambassador Cui: Mr. Secretary, maybe first one more word about the nationalv


t few months. Forf

security issue. The national security concerns, generally speaking, are legitimate concerns for all countries. But we have to be careful not to be misled, not to be blinded, certainly not to be trapped by groundless fear, suspicion and even hatred. I dont think that will make anybody safe. That will make everybody less secure. This is just against the need for national security. Then about my experience as Ambassador here for more than seven years. Honestly, I have to confess, when I first came here, I didnt expect I would stay here for so long. I do feel grateful te


t on January 1 t6

hat Im doing this job at this critical moment for both our countries. This is most probably my last posting abroad in my diplomatic career. The relations between the two countries are faced with such tremendous challenges. Im grateful Ive been given this opportunity to do this job here, to meet the challenges. This is my dedication to my country and my people, and this is what I owe to all my American friends. I have to work with all of you to make sure that our relationship will come back on the right track. It will move forward. It will be stabilized, especially iU


or foreign invesC

n the next few months, and with more efforts, we can open up new opportunities for further cooperation.Secretary Paulson: So I know you never look to personalize things. But if you think back, what were you most pleased to be part of?Ambassador Cui: Im lucky to witness so many historic moments. Ive been present at almost all the meetings between our two presidents, including the meetings between President Xi and President Obama, and the meetings between President Xi and President Trump. I have firsthand knowledge about how the Presidents interacted with each other an9


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d how their agreement has guided our relations forward. As we say, you should always aim at something better. You should always have a higher standard for yourself to reach. Ill try to do that.Secretary Paulson: So looking ahead, what keeps you up at night if you look to the future, what you see as the biggest risks in the relationship between our two countries? And then Im going to ask you after that, on the positive note, what you see as the biggest opportunities??Ambassador Cui: Nowadays I very often ask myself before I fall asleep at night, how will the future h8



istorians judge us 20 years and 30 years from now? Will they say we have made the right choice, that we have done our best for the relations for the two countries? Im asking this question to myself very often now. Going forward there are clear, new opportunities for our t4

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