February 28, 1982

Dear Mr. Premier:

Ten years ago today the United States of America and the People's Republic of China issued the Shanghai Communique. In the ensuing decade, and particularly since the establishment of full diplomatic relations between the two countries on January 1, 1979, our relations with your government and people have greatly expanded, and our contacts have embraced almost all areas of human endeavor.

Our bilateral ties now encompass trade, banking, maritime affairs, civil aviation, agriculture, educational and scientific exchange, technology transfer and many other fields. Well over one-hundred thousand Americans and Chinese now flow back and forth between the two countries each year, and our relations continue to develop through both people-to-people and diplomatic channels.

These concrete manifestations of good relations between the people of the United States and China are not only in the interests of the two countries; They enhance the prospects for peace and stability throughout the Asia-Pacific region, and beyond.

As we enter the second decade since the issuance of the Shanghai Communique, our desire is to build an even stronger bilateral and strategic framework for long term friendship between our two nations. It is appropriate for me, at this time, to reaffirm the positions agreed to by both sides in the Shanghai Communique and the Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the United States of America and the People's Republic of China and to declare my government's willingness to work with our counterparts in Beijing to overcome differences and deepen U.S.-China ties.

On behalf of the American people, I extend the hand of friendship and warmest wishes to the government and people of China on this historic anniversary.


Ronald Reagan

[His Excellency Zhao Ziyang, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, Beijing.]

Esteemed Mr. President:

On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the issuance of the Joint Communique in Shanghai by the People's Republic of China and the United States of America, I wish to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Government and people and in my own name, our cordial regards and good wishes to Your Excellency and the government and people of the United States.

The Joint Communique issued by China and the United States a decade ago was a historic document, which started the process of normalization of relations between China and the United States and subsequently led to the establishment of diplomatic relations between them. During this period, our two sides have had extensive contacts and exchanges in many fields, thus enhancing the understanding between the governments and deepening the friendship between the peoples. The development of Sino-U.S. relations is not only in the fundamental interests of our two peoples, but also conducive to the maintenance of peace and stability in Asia and the world as a whole.

Both the Chinese and American peoples hope that Sino-U.S. relations will continue to move ahead in the years to come. I believe that these relations will continue to develop so long as both governments adhere to the principles jointly established in the Shanghai Communique and the Communique on the Establishment of Sino-U.S. Diplomatic Relations and overcome the obstacles currently existing in the relations between the two countries. The Chinese Government is willing to make efforts together with the U.S. Government towards this end.


Zhao Ziyang
Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China
Beijing, February 28, 1982

Note: The texts of the letters were released by the Office of the Press Secretary on March 1.