The American people deeply admire China for its thousands of years of contributions to culture and religion, to philosophy and the arts, to science and technology. We remember well our strong partnership in World War II. Now we see China at a moment in history when your glorious pastis matched by your present sweeping transformation and the even greater promise of your future.
Just three decades ago, China was virtually shut off from the world. Now, China is a member of more than 1,000 international organizations -- enterprises that affect everything from air travel to agricultural development. You have opened your nation to trade and investment on a large scale. Today, 40,000 young Chinese study in the United States, with hundreds of thousands more learning in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America.
Your social and economic transformation has been even more remarkable, moving from a closed command economic system to a driving, increasingly market-based and driven economy,generating two decades of unprecedented growth, giving people greater freedom to travel within and outside China, to vote in village elections, to own a home, choose a job, attend a better school.