Ambassador Zhang Yesui Hosts Reception for US Governors Attending NGA Meeting
On February 26, Ambassador Zhang Yesui hosted a reception at the Chinese Embassy in honor of US Governors attending the winter meeting of the National Governors Association. Nearly 300 people attended the reception and among them, there were Party Secretary Zhou Qiang of Hunan Province and Vice President Li Xiaolin of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, who were leading a Chinese delegation to the United States for the launch of the China-US Governors Forum, Chinese Consul-Generals Peng Keyu, Gao Zhansheng, Qiu Shaofang, Yang Guoqiang and Gao Yanping based respectively in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston, 29 US Governors including NGA Chair Governor Chris Gregoire of Washington and Vice Chair Governor Dave Heineman of Nebraska, Under Secretary Robert Hormats and Special Representative Reta Jo Lewis of the State Department. Ambassador Zhang, Secretary Zhou, Vice President Li, Governor Gregoire and Under Secretary Hormats spoke at the reception.
Ambassador Zhang said that significant progress has been made in China-US relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties over 30 years ago. The relationship between China and the United States is one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world. The interests of China and the United States have never been so closely interconnected. The two countries are now each other's second largest trading partner and have maintained effective communication and cooperation on a host of major international and regional issues. The state visit to the United States by President Hu Jintao in January this year was a great success. The two sides have agreed to work together to build a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. Under the new circumstances, there exists new opportunities for China and the United States to enhance sub-national exchanges and cooperation which will make strong contribution to the growth of the bilateral ties and the well-being of the two peoples. The Chinese Embassy and Consulates are ready to work closely with the US side to implement the outcome of President Hu's visit and strive for new progress in sub-national exchanges between China and the United States.
Secretary Zhou said that President Hu's successful state visit to the United States has presented favorable opportunities to enhance cooperation at the local levels. Provincial and state leaders have many issues of common interest. The China-US Governors Forum will create an effective platform for practical cooperation and friendly exchanges between the local governments. The Chinese side is ready to join hands with the US states and promote the growth of sub-national relations in all fields. Hunan Province will make full use of this platform to increase its cooperation and exchanges with US states in various areas.
Vice President Li said that the establishment of the China-US Governors Forum has received the attention of leaders in both countries and strong support from the Chinese Foreign Ministry and US Department of State. The Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the National Governors Association have signed the Accord for Establishment of China-US Governors Forum, laying a sound foundation for future Forum activities. Through joint efforts, the Forum will surely grow to be a major platform for local exchanges and cooperation between the two countries.
Governor Gregoire expressed on behalf of NGA her congratulations on the signing of the Accord for Establishment of China-US Governors Forum. She said she very much looks forward to the first meeting of the Forum in coming July in Utah and hopes that a delegation of US Governors will be able to visit China this fall. The establishment of the Forum will help enhance friendship, increase concrete cooperation, expand trade and investment and achieve sustainable economic growth. China is the No. 1 trading partner of the State of Washington. Her state wishes to keep this robust trade relations with China, which is the common desire of many US Governors.
Under Secretary Hormats spoke highly of the important significance of the establishment of the China-US Governors Forum to the growth of bilateral ties, emphasizing that this is an encouraging, new development which will be good for more two-way trade and investment. The US side welcomes investment in the United States by Chinese companies.