Xi Jinping Attends US-China High-Level Agricultural Symposium and Delivers a Speech
On February 16 local time, visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping attended the US-China High-level Agricultural Symposium in Iowa.
Addressing the event, Xi extended warm congratulations on the successful Symposium and sincere welcome to the Chinese and US participants. He said that food is what matters to the people. Agriculture is the basic industry on which the survival and development of human society depends. To promote the international agriculture and food cooperation from a strategic height has significant and far-reaching importance to the mutual benefit and common development of countries. Agriculture is a key area of developing relations and deepening cooperation between China and the US. Over the years, China-US agricultural exchanges and cooperation have maintained stable development. The first contributing factor is that China and the US are both major agricultural countries and share significant common interests and broad space for cooperation in the agricultural sector. The second one is that China has earnestly fulfilled its WTO commitments in the past 10 years and reduced its tariffs on agricultural products to one quarter of world average. Meanwhile, it is also beneficial that the two governments attach great importance to agricultural cooperation and the agricultural departments of both countries have conducted smooth and effective dialogue and pragmatic cooperation under the mechanisms of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue, China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade and China-US Joint Commission on Agriculture.
He noted that China always attaches great importance to the national food security and gives top priority to developing agriculture, benefiting the rural area, raising the income of farmers and steadily solving the problem of feeding 1.3 billion of people. At present, China has adequate food stocks and sufficient market supply and has established grain reserves and food oil reserves nationwide. This not only effectively stabilizes the domestic grain market prices but also makes a major contribution to safeguarding world food security. China actively carries out international agricultural exchanges and cooperation. It has provided agricultural assistances for developing countries within the framework of South-South cooperation and played an active role of helping developing countries to enhance agricultural production and food production capacity and achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals.
He pointed out that to raise China-US mutually beneficial agricultural cooperation to a new level under the current situation will help not only to ensure the smooth growth of the two countries' own domestic economy but also support the world economy to speed up recovery. The following efforts should be made to deepen China-US agricultural exchanges and cooperation at a new historical starting point. First, step up technological cooperation, strive to improve the efficiency of agricultural production and promote sustainable agricultural development. Second, strengthen economic and trade exchanges, endeavor to improve the efficiency of resource allocation and create a fair and reasonable market environment. Third, reinforce communication and coordination, deepen cooperation to cope with international agricultural hot issues and jointly safeguard world food security. He believes the China-US agricultural exchanges and cooperation with a solid foundation will be further enhanced and enjoy more broad prospects for development.
Chinese Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu and US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack co-presided over the Symposium. Han, Vilsack, US Ambassador to China Gary Locke and Iowa State Governor Terry Branstad delivered welcome remarks respectively.
In their speeches, the American delegates noted that Xi's attendance at the Symposium despite his busy schedule shows the Chinese leaders attach great importance to strengthening US-China agricultural cooperation. The US and China are the two biggest agricultural countries in the world. The bilateral agricultural cooperation has been strengthened and agricultural trade grown rapidly in recent years, bringing benefits to the two peoples. At present, food is still one of the pressing global issues to be solved. The two countries should step up agricultural cooperation on the basis of common interests and aspirations, mutual respect and mutual benefit and join hands to make contributions to solving the food and starvation issues of the world today. They believe the two great economies of US and China have the ability to help create a better world.
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, other accompanying officials and more than 150 agricultural officials, experts and scholars from China and the US attended the Symposium.