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Yang Jiechi: Jointly Write a New Chapter of China-US Friendship and Cooperation

2015/09/21

Chinese President Xi Jinping will soon pay a state visit to the US at President Obama's invitation. This will be a historic event inChina-US relations. The two Presidents will discuss bilateral,regional and international issues of interest. President Xi will meet with Congressional and local leaders as well as people from a cross-section of the American society. His visit will deepen people-to-people friendship, expand cooperation and provide new impetus to the new model of major country relationship between China and the US.

China-US relationship is of vital importance. It has come a long way since diplomatic ties were established 36 years ago. The relationship has gone beyond the bilateral scope and taken on growing global significance. The two countries now have close communication and coordination in extensive areas, from tackling global challenges to bolstering global growth, from tripartite cooperation in Afghanistan and Timor-Leste to handling regional and international hotspot issues like Iran and South Sudan, making important contribution to world peace and common development.

Admittedly, China and the US also have different views on some issues and there are sensitive issues in our bilateral relations. However, they are outweighed by our common interests and the potential of cooperation. Dialogue and cooperation is the prevailing trend.

There are broad areas where we should and can work with each other. Closer China-US cooperation would deliver great benefits to people in both countries and beyond. This is our historical mission and what the international community expects of us.

Healthy growth of China-US relations requires joint efforts of the two governments and societies. The involvement and support at the subnational level and from the business, academic, cultural and educational communities as well as the wider public are indispensable.

Subnational cooperation is a driver of China-US relations. We have 43 pairs of sister provinces/states and 200 pairs of sister cities, with multiple platforms and extensive network for close interactions. The Washington State and Seattle are at the forefront of such cooperation.

Business cooperation is the bedrock of China-US relations. In 2014, two-way trade exceeded US$550 billion and mutual investment topped US$120 billion. By June 2015, Chinese companies had directly invested US$77.5 billion in 1,501 non-financial projects in the US. Estimates show that by 2020, Chinese investment in the US will reach US$100-200 billion, adding 200-400 thousand local jobs. As China upgrades its economy and the US boosts economic recovery, the future of our business cooperation is ever more bright.

People-to-people exchange is a propeller of China-US relations. There is a flight between our two countries every 17 minutes. 4.3 million people traveled across the Pacific last year. Educational exchange is also thriving. By 2014, 490,000 young Chinese had studied in the US, and over 100,000 young Americans in China. Seventy-five Chinese universities hosted 12,000 American scholars. Over 30% of the international students in the Washington State are Chinese. The vaccine jointly developed by Chinese and American experts made a big difference in the battle against Ebola.

Both the Chinese and the Americans believe that actions speak louder than words. With joint actions, we will write a new chapter in China-US friendship and cooperation.

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