China, U.S. establish new platform to promote sub-national cooperation

China, U.S. establish new platform to promote sub-national cooperation

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- China and the United States on Saturday signed an agreement to formally establish the China-U.S. Governors Forum to promote sub-national exchanges and cooperation.

Li Xiaolin, vice president of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), and Chris Gregoire, chair of the U.S. National Governors Association (NGA) and also Washington Governor, signed the agreement at a ceremony in Washington D.C..

"It's one of the important achievements of (Chinese) President Hu Jintao's state visit to the United States in January this year, " said Li. "We will work with the NGA to implement this important achievement, and ensure the successful convocation of the first China-U.S. Governors Forum in the coming summer, hopefully in July in Utah."

During President Hu's visit, the two governments signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to agree on the creation of this forum by the CPAFFC and the NGA.

According to the MOU, this forum will serve as an important communication platform between Chinese provincial and U.S. state governors in a bid to promote practical cooperation at provincial level in such areas as trade, investment, energy, environment and culture.

Li and Zhou Qiang, secretary of the Hunan Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), led the Chinese delegation to attend this signing ceremony, which was held as part of the three-day NGA Winter Meeting beginning on Saturday.

"This is the pioneering undertaking to expand bilateral cooperation," said Zhou. "I believe with the establishment of this forum, there will be more frequent exchanges and closer cooperation between the local governments of our two countries."

Zhou said in today's complex and changing world, China and the United States face many common challenges and risks.

"In responding to these challenges and risks and promoting the development of China-U.S. cooperative partnership, the local governments of our two countries can play effective roles," he added.

Gregoire said the new forum will serve as a platform to promote peer-to-peer exchanges between the U.S. governors and Chinese provincial leaders, which will be beneficial to both countries.

Recognizing the importance of trade relations with China, the chairwomen emphasized China has become the No. 1 trade partner of her state.


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