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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 09:07, September 15, 2005
Understanding will help build stronger ties
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In Washington State, which was scheduled to be the first stop on President Hu Jintao's trip to North America, there is a strong sense of appreciation for President Hu's understanding in agreeing to delay his visit, while America copes with the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Make no mistake: We were looking forward to President Hu's visit to Seattle and we hope his visit will be rescheduled at an appropriate opportunity. We are committed to strengthening Sino-American relations and deepening cultural ties between the peoples of China and the United States.

China's rapid progress and extraordinary economic success have captured the attention of the world. But in the "Evergreen State" of Washington, President Hu would have encountered people who already appreciate the value of strong Sino-American ties:

The first steamship to China sailed from Seattle in 1882. Nearly 100 years later, in 1979, the Liu Lin Hai sailed into the Port of Seattle, reopening trade between China and the United States.

In 1916, Beijing-born Wang Zhu was named Boeing's first engineer and oversaw the design of Boeing's first commercial airplane.

Both Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin made official visits to Seattle, an honour that is very important to us.

Since the first Chinese immigrants arrived in Washington State over 150 years ago, our culture and our population have been enriched by the important contributions of Chinese-Americans.

Many of our state's companies are valued business partners of China. Nearly 70 per cent of China's commercial aircraft are Boeing planes and many of the components for those aircraft are made in China. Microsoft is helping power the computer revolution in China and Chinese scientists are designing future generations of software at Microsoft laboratories in China. Starbucks has 173 stores in China with plans for many more.

We also believe that the best relationships are two-way, providing value to both countries. In the last 10 years, Boeing has trained more than 28,000 aviation professionals in China and recently signed contracts with Chinese suppliers worth over US$600 million. Microsoft is developing computer courses at 36 Chinese universities and has pledged US$750 million to train software and hardware developers in China.

China is one of the leading customers of our largest marine ports the Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma and our ports have sister relationships with the ports of Shanghai and Tianjin. Many cities in Washington State have sister city relationships in China. Seattle is building a Sichuan-style garden in co-operation with expert Chinese artisans.

This long history and the deep, mutually beneficial relationships we have developed have taught us the value of communication, co-operation and respect. We know that China and the United States have much in common, and have much to learn from each other.

We recognize that in a complicated world, filled with challenging issues, the United States and China will not always agree. We understand that there will be differences that need to be resolved. The key to finding solutions that recognize the interests of our two great countries is to continue to build stronger ties and deeper understanding.

There is an old Chinese saying that "a deep chasm becomes a thoroughfare." For Washington State, this means the deep chasm of the Pacific can become the thoroughfare of culture, commerce, understanding...and mutual opportunity.

It is our conviction that regular travel on that thoroughfare will lead to a better future for all of us.

Source: China Daily

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