Top Chinese legislator Wu Bangguo on Tuesday stressed the importance of upholding the principle of free trade in efforts to tide over the economic difficulties facing China and the United States.
"At present, it is particularly important to uphold the principle of free trade and prevent various forms of trade protectionism," Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress, said at the one-day U.S.-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum which was held in Phoenix.
Economic cooperation and trade provide a solid foundation for China-U.S. relations and an essential guarantee for continued dynamism of the relationship, Wu said.
"To overcome the current difficulties and turn our desire for closer economic cooperation and trade into reality, it is important to give full play to the primary role of businesses," he stated.
"It is also important to bring into full play the role of the China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogues, the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade and other relevant mechanisms, act in the broader interest of China-U.S. economic cooperation and trade, and resolve issues arising from cooperation in a timely and proper way so as to create a good environment and provide more facilitation for our cooperation, particularly cooperation between business," he said.
Wu voiced hope that Chinese and American businesses will combine their strengths and explore new avenues and areas of cooperation through joint research, demonstration projects, joint technology development and expansion of mutual investment.
"I also hope that the governments and other parties concerned in both countries will make cooperation between businesses a priority in strengthening and improving China-U.S. economic cooperation and trade, help establish ties for businesses enhance protection of intellectual property rights, work hard to improve the policy and legal environment, and promote bilateral trade and investment facilitation."
"I am confident that, with the joint efforts of Chinese and American businesses and all other parties concerned, we will prevail over the current difficulties and embrace an even brighter future of China-U.S. economic cooperation and trade," he said.
Attending the forum were more than 200 government officials and business representatives from both countries.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said at the forum that Wu's visit came at "a critical time" when the United States was in recession.
She said further strengthening cooperation between the two countries "means more jobs" for Americans and was also beneficial to the two sides.
Wu arrived in Arizona on Sunday on the final leg of a three-nation North American tour. He has left Arizona for Washington for a visit in which he is expected to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.