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Economically strong China makes for strong America: Wisconsin gov

By Wang Zichen (Xinhua)

08:07, April 18, 2013

HARBIN, April 17 (Xinhua) -- An economically strong China makes for a strong America, and more trade is good for both countries, Republican Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker said Wednesday.

Walker made the remarks during an interview in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, the last stop on his first trip to China, which he described as "my first-ever trade mission."

Walker has been meeting with Chinese political leaders as part of the United States National Governor's Association and participating in business meetings in Beijing and Shanghai since April 13.

"I have had a very positive thing about China to begin with. It just reinforces the positive things I knew of. A reporter asked me yesterday in Beijing if I was surprised, I said, 'No, actually I find -- other than sometimes I need some help of interpretation -- the people in China are very much like the people in Wisconsin,'" he said.

Heilongjiang has had a sister state partnership with Wisconsin since 1982.

Trade has been high on Walker's agenda for the trip in which he has overseen the forming of partnerships and signing of memoranda between Wisconsin and Chinese businesses.

"I think it's very positive, the phrase I use and everybody here uses is 'win-win,'" he said, "A strong China economically makes for a strong America, and a strong America makes for a strong China."

While it's not rare for some people in the United States to talk about their jobs being "stolen" by China, Walker said he believes that increasing trade will help create jobs in both countries.

"Some of the myth from the past is that, maybe 15 or 20 years ago, trade with China meant sending jobs from Wisconsin, from America, to China. As the Chinese economy has improved, the people of China's quality of life and income have improved. That trade relationship between Wisconsin and various provinces in China means there are new markets, there are new opportunities," he said.

Walker also mentioned that China's urbanization, seen by many as the future growth engine of the world's second-largest economy, could provide business opportunities for companies in Wisconsin.

"Even Heilongjiang, like Wisconsin, is an agriculture-heavy, rural province. There is increasing growth in the cities. With that comes new water needs for clean water, for water heaters, for sanitation," said Walker.

Forbes magazine recently dubbed Milwaukee, the largest city in Wisconsin, "The Capital of Water."

In addition to exchanges between national government officials, governors could play their own roles in deepening ties between the U.S. and China, he said, adding, "(As) the governor, (what) I can help with is trips like this, and follow-ups that come with it, about improving our economic relations, because just as it is for the United States and other countries, the stronger our economic connection, the stronger we are gonna be politically, culturally and socially."

After weathering a fierce fight with his political opponents and overcoming a recall vote, Walker ascended to the U.S. national political stage and, according to news reports, is in the process of writing a book.

When asked if he would make a run for the White House in 2016, Walker said, "I love being governor, I'm gonna run for re-election as governor in 2014 and stay focused on that."

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