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US-China Relationship Summit calls for cooperation

By Wei Deng, Xin Gong (People's Daily Online)    15:24, August 26, 2019

How to move forward positively in the next 40 years of China-US relations? "We need to build bridges, not walls," California Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis said on Saturday at the US-China Relationship Summit, held in Burlingame in the Bay Area.

Launched by the Florence Fang Family Foundation, the US-China Relationship Summit was held under the theme of "Sailing Together."

The forum brought together leading American and Chinese government officials, business leaders, entrepreneurs and scholars to review the successes of cooperation between the two countries over the past 40 years and discussed the future of China-US ties.

US goods and services trade with China totaled an estimated $737 billion in 2018. Exports stood at $179 billion; imports $557 billion. The amount of foreign direct investment between China and the US totaled more than almost $150 billion.

A significant percentage of this comes from trade between China and California, which is the leading economy in the United States, said Kounalakis, noting that California has been deeply involved with China in various fields.

"It is natural for close partners to experience periods of conflict and contention," said Kounalakis.

At the meeting, David Firestein, President and Chief Executive Officer at The George H. W. Bush Foundation for US-China Relations, criticized US President Donald Trump for escalating trade tensions with China, which will eventually harm the US economy.

"We face a very profound challenge in this country," said Firestein.

Sean Randolph, senior director of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, noted that US manufacturers who produce products that incorporate Chinese parts and components are seeing higher costs, most of which will be passed on to consumers. Agriculture has been particularly affected, and the administration is spending nearly $20 billion to help compensate farmers who have been hit.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York estimates that US tariffs already in place cost $830 per US household, which will rise to $1,030 when the new tariffs are imposed.

Randolph emphasized the importance of China-US cooperation.

"We in the US, California and the Bay Area, our partners in China, and the world will benefit if China and the US - the world's two largest economies - grow together and not apart. It is imperative that we work together to make that happen," he said.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf just concluded her first trip to China. She saw many opportunities in US-China relations in education, economic development, trade, innovation, and climate change.

She encouraged more US mayors to visit China to create more exchanges, noting "relationships are more natural between people than countries."

Chinese Consul General in San Fransisco, Wang Donghua, stressed cooperation serves the interests of the Chinese and American people and is the only choice for both sides.

As the world's two largest economies, China and the US have become closely intertwined through years of development and cooperation, said Consul General Wang.

Florence Fang, the chairwoman of the Florence Fang Family Foundation, mentioned the "Ping-Pong Diplomacy" of the 1970s in her opening remarks, "I hope and I know the good that can come when China and the United States complement each other's differences and work in harmony and cooperation," said Fang.

The Chinese ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai, Former President Jimmy Carter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Dianne Feinstein, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, and several politicians extended their greetings, thanking Florence Fang and her foundation for their efforts in promoting friendly exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the US over the years.

The Florence Fang Family Foundation, a non-profit organization, was established in 2011 to enhance and support people from the US and China by promoting mutual understanding and cooperation among people in both countries. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Du Mingming)

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