On March 29, 2012, Chinese Consul General Xu Erwen visited the state of Alabama and delivered a speech on China’s development and China-U.S. relations in Troy University.
In her speech, Consul General Xu commended Troy University and the Confucius Institute at Troy University on their contribution to advance access to Chinese language education and to promote educational, cultural and economic exchanges between China and Alabama.
She said that the rapid development of exchanges and cooperation between Alabama and China is a good example of US-China partnership, citing the stunning 1342% growth of Alabama's exports to China from 160 million in 2000 to 2.3billion in 2011, the robust increase of two-way investment, and the healthy momentum of educational and cultural exchanges.
She reviewed the development of China-U.S. relationship in the past 40 years starting from President Nixon's first visit to China and the release of the Shanghai Communiqué. She stressed that China-US relationship has become one of the most important, the most dynamic and the most promising bilateral relationships in today's world. The progress of China-U.S relationship has not only been beneficial to the two nations and their peoples, but also made great contributions to world peace, stability and prosperity.
She said, China-US relationship has now entered a new phase characterized by the building of a partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. She summarized the four distinctive features of China-US relationship, namely, frequentness, extensiveness, friendliness and win-win. She pointed out that there are unprecedented opportunities of cooperation between the two countries, with economic and trade cooperation in particular. Opportunities are created by: the economic restructuring of both countries; the rapid growth of Chinese investment in the US; the new growth points of bilateral economic and trade cooperation; the in-depth progress of sub-national cooperation between China and the US. She called for further collaboration in the development of the bilateral ties.
On China’s development, Consul General Xu pointed out that China did go through an extraordinary journey and make impressive achievements in the 63 years since it was founded, particularly over the past 33 years of reform and opening up. However, China is still a developing country in the true sense of the word. China's per capita GDP is only 1/10 of that of the U.S and ranks behind 90th in the world. China still faces many difficulties and challenges in economic and social development. Internationally, the road to global economic recovery will be tortuous, and the global financial crisis is still evolving. Protectionism in international trade and investment is mounting. Domestically, it has become more urgent but also more difficult to solve institutional and structural problems and alleviate the problem of unbalanced, uncoordinated, and unsustainable development. She stressed that, there is a long way to go for China to realize its goal of modernization.
She said that China will remain firmly committed to the path of peaceful development, which means China will develop itself through upholding world peace and contribute to world peace through its own development. She owed the three decades of China’s fast development and remarkable achievements to the reform and opening-up policy, stressing that China will continue to promote comprehensive economic and political reforms with greater resolve and courage. She said that China will solve the tough issues and will achieve development with its own efforts and by carrying out reform and innovation; at the same time, it opens itself to the outside and encourages two-way investments, seeking mutual benefit and joint development with other countries.
The speech was part of the “China-Alabama Week” co-hosted by Alabama State Government and Troy University. Among the 300 or so attendees to the three-day-long event series are Alabama’s Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey, local officials in the state and people from the local business community. An educational delegation from China’s Hebei Province and representatives of the University of Southern Mississippi and Xavier University of Louisiana also participated in the events.
After the speech, Consul General Xu accepted a group interview by local media.