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Consul General Li Qiangmin's Article A New Era of China-US Cooperation Published
2017/04/22

On April 21, 2017, an article titled A New Era of China-US Cooperation by Consul General Li Qiangmin was published on China Daily USA, which reads as follows:

From April 6 to 7,2017, the whole world focused on the Mar-a-lago Resort in Palm Beach, Florida, where Chinese President Xi Jinping met with President Trump of the United States. The meeting was positive and fruitful, which sets a constructive tone for the development of China-US relations and charts the course for joint efforts.

This meeting was the first face-to-face communication between the two heads of state since the new US administration took office. During one day and half schedule, they spent over seven hours on in-depth discussion. The two presidents enjoyed candle light dinner, listened to President Trump’s granddaughter singing a Chinese song, walked on the seaside lawn in the Resort. The atmosphere was as warm and comfortable as the sunshine of the Palm Beach in spring.

The two heads of state spoke highly of the meeting. President Xi said that the successful meeting reached a number of consensuses, achieved positive outcomes. President Trump tweeted that he and President Xi developed outstanding relationship, and looked forward to being together many times in the future.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Wang Yi emphasized on four outcomes when he briefed the media.

The two heads of state increased mutual understanding and trust, building up good working relations and personal friendship. President Xi and President Trump shared with each other their respective concepts on state governance, and ongoing agendas of domestic and foreign policies.

They confirmed the development direction and principles of China-US ties. President Xi pointed that China and U.S. have a thousand reasons to make China-US relations a success and no reason to make bilateral relations a failure. President Trump noted that the US stands ready to cooperate with China to eliminate those factors and problems affecting bilateral relations, which will realize greater development of US-China relations.

They laid out priority fields and mechanisms of bilateral cooperation. Both agreed to advance two-way investment agreement negotiations, and to explore practical cooperation in many fields including energy and infrastructure. They have announced the establishment of four high-level dialogue mechanisms, namely diplomatic and security dialogue, comprehensive economic dialogue, law enforcement and cyber security dialogue, social, people-to-people and cultural dialogue. Chinese side reiterated that China does not seek trade surplus on purpose, and requested the US to ease its restrictions on high-tech exports to China so as to further balance bilateral trade.

They strengthened communication and coordination on international and regional affairs. The two heads of state exchanged in-depth views on international and regional issues of common concern, such as the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, and agreed to expand cooperation at regional and global level to contribute to the maintenance of regional and world peace, stability and prosperity.

The friendly meeting between the two heads of state largely enhanced confidence in the future of China-US relations, heralding a new era of China-US cooperation. It is best news and huge impetus for China and the southern U.S., where the Chinese consulate General in Houston is located, to cooperate.

The southern U.S. is the leader and pioneer of China-US cooperation in the new stage.

The southern U.S. played special role in history of China-US relations. The former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping paid his historic visit to Houston and Atlanta in 1979, opening the gate of China-US diplomatic relations. China's very first Consulate General in the United States after the normalization of China-US relations was opened in Houston.

The Southern U.S. stands on leading edge in energy, chemical industry, medical science, innovation, electronic,aerospace, and agriculture. China and the southern U.S. see huge potential of cooperation than ever before. Dr David Leebron, President of Rice University and John Mendelsohn, Former President of MD Anderson agreed with me on this assessment when we met the other day. We all believe the meeting of the two heads of state in Mar-a-lago stimulates stronger cooperation between the region and China. We propose all walks of life in southern states of America take joint efforts in four aspects.

The reiteration of promoting Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) negotiation helps to make a breakthrough in trade and investment of cooperation between China and the Southern U.S. Governor Hutchinson of Arkansas issued a statement on his official website saying: “The work we have done to recruit direct investment from China has resulted in the commitment of more than $1 billion in new capital investments with more than 650 new jobs. We are confident President Trump’s meeting with President Xi Jinping will only strengthen the United States’ relationship with China. This relationship is important for the United States as a whole and Arkansas specifically because of the growing level of interest from Chinese companies that are considering doing business in the state.”

Actually, Chinese companies have invested over $20.8 billion in the southern states till now, creating 5000 jobs. Yet enormous potential is still waiting to be exploited. Two-way investments are expected to boom after BIT is concluded.

The cooperation in energy, infrastructure and agriculture is promising. These are the fields mentioned as priorities in the Presidential meeting, and are the advantages owned by the southern U.S.. Texas is the largest energy base of the U.S. China could be the top buyer of oil and gas from the U.S., if the U.S. lifts its ban. Trade of oil and gas could not only help reduce trade deficit, but also provide huge business and job opportunities to Texas and other southern states. Some Chinese private companies have already invested in energy and chemical industries in this region. Many more are in process of negotiation or looking for partners. Most southern states are upgrading the infrastructure system. China has capable companies with technology and fund. The complementary advantages are evident. China’s market is open to American beef despite some technical trade procedure in process. The advanced beef industry of Texas and Arkansas will absolutely benefit from it.

It’s best time for innovation cooperation between China and the southern states. Innovation is the new engine for China-US cooperation. American innovation ability is leading in the world. Many cities in Texas like Austin and Houston, are among top innovation hubs in the U.S. It matches the needs of China’s Mass Entrepreneurship and Innovation perfectly. Together with American side including Greater Houston Partnership, Houston Technical Center and Texas Medical Center, Chinese government and institutes will hold the second China-US Innovation and Investment Summit in Houston. We expect the high-tech and startup companies to enter China’s market, and encourage Chinese high-tech companies to invest in the southern states.

People-to-people exchange is expected to be flourishing. Many universities in southern states like Rice, Emory, keep close cooperation with Chinese universities. Currently, Chinese students in southern states are about 60 thousands. More and more schools in Texas, Georgia and Arkansas set up Chinese language courses. American sports like basketball, American football are super popular in China. Visitors travelling from China and the U.S. annually reached 4.75 million.

The leading role of heads of state is immeasurable in promoting bilateral relations. Now Mar-a-lago Resort is known to almost every family in China. More Chinese people would be interested in Florida and other southern states, to travel, study, invest or do business.

On April 12, President Xi and President Trump made a phone call again, confirming and reiterating their consensus. Both sides agreed to keep closer communication and cooperation, to ensure a successful visit by President Trump to China. The new era of China-US cooperation is dawning. The golden age of China and the southern U.S. cooperation is coming.

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