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Deputy Consul General Shi Yuanqiang's Remarks at the Virtual Event of USCPFA, Long Beach
(January 18, 2022, Zoom Conference)
2022-01-20 11:40

It is a great pleasure for me to attend today's USCPFA event, which reminds me of the memorable day I spent with the members of the Richmond, Virginia Chapter of USCPFA over ten years ago when I worked in our Embassy in Washington D.C. I greatly enjoyed the conversation with those local American friends and got much deeper understanding of the American people and their lives.

Being one of the earliest U.S. organizations dedicated to promoting friendship and understanding between the peoples of our two great countries, the U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Association has been enjoying decades of fame and admiration in China since its establishment. On behalf of Consul General Zhang Ping and my colleagues in the Consulate General, I'd like to express our deepest gratitude to all the friends of USCPFA for your relentless efforts to develop and strengthen the China-U.S. friendship. Your vision of and contribution to China-US relations are highly commendable and deeply appreciated. 

As we all are aware, the circumstances of China-U.S. relations have undergone many changes over the past decade. Especially, the previous U.S. administration carried out an erroneous and dangerous policy towards China, namely Maximum Pressure, and caused unprecedentedly severe damages and difficulties to our bilateral relations. Many cooperations and exchanges between our two countries have been stalled or even canceled. Unfortunately, the current administration, to a large extent, has continued many of the wrong beliefs and doings of the last administration. My colleagues in Washington, DC, feel much more pressure today than I did ten years ago. 

As history has proven repeatedly, despite twists and turns in our relations, some fundamental positive elements remain unchanged and there has been no absence of forces supporting China-U.S. friendship and cooperation. 

Firstly, and most importantly, the aspirations and needs for mutual understanding and friendship between the Chinese and American peoples remain unchanged, as manifested by the friends present today. Since I started my post in Ios Angeles three years ago, I have kept hearing touching stories of the friendship between our two peoples and witnessed the tangible benefits our sub-national exchanges and cooperation have brought about, in the areas of trade, investment, culture, education and people to people exchanges. The foundation of China-U.S. relations and the bonds between our two peoples stand the test of time and remain strong.

Secondly, the essence of China-U.S. relations, being mutually beneficial, especially in the economic field, remains unchanged. China is California's largest trading partner. One-third of the cargo volume of China-U.S. trade in goods goes through the Los Angeles-Long Beach Ports. Prior to the pandemic, California was the U.S. state that attracted the largest amount of Chinese investment, and the largest number of Chinese students and tourists. California's close connection with China is a vivid portrayal of the closely intertwined interests between China and the U.S. and defines the nature of our mutually beneficial relations. 

For years, sister city relations have been playing an important role in deepening sub-national exchanges and cooperation and friendship between the peoples. Many U.S. cities in our consular district have their sister cities in China; in 2020, the city of Long Beach and the Chinese city of Qingdao in Shandong Province celebrated the 35th anniversary of their sister city relationship, which has yielded fruitful results for both cities. The strong and robust sister city relationship between Long Beach and Qingdao, as well as the close partnership between the two cities' ports, has set a good example for China-U.S. sub-national exchanges and cooperation.

Thirdly, the importance of China-U.S. cooperation remains unchanged, even more significant in an increasingly complex world today. The China-U.S. relationship is among the most important bilateral relationships in the world. Whether our two countries, the world's biggest developing country and the biggest developed country and two permanent members of the UN Security Council, can handle our relations well bears on the fundamental interests of the two countries and two peoples, and matters to the future of the world. 

Over the past half-century, the China-U.S. relationship has achieved unprecedented development, bringing tremendous benefits to our peoples and contributing to world peace, stability and prosperity. From tackling the COVID-19 pandemic to addressing the existential threat of the climate crisis, China and U.S. have broad common interests and shoulder shared responsibility; our bilateral relationship has ever-increasing global significance nowadays. Solving these challenges and seizing opportunities will require the broader international community to come together as we each do our part to build a safe, peaceful, and resilient future. 

Today, the China-U.S. relationship has come to a new historical juncture, facing a crucial choice of where to go. In last November's virtual meeting between President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden, the two heads of state had candid, in-depth and constructive discussions. They have agreed that China and the U.S. should respect each other, coexist in peace, increase communication, handle differences constructively, prevent conflict, strengthen cooperation. They also expressed their opposition to a "new Cold War" between China and the U.S. This meeting between the two top leaders provides direction and guidance for our relations and sends a powerful message to both countries and the world. The two sides should look ahead and demonstrate strategic courage and political resolve, and bring China-U.S. relations back to the right track of stable development as soon as possible. 

Last November, the Communist Party of China (CPC) held its 6th Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee. The Resolution of the Plenary comprehensively reviewed the major achievements and historical experience of the CPC in the past 100 years. The ultimate goal of the CPC is to realize the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and strive for the well-being of the Chinese people. Our plans and policies are for the purpose of meeting the people's aspiration for a better life. We never seek hegemony in the world, not taking displacing the U.S. as our goal. As stated in the Resolution, China will continue to push forward reform and opening-up, which will bring more opportunities to other countries, including the U.S. All U.S. enterprises are welcome to participate in and share the dividends of China’s ongoing high-quality development. 

In about two weeks, the Beijing Winter Olympics torch will be lit up. Athletes from all over the world will start exciting competitions under the Olympic motto: faster, higher, stronger-together. We are all looking forward to seeing this moment and cheering for athletes from all the participating countries, including China and the United States. Let's wish Beijing Winter Olympics great success! The Chinese government and Chinese people have made great efforts for the success of the Winter Olympics, and all the preparations are going well. The motto for the 2022 Beijing Olympics is“Together for a Shared Future”, the spirit of which I think also applies to the future of China-U.S. relations. I hope, with the support of all friends from USCPFA and others, we can work together for a shared future of our two countries, two peoples and the whole world.

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