(19 October 2011 )
Respected Secretary Zhao Hongzhu, Secretary Zhou Qiang and Chinese governors,
Honorable Governor Gregoire and other US governors,
President Li Xiaolin,
Under Secretary Robert Hormats,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to attend the China-US Governors Dialogue. Let me begin by extending warm congratulations on the successful opening of the dialogue on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. Over the years, subnational cooperation has been an important foundation and driving force of the relations between China and the United States. The launching of the China-US governors dialogue is an important outcome of President Hu's visit to the United States last January and has received full support from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US State Department. With the concerted efforts of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the US National Governors Association and active support from Chinese provinces and US states, the first China-US Governors Forum was successfully held in Salt Lake City in July, producing encouraging and fruitful outcomes. Now, after only three months, the US governors are paying a reciprocal visit to China and joining Chinese provincial leaders for a new round of dialogue. We are really gratified to see such momentum in China-US subnational cooperation.
I have three hopes for the China-US Governors Dialogue.
I hope that the dialogue will become a catalyst for China-US subnational cooperation. China has 34 provincial level administrative divisions. The United States has 50 states, one federal district and five unincorporated territories. Each of them is uniquely positioned with its own advantages and has enormous potential for cooperation with others. The China-US Governors Forum is a creative step that aims at offering a high-level and regular platform for subnational exchanges and cooperation. It will not only promote shared prosperity at the subnational level, but also facilitate the overall China-US relations at the national level.
I hope that the dialogue will become a propeller of China-US business ties. Subnational efforts represent a large part of our overall trade and economic cooperation. Forty-seven US states have seen three- and even four-digit growth in their exports to China in the past decade and investment by local Chinese businesses in the United States has grown rapidly and contributed to the US economy and job creation in recent years. Clean energy, energy conservation, environmental protection, biomedicine and infrastructure are the new important growth areas in China-US economic cooperation. I hope that the provinces and states will make the most of these opportunities and take the mutually beneficial economic cooperation between our two countries to an even higher level.
I hope that the dialogue will become a bridge of friendship between the people of our countries. People represent both the foundation and source of strength for China-US relations. The friendly exchanges between the Chinese and American people have increasingly intensified. Each year, over three million visits are made between China and the United States. Everyday, more than 8,000 people on average travel across the Pacific. Enhanced and diverse exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and American universities, media, think tanks, youths and civil societies in culture, education, art and sports will forge more friendships and partnerships between China and the United States. I hope that the provincial, state and local governments of China and the United States will join hands and lead such exchanges.
Fall is the season of harvest. I wish the dialogue full success, leaving an indelible imprint on China-US relations.