Wen given award for US job creation
Updated: 2012-03-06 07:06
By Zhao Shengnan (China Daily)
When Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney attacked China's trade practices recently, he probably didn't expect that the Chinese premier he met in 2003 - when Romney praised trade between the two countries - would later be granted the "Best Friend of American Worker" award.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao was given the award on Friday in Boston by the International Longshoremen's Association in appreciation of China's strong support of job growth for US workers.
Romney, who was governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, accompanied Wen on a visit to the Port of Boston at the end of 2003, and said that trade with China brought practical interests to the state he served.
ILA Vice-President William McNamara said that his association was honored to give Wen the award and thanked China for its great contributions in creating more job opportunities for US workers.
The award ceremony coincided with the 10th anniversary of the first direct vessel call to the Port of Boston by the China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company in February 2002.
Chinese Ambassador to the US Zhang Yesui received the award on behalf of the Chinese premier, and said that it represents a unique recognition of Wen's support of the COSCO-Massport (the Massachusetts Port Authority of the US) partnership, which reflects the win-win nature of China-US business relations.
"I think today's event is a good example of how the US and China are cooperating in a full range of areas, and how Chinese business and trade can contribute to American jobs and communities in the six states of the New England region of the US, particularly in the city of Boston," he said.
Amid stubbornly high unemployment and a persistent economic recession, the GOP presidential candidates have often assailed China's intellectual property and currency policies as they seek to convince voters they can create jobs and turn the economy around.
Romney said China's currency manipulation has cost "millions of jobs" in the US, and if elected president, he would immediately label China as a currency manipulator.
However, US government statistics showed that it only added about 60,000 jobs in September, not enough to change the August unemployment rate of 9.1 percent, while rising Chinese labor costs could contribute 3 million jobs in the US by 2020, Financial Times quoted a study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group released in October.
More and more jobs are being generated by rising US exports to China, as the increasing cost of labor in China undermines the advantages of its exported goods, said Wang Zihong, director of the Economics Office of the Institute of American Studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
According to the US-China Business Council, US exports to China rose from $16.2 billion to $91.9 billion from 2000 to 2010, up 468 percent.
Exports to China are a vital part of the US economic growth recovery - and of sustained economic health. China is the third-largest US export market, and it continues to expand rapidly, said a statement released by the council in 2011.
There is still great potential for China's direct investment in the US, which brings more jobs, said Wang, adding that Chinese enterprises need to become more involved in the US market.
"None of the big economies are perfect, and neither are the Chinese and the US, but China is improving its market economy and intellectual rights to make the bilateral economic cooperation more mutually beneficial," he said.