Kissinger: 'Overcome' issues

Updated: 2014-11-11 12:46

By Jack Freifelder and Niu Yue in New York(China Daily USA)

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 Kissinger: 'Overcome' issues

Stephen Orlins (left), president of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, stands with Patricia A. Woertz, Chairman and CEO of Archer Daniels Midland, and John P. Bilbrey, president and CEO of the Hershey Co, at the NCUSCR gala on Monday. Lu Huiquan / for China Daily

Offers advice at NCUSCR gala honoring 2 US CEOs

Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger said it doesn't matter if China and the US have occasional differences but rather "how they will overcome them".

Kissinger spoke Monday evening at the National Committee on United States-China Relations' (NCUSCR) gala dinner at the Plaza Hotel in New York.

Two chief executives of US-based multinational companies - Patricia Woertz of Archer Daniels Midland and John P. Bilbrey of the Hershey Co - were honored. Both were cited for their philanthropy and for helping build bilateral relations between the world's two largest economies.

More than 400 guests attended the affair, which raised $1.7 million to support the NCUSCR's work.

President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama sent their congratulatory letters while attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Beijing.

Kissinger, 91, the former US secretary of state, told a story about the Shanghai Communiqué, which laid the foundation for the normalization of relations between the US and China in 1979.

"When we finished the Communiqué, China's Premier Zhou Enlai said, 'These words would shake the world.' Now we have the opportunity not [only] to shake the world, but also to build the world, and we should all dedicate ourselves to this process," Kissinger said.

Kissinger: 'Overcome' issues

Stephen Orlins, president of the NCUSCR, said that the establishment of diplomatic relations between the US and China came at a time when leaders of both countries "put national interest above political self interest".

Orlins said the US-China link requires the nations' leaders to commit to gaozhanyuanzhu, a Chinese expression for "stand up high and see the future".

Woertz, the honoree, said: "A growing Chinese population, with rising incomes, is creating tremendous demand for everything from homes and cars, to appliances and smartphones. China is also the engine of the global growth in demand for food.

"With China's extraordinary economic growth over the past many decades driving vast change throughout the world this committee's role has never been more important than it is today," she said.

Archer Daniels Midland, which entered the Chinese market in 1994, works with Chinese universities to develop more efficient food-security technology.

Bilbrey said in an interview published Monday in China Daily that his company sees China as the "most dynamic market anywhere in the world".

"In 2015 - sooner than we thought - China is our second-largest country in the world and continues to be one of our fastest-growing markets," Bilbrey said. "We believe our business (by 2020) in China will be over $1 billion."

Bilbrey was honored for chocolate giant Hershey's sustainable ingredient-sourcing initiatives, as well as community development endeavors such as Hershey's Good to Give Back program. The program provides occupational training to children among Shanghai's migrant worker population and elsewhere in China.

Hershey has sold its products in China since 1995, where its market has been growing at 10-12 percent annually, Bilbrey said. In December 2013, Hershey acquired Shanghai Golden Monkey, a Chinese candy brand, for $584 million.

Lu Huiquan in New York contributed to the story.