NY consulate plays host in Boston

Updated: 2015-12-29 11:40

By Hezi Jiang in Boston(China Daily USA)

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NY consulate plays host in Boston

The consulate general of China in New York held a new year's reception at the Boston Harbor Hotel on Monday. Front row from right: Consul General Zhang Qiyue; Nam Pham, Massachusetts assistant secretary of business development; and Daniel Koh, chief of staff to Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. Hezi Jiang / China Daily

2015 was a big year for US-China relations, highlighted by President Xi Jinping's state visit to the United States in September.

On Monday evening, hundreds of guests joined the consul general of China in New York to look back on 2015 and welcome in the Year of the Monkey at the Boston Harbor Hotel.

Zhang Qiyue, China's consul general in New York, briefly summarized the achievements. Guests clapped and cheered to the "One Million Strong" initiative, which was launched by the heads of the two countries to have 1 million American students studying Mandarin by 2020; the new 10-year visa; and the 2016 China-US Year of Tourism.

"In last year alone, the number of mutual visits between our two countries hit a record high of 6.13 million," said Zhang. "In other words, 17,000 people traveled across the Pacific every day. With the issuance of 10-year visas to tourists and businessmen and five-year visas to students, the number of mutual visits is expected to grow by 15 percent annually."

It was the first time that the Consulate General in New York, which serves 10 states in the Northeast, has held its New Year's reception outside of New York state. Massachusetts and Boston officials also made presentations at the reception. Massachusetts saw 140,000 Chinese visit in 2015, and 15,000 Chinese students studying in the Bay State.

China's rail giant CRRC broke ground on a $60 million plant in Springfield in September after agreeing to a deal with the Massachusetts Bay Transport Authority to supply 284 cars for the Boston subway.

There is no better way to promote the relationship between Boston and China than "giving us new trains", said Daniel Koh, chief of staff to Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, who is planning a trip to China in 2016.

"[The CRRC project] stimulated a lot of interest from China," said Nam Pham, Massachusetts's assistant secretary of business development.

Zhang said that China's economic freight train is well on track.

"But the train is different," she said. "The train is heavier and longer; the speed has to come down. The Chinese economy has entered a stage of new normal.

"Slower growth is actually cleaner, greener, more productive and more efficient," she said.