Cui calls 2016 'crucial' for relations

Updated: 2016-01-20 22:57

By DONG LESHUO and HEZI JIANG in New York(China Daily USA)

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Cui calls 2016 'crucial' for relations

From left: Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Hochul, and Cui Tiankai, Chinese ambassador to the US, attend the dinner gala of China General Chamber of Commerce - USA at the Waldorf Astoria New York hotel on Tuesday evening. CAI CHUNYING / CHINA DAILY

The Chinese ambassador to the United States told a business gathering on Tuesday that 2016 is a crucial year for both countries.

Ambassador Cui Tiankai addressed the prospects for Sino-US relations at the New Year Celebration Gala Dinner of the China General Chamber of Commerce – USA on Tuesday at the Waldorf Astoria New York hotel.

"2016 is a year of crucial importance for all of us," Cui said. "For China, 2016 marks the start of the 13th Five-Year Plan."

The plan underpins the policies for China's development from 2016 to 2020.

"It is the last mile we have to travel before realizing the first centenary goal to double the 2010 GDP and per capita income and build a society of moderate prosperity in all respects by 2020," Cui said.

Cui also said that "the American people will elect a new president and a new Congress, a critical choice (for the) American people to make".

"The two countries must work together to ensure a smooth transition of their relationship into the next year and pave the way for its irreversible growth in the years and even decades to come," he said.

Some 350 business leaders involved in trade and investment between China and the US were in attendance.

"In building up this new model of relationship, we will continue to count on the support of the business communities of the two countries," Cui said.

China is now the United States' largest trading partner and provides a market worth $450 billion for American goods and services, he said.

"At the same time, Chinese investment in the United States is growing rapidly. It has outpaced annual US investment in China. These investment flows deliver benefits to both Chinese and Americans, including more jobs and more competitive consumer markets. They also help cement China-US relations," Cui said.

Cui expressed his "sincere appreciation to the Chinese and US businesses for your longstanding support and contribution to China-US relations over the years".

He said he hopes that "Chinese companies in the United States will continue to act as Chinese ambassadors of goodwill, and continue to learn from your US counterparts, assume more corporate social responsibilities and contribute more to the local communities where you are operating."

Stefan Selig, undersecretary of commerce for international trade at the US Department of Commerce, pointed out the importance of the Chinese economy to the American and global markets.

"The year has gotten a quite volatile start in the financial markets around the world, in no small part because of increasing concern about decreasing growth in China, which I think speaks to the importance of our continued cooperation and connectivity to drive forward our commercial relationships between our two great nations," Selig told China Daily.

Michael Bloomberg was honored as Goodwill Ambassador for China-US Exchange. The founder of Bloomberg LP and former New York mayor called the Sino-American relationship "more important than ever before".

"We share many challenges; we share many opportunities," he said. "It's true that there will always be ups and downs in any economy, but I think China's economy's future is better than ever."

Ni Pin, president of Wanxiang America Corp, was honored as the most influential businessperson of the year. Ni believes Chinese companies can become part of the US mainstream "by hiring tens of thousands of people, paying millions of dollars of taxes, although I still think it's not enough," he said to laughter.

Stephen Ross, chairman and founder of Related Cos, was named the most influential real estate person of the year by CGCC.

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