North Carolina welcomes Cui

Updated: 2016-01-28 12:10

By Dong Leshuo in Charlotte, North Carolina(China Daily USA)

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The Chinese Embassy brought some Lunar New Year joy down South on Wednesday.

"Today's reception is the very first chunjie celebration our embassy has ever held outside Washington DC," Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai said.

Charlotte, North Carolina, was chosen because of "the hospitality, honesty, frankness and diligence of the people of North Carolina, and of course, the spirit of Tar Heels. Chinese culture also values these virtues," Cui said.

 North Carolina welcomes Cui

Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai (center) meets with North Carolina Governor Patrick McCrory (left) and John Skvarla, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Commerce, on Wednesday in Charlotte to talk about subnational collabrations between China and the US. Dong Leshuo / China Daily

Cui met Patrick McCrory, governor of North Carolina, before the reception.

"The governor and I talked about multiple issues in the collaborations between China and North Carolina. He mentioned there are a lot of opportunities moving forward," Cui told China Daily.

"We had a wonderful discussion about the current opportunities and the successes we have already had regarding the relationship between the two countries," McCrory said.

Cui and McCrory talked about partnerships in education, tourism, energy, technology, biotech and so on, according to McCrory.

Trade volume between China and North Carolina in 2014 exceeded $15 billion, according to Cui.

China is North Carolina's third-largest international trade partner and is a major buyer of the state's semiconductor, pharmaceutical and agricultural products, McCrory said.

"Subnational exchange is a cornerstone of the China-US relationship," Cui said. "It means practical cooperation between cities and states, but beyond that, it is an indispensable part of the big picture - how the two biggest nations in the world work together."

"The relationship between China and the US has changed dramatically during our lifetime," said US Representative Robert Pittenger of North Carolina.

"Our countries share significant trade and economic ties, which bind our countries as never before."

"Trade and people-to-people bonds add to the good prospects of the overall China-US relations," Cui said.

More than a dozen well-known Chinese companies have invested in North Carolina, such as Lenovo and China Tobacco. North Carolina has established two sister province-state relations and six sister city relations with Chinese provinces and cities.

North Carolina and South Carolina have substantial Chinese communities.

"We are so pleased that you chose your first experience of Spring Festival outside Washington - Charlotte, North Carolina," said Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts.

"This is just the beginning," she said. "We expect your return, as we know there are many opportunities to unfold."