Vice-Premier ends US trip in NYC

Updated: 2013-11-25 11:14

By Zhang Yuwei in New York (China Daily USA)

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Vice-Premier ends US trip in NYC

Ranking female Beijing official says: 'friendship is worth more than gold'

Chinese Vice-Premier Liu Yandong concluded her US visit in New York as she met with US leaders in education, culture and the arts on Friday.

Coinciding with her 68th birthday, Liu told a group of American guests - including major experts in China-US relations - at Carnegie Hall that the occasion was special for her because she could spend the day with old and new American friends.

"This experience and your presence today remind me of a Chinese song - Be Friends Forever - whose lyrics go 'friendship is worth more than gold and life becomes an easier journey when we have more friends. Sincerity is what makes us friends and what makes everything work, so let's be friends forever'," said the vice-premier at a luncheon.

On Friday morning, Liu attended a symposium on China-US cultural exchange, whose guests included Steve Orlins, president of the National Committee on US-China Relations, and Josette Sheeran, president and CEO of the Asia Society in New York.

During her five-day visit to the US, Liu first visited Chicago, then Washington and New York. She attended 32 events and met with nearly 1,000 representatives from political, academic and business circles.

Liu said she felt the enthusiasm from the people she met during her trip, which she said showed that people-to-people relationship is a "driving force" for the good relations between the world's two largest economies.

"As long as we work together and build a bridge that can cross the Pacific Ocean and connect the hearts and minds of two peoples, we can deepen the mutual understanding and friendship and we will definitely succeed in building this unprecedented and inspiring new model of major-country relations," said Liu.

In Washington, Liu co-chaired with US Secretary of State John Kerry the fourth China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange on Thursday.

"State-to-state relations, at the end of the day, are all about people-to-people ties," said the vice-premier, adding that these exchanges can help cross the barriers of national borders and nourish the friendship between the two countries.

Liu's trip also resulted in the signing of 75 initiatives and projects in people-to-people exchanges for China and the US, including co-hosting a young scientists' forum and a global science, technology and innovation forum in the near future.

China-US relations are at an important stage of building on past progress and making new achievements, said Liu, adding that China's efforts to achieve its own dream helps a process of expanded exchanges and cooperation and mutual benefits between China and the US.

"The Chinese dream will not only serve the interests of the Chinese people, but also create a win-win situation for China and the US and bring opportunities to the world's prosperity and progress," said the vice-premier. "We, the Chinese people, hope that through efforts to achieve a Chinese dream, we will join the people from other countries to achieve our dream for the world."

Liu was the first senior Chinese leader who visited the US after China concluded its Third Plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, or the Third Plenum, on Nov 12.

Liu said the just-concluded Third Plenum made "overarching plans for comprehensive and deepening reforms" with some 300 specific reform measures in 15 broad areas in economy, politics, culture, society and the building of the Party.

"The overarching goal about reform is to improve and further develop the socialist system with Chinese characteristics and to modernize our governance system and capacity," said Liu, adding that the key of the reform will be focusing on economic structural reforms, which aim to "strike a good balance between the role of the government and the role of the market. We want to make sure that the market will play a decisive role in resource allocation."

China watchers in the US said Liu's trip has helped enhance China-US relations.

"All relationships are built on face-to-face contact and not over memos, social media, or any other communication substitutions so her meetings ought to help improve ties between the countries," said Ann Lee, an economics and finance professor of New York University.

(China Daily USA 11/25/2013 page1)