'Friendship mode' key in China relations

Updated: 2014-11-10 05:45

By MAY ZHOU in Houston(China Daily USA)

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'Friendship mode' key in China relations

Neil Bush (second from left) accepts the Friendship Ambassador Award on behalf of his father former US President George H. W. Bush from last year's honoree Mario Diaz (right), director of Houston Airport System, as USCPFA president Casey Chen (left) and board chair Nancy Li look on. MAY ZHOU / CHINA DAILY

Former US President George H. W. Bush and Rice University Representative Y. Ping Sun were honored with Friendship Ambassador Awards by the Houston chapter of the US China Peoples Friendship Association (USCPFA) at its annual gala on Nov 7. More than 300 hundred guests attended the event.

Nancy Li, board chair of USCPFA, said that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the organization, which has done much to develop and strengthen friendship and understanding between the peoples of the US and China.

Neil Bush accepted the award on behalf of his father George H. W. Bush and delivered a keynote address. "He wants me to express his personal gratitude to the organization for the acknowledgement," Bush said. "I think my father will go down in history with the legacy that he promoted the ties between China and the US."

Bush, who went to China in 1975 when his father became the US liaison to China, said China was a very different place at the time and it was impossible to imagine then that China would develop so much over the next 40 years.

"Any American who cares about global issues should welcome China opening its doors and developing its economic freedom," Bush said.

Bush encouraged members of the USCPFA to "continue to view China in the most optimistic friendship mode. We have too many political people who are elected to office but very few of whom have even visited China, so it's easy for them to pick on China, to demonize China and try to make an enemy out of China".

Bush pointed out that China has never had a history of using military force as an aggressor against another country. "So in America, all political persuasions should rally around this relationship and welcome China into the civilized world and be a leader side by side with the US to deal with global issues," he said.

The other award recipient Y. Ping Sun is an active member of the mainstream society and has worked to promote relations in education, friendship and business. Sun called China and the US "my two countries — my home country and my adopted country. That's why I am so passionate about the friendship between China and the US".

Sun said the USCPFA has done amazing work. "It was instrumental in the ping pong diplomacy that led to the establishment of the US-China diplomatic relationship. Each one of you is an ambassador," Sun said.

Chinese Consul General Li Qiangmin expressed appreciation to USCPFA and Nancy Li for their efforts to promote better understanding and friendly exchanges between China and the US.

Two-way investment between China and the US has reached $100 billion, Li said, adding that the China-US relationship has gone through remarkable changes with both cooperating more and more on projects such as fighting Ebola and facing other international challenges together.

"With help from more people like you, our friendship will grow even stronger. China will change for the better," said Li.