US, China relations advancing: SF consulate

By Chang Jun in San Francisco | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-09-07 23:26

China's top diplomat in Northern California reiterated the country's determination to advance the China-US relationship to benefit the world's two largest economies, its peoples and the rest of the world.

At a diplomatic luncheon on Wednesday hosted by the World Affairs Council, Luo Linquan, consul general in San Francisco, addressed the audience and led his team of diplomats to answer a wide range of questions, from the Belt and Road Initiative to BRICS.

Luo started his speech by asking the audience: When did China and the US resume formal diplomatic relations? Only one person got the right answer.

Luo hailed the development of the China-US relationship as one of the world's most important bilateral relationships, one that has withstood challenges brought by the Cold War, survived its ups and downs and "now made important, positive progress since US President Donald Trump took office".

Luo cited the six phone conversations between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump and the two meetings between the two leaders as signs of ongoing strong joint efforts.

"All of these have set the tone and direction for our relationship," he said. "We could expect another meeting between them this year as President Trump has accepted the invitation of President Xi to visit China this year."

Currently, China and the US have established four high-level dialogue mechanisms: the Diplomatic and Security Dialogue, the Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, the Law-enforcement and Cyber Security Dialogue, and the Social and People-to-People Dialogue.

According to US statistics, the US sold a total of $648.2 billion worth of goods and services to China in 2016. China is also the second-largest market for US agricultural exports, accounting for 15 percent of the total.

On average, each US farmer exports about $12,000 of agricultural products to China, including soybeans, beef, California wines and more.

China and the US have reported $170 billion in two-way investments. By the end of 2016, the US had invested $80 billion in 67,000 projects in China.

Chinese investment in the US has reached $50 billion, covering 46 states and 425 congressional districts and creating more than 140,000 jobs.

"In short, our economic relationship is mutually beneficial in nature and highly complementary," said Luo.

On sub-national exchanges, the five states in the San Francisco Consulate General area — California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Alaska — maintain close cooperation with China.

In 2016, the trade volume between China and the five states reached $201 billion, accounting for 35 percent of all US trade with China.

China has offered the world the Belt and Road Initiative to promote policy coordination, trade flow, financial accessibility and people-to-people exchanges, said Luo.

To date, 56 economic cooperation zones in 20 countries have been set up under the initiative, which is expected to yield $1.1 billion in tax revenue and create 180,000 jobs.

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