张平总领事在美国中国总商会洛杉矶分会年度颁奖晚会上的讲话
2018/03/09
 

Speech by Consul General ZHANG Ping

At CGCC-LA Annual Gala Event

 

Respected President Zhang of China General Chamber of Commerce-Los Angeles,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Evening.

  It gives me great pleasure to attend 2018 Annual Gala event of China General Chamber of Commerce-Los Angeles. As we are still in the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday season, I wish to take this opportunity to extend New Year greetings to everyone present here, wishing you great happiness, good health, good fortune and every success in the Year of Dog.

  I also wish to congratulate these individuals and organizations who will be presented with various awards for their outstanding performance and contribution in the year of 2017.

  The year of 2017 was a productive year for CGCC-Los Angeles. I am pleased to note that the Chamber has not only organized more activities to serve the needs of its members, but also made a great effort to reach out to the local community and fulfill its social responsibility. The Chamber has played an important role in raising the profiles of the Chinese investment among the local communities and in promoting economic and trade ties between China and the U.S., contributing a great deal to the understanding and friendship between our two peoples. I commend what you have achieved and appreciate your contributions to China-US relations.

  Ladies and Gentlemen,

  Last year was a year of great historic significance for Chinese people. The Chinese Communist Party successfully convened its 19th Congress, drawing a grand blueprint for China’s future development. China’s development has entered into a new era, embarking on a new journey of building a modern socialist country. Last year, China has achieved a 6.9% GDP growth with the total volume exceeding 80 trillion RMB Yuan (12.7 trillion U.S. dollars), injecting strong impetus to the growth of the global economy.

  Under the strategic guidance of the leaders of both countries, China-U.S. relations have maintained an overall stability and achieved positive progress. The four senior level dialogue mechanisms have successfully convened the first round of meetings. Bilateral trade volume has reached 580 billion USD, more than 200 times larger than the figure when we established diplomatic relations. Two-way investment between China and the United States continued to grow. So far, over 1,600 companies have established their operation in the United States through direct investment, covering a wide range of areas from manufacturing to real estate.

  On the sub national level, the development of economic cooperation and people to people exchanges is also encouraging. China now is the largest trading partner, the largest source of import and the third largest export market for California. Last year, the trade between California and China reached 175.6 billion USD, increasing by 10.9%. The California and Chinese Provinces Joint Working Group on Trade and Investment Cooperation which was initiated by Governor Brown and endorsed by President Xi Jinping has been playing an active part in promoting two-way trade and investment between China and the State of California.

  As for Los Angeles, it has been a preferred destination of trade, investment and tourism from China. So far, one third of the trade between China and the US goes through the Los Angeles customs district. Over 600 Chinese enterprises have invested in Southern California with total amount of investment surpassing 10 billion U.S. dollars. Last year, Chinese tourist arrivals in Los Angeles reached 1.1 million, which has brought about 1.2 billion U.S. dollars of revenue to the local economy.

  Ladies and Gentlemen,

  2018 is a year of crucial importance for China as we are working hard toward the realization of the first centenary goal of finishing the building a moderate prosperous society in all respects by 2020. It is also the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up.

  As we look at this year’s agenda, there is a big list of tasks we need to work on. We will promote a coordinated development in economic, political, social, cultural and ecological fields. We will follow the new development concept, emphasizing innovation, coordination, green growth, openness and shared benefits. We will deepen reform and double our efforts to promote supply-side structural reforms, shift growth model through restructuring, and achieve better opening-up. We will continue to focus on better protection of property rights, especially intellectual property rights. We will further integrate with international trade rules and enlarge market access. We will also substantially open up the services sector, the financial sector in particular, and create a more attractive investment environment. We will encourage both inbound and outbound investment and seek greater economic and trade interactions with other countries and work with them toward an open world economy.

  We will stick to the path of peaceful development, pursue a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up and make an earnest effort to work with the international community to build a community of shared future for mankind which is open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity.

  Ladies and Gentlemen,

  China-US relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world. As we examine the current status of the bilateral relations, we see both opportunities and challenges. While we are encouraged by the progress in our bilateral relations, we are also concerned with a number of negative factors that cause disturbance in the bilateral relationship, among which the ongoing trade investigations and the rhetoric on taking unilateral trade actions on China is of particular concern among our business communities.

  Some people, by citing the US trade deficit against China, suggest that China gets all the benefits from the bilateral trade. Such a view does not square with facts. China-US economic and trade relations are mutually beneficial in nature. China has indeed benefited a lot from its growing business ties with the United States. So has the United States. Since China joined the WTO, US export to China has increased by 500%, much higher than the 90% increase in US global export. Over the past 10 years, the average growth rate of US export to China was twice the growth rate of China’s export to the US. Currently, China is the largest market of American aircraft and soybeans, the second largest market of American automobiles, integrated circuits and cotton. Besides, the US has kept gaining surplus from trade in services with China. From 2006 to 2016, the US service export to China expanded from 14.4 billion USD to 86.9 billion USD. The US surplus on service trade with China reached 55.7 billion USD, 40 times the amount of 2006. The increase of FDI from China also helps the growth of local economy, creating jobs for the local community. China-invested companies in the US employ more than 140,000 American workers, and most of them work in the manufacturing industry. In South California, China-invested companies have created more than 10,000 job opportunities.

  China does not seek trade surplus with its trading partners. In fact China also has trade deficit with some of its trading partners. As China’s economy continues to grow, China is expected to import 10 trillion US dollars of products and services in the next five years. In November this year, China will host the first International Import Expo in Shanghai. The Expo will not only provide new opportunities for countries around the world to expand export to China, but also create a platform for countries to engage in international trade and share business opportunities with each other. It represents China’s sincere desire to open its market to the world, and shows China’s active role as a major economy in undertaking the responsibility of pushing forward global economic growth. We welcome US companies to take an active participation in the Expo.

  Ladies and Gentlemen,

  China and the US account for one third of the world’s economy, one fourth of the world’s population and one fifth of the global trade. Along with the development of China-US relations, our interests are closely integrated and inter-connected more than ever before. Just as President Xi Jinping said, “There are a thousand reasons for us to make China-US relationship work, but not a single reason to break it”. As the economic and trade relations serve as the stabilizer and the driving force of China-US relations, we need to make sure that China-US economic and trade relationship stays on the right course for the benefits of our two peoples.

  As an advocacy group for China-US trade and investment, I hope the CGCC-Los Angeles together with your members companies, would continue to reach out to the local business community as well as people of all walks of life in the United States to rally more support for closer economic and trade ties and better relationship between China and the United States by sharing your successful stories of mutual beneficial cooperation, doing more on social responsibility for the local community and promoting greater understanding and friendship between Chinese and American peoples.

  I look forward to working with you for the common objective of building and developing a stable and healthy China-US relationship. I wish the Chamber further progress and all your member companies great success in the Year of Dog.

  Thank you.

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