Home Consulate Events About Us Chinese News Visa & Consular Services Topics Links
Opening Remarks by Consul General Zhang Ping at the China-California Business Summit

It gives me great pleasure and honor to attend the opening session of the California-China Business Summit. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles, I wish to congratulate the organizers and sponsors on the successful opening of the summit and extend warm welcome and greetings to the business delegations from China and to all the participants of the event.

The California-China Business Summit is a major event under the auspices of the California and Chinese Provinces Joint Working Group on Trade and Investment Cooperation, which was initiated by Honorable Governor Brown and endorsed by President Xi Jinping. Since its inception five years ago, both sides of the Joint Working Group have done a good job in promoting business ties between Chinese provinces and the State of California by building exchange platforms, sharing information of business opportunities, facilitating delegation visits and match-making cooperation projects. The Joint Working Group has already successfully convened two summit events in Southern California. Honorable Governor Brown has given great attention and support to the event by honoring us with his attendance to the previous two summits. We are particularly thrilled by his presence at this summit. We thank you for your great support.

The last five years have seen fruitful results been achieved in trade and investment cooperation between California and Chinese provinces. Last year, trade between California and China reached 175.6 billion USD, an increase of almost 20% over the figure of 146.8 billion USD in 2013, ranking California first among the 50 states of the US. According to Rhodium Group, Chinese investment in California increased from 2.9 billion USD in 2013 to 26.8 billion USD in 2017. Among the various Chinese investment projects, the electric bus manufacturing plant in Lancaster County with 250 million USD investment by BDY and LA downtown redevelopment project Metropolis with investment over 1 billion USD by Greenland Group are typical examples that showcase the economic and social benefits Chinese investment has brought to the local community. Meanwhile, California's export to China also increased substantially. China now is California's largest trading partner, the largest source of import and the third largest export market.

The increasingly strong economic ties have brought about more exchanges and cooperation between China and California in other areas such as culture, education, tourism medical science, environmental protection, entertainment and etc. Last year, about 1.4 million Chinese tourists visited the state. More than ever before have we seen China and California become so closely connected both economically and socially.

The robust development of exchanges and cooperation between China and California demonstrates the enormous strength as well as the potential that exists for sub national cooperation. It reflects and contributes to the overall development of China-US relations. It is of vital importance that we keep this momentum alive to allow our two business communities to further tap these potentials and expand cooperation.

The recent US administration's announcement of its intention to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese imports, which could trigger a bitter trade war, has caused grave concern among the various circles of our two countries and the international community at large. This unilateral and trade protectionist measure will undoubtedly hurt the economic and trade relationship between our two countries. It will disrupt the international supply chain and jeopardize the multilateral trade system. It will inevitably bring harm to the livelihood of our peoples and affect the ongoing sub national trade and investment cooperation in which California also has a big stake. That 's why we are firmly opposed to it.

It is with some comfort that we see Secretary Mnuchin and his team are in China to start negotiation on the trade dispute. We hope there will be positive outcomes.

China-US relationship is one of the most important relationships in the world. It is in the interest of both countries as well as the world at large to maintain a stable and healthy development of it. As important stakeholders, our two business communities have the responsibility to do as much as we can to ensure our economic and trade relationship stays on the right track.

We should keep in mind that China-US economic and trade relationship is mutually beneficial in nature. China and the US remain each other's largest trading partner at the moment. Our economic interests are intertwined and our economic and social progress closely interconnected. China-US economic and trade relationship has brought tangible benefits to our people and contributed to the growth of our respective economies. To say China takes all the benefits from its trade with the US simply does not hold water. Some people seem to only remember that the US has a huge trade deficit with China while forget to mention the facts that the US has a big surplus of trade in services with China and US companies operating in China have gained huge profits in Chinese market. They tend to think that by imposing huge pressure, China will give in. As a matter of fact, the outcome won't be as simple as that. Trade war inflicts mutual destruction. To avoid it, the only way is to seek win-win solution through negotiation and dialogue rather than confrontation. In the long run, we need to address the structural problems and find ways to enlarge the pie of cooperation by further opening up the market and allowing more export of value-added high tech products to China.

We should take an objective approach to the development of China, understanding that China's development is an opportunity, not a threat. China already contributes over 30% growth to the world economy. Its further development will enable it to make greater contribution to the international community. China sticks to the path of peaceful development. China has a long way to go to realize modernization and has no intention to displace the US. China adheres to the opening strategy of mutual benefit and win-win results and is committed to building a community with a shared future for mankind. We will continue to push forward reform and pursue development with the door wide open. The recent announcement by President Xi at the Annual Conference of Boao Forum for Asia on a series of new measures, including broadening the market access, creating a more attractive investment environment, strengthening protection of intellectual property rights and expanding imports, sends out a clear message to outside world that China will pursue further opening in a wider range and on a higher level. This is independent from any external pressure. These new measures of opening will provide new opportunities for the international business community. In November this year, China will host the first International Import Expo in Shanghai. This is a major policy initiative and a commitment taken of our own accord to open up the Chinese market. We welcome US businesses to take an active participation in it.

We should embrace the economic globalization with confidence and courage. Economic globalization is an irreversible trend of our times. Whether we like it or not, we have to face it and find ways to adept it. We need to enhance our competiveness by reforming ourselves to keep abreast with the changing world. China's four decade long reform and opening-up has given us many valuable inspirations. The most important one is that opening leads to progress and seclusion leaves one behind. To resort to protectionism is like writing a wrong prescription which will not help to solve the problem of economic competiveness. To blame others while ignoring its own structural problem is like forcing others to take the medicine for the illness of your own.

California is always the active participant and supporter of China-US economic and trade cooperation. Both the state and local governments and business communities have played an active and important role in promoting that cooperation. I thank our friends present here today for your long time support and contribution and hope that you will make continuous efforts to support this important relationship. Under the current situation of trade friction, rational voices become all the more important and necessary. It is also important that our two countries' business communities take a forward looking approach and work together to strengthen communication, consolidate what has been achieved and find new ways to expand cooperation. On this note, I thank all the business leaders present here for your active participation in this summit. The Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles looks forward to working with you to elevate China-California trade and investment cooperation to a new height.

I wish today's summit a great success!

Suggest To A Friend
Copyright © 2010 The Consulate General of The People's Republic of China in Los Angeles  webmaster@chinaconsulatela.org
Tel:213-8078088 Fax:213-8078091