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Consul-General Liu Jian's Remarks at the Welcome Banquet of the First Round of China-U.S. Sub-national Legislatures Cooperation Forum Hosted by Governer David Ige of the State of Hawaii
(Saturday, Jun. 25th, Governor’s Residence aka. Washington Place)
2016/06/26

Mr. Governor David Ige,
Madam President Li Xiaolin,
Sub-national Legislative leaders of China and the United States,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear friends,

Aloha!

Let me begin by offering my warmest congratulations to you all on the opening of the first round of China-U.S. Sub-national Legislatures Cooperation Forum. I also want to thank Govornor Ige for hosting this welcome banquet at his residence, allowing us to experience the unique charm and fervor of this beautiful island. My highest respect also goes to the co-sponsors from both sides for their great efforts that made this forum happen.

The fact that this event is taking place here is of particular significance, for this year is China-U.S. Tourism Year. Being a major aspect of the people-to-people exchanges and sub-national cooperation between our two countries, tourism is one of the main topics of today's forum. 

We Chinese diplomatic missions in U.S. much value this kind of  opportunity to exchange ideas and share observation about the advance of China-U.S. tourism cooperation. As Chinese Consul-General based in Los Angeles, which also covers Hawaii, I often pay visits to my consular district and meet with local friends of all circles. Whoever I talk with, they all highly praise the achievements China has made and the friendship we've enhanced, especially those who haven't been there are making travel plans or wishing someday to visit China in person. Seeing is believing.

In the mean time, I also notice that more and more Chinese tourists are coming to visit U.S.. Last year, LAX received nearly 800,000 Chinese tourists. There're now 48 direct flights commuting between LAX and Chinese cities every week. I'm pleased to learn that the annual number of Chinese visitors coming to this island is also increasing these years. With more and more people from both sides traveling to each other's countries, they will be embraced by the amazing scenery, history, culture, friendliness and many more wonderful experiences. So I believe our tourism sectors should of course take the credit. More jobs are to be created. The public opinion basis is to be cemented. And more importantly, the mutual understanding and friendship are to be promoted.

Under such new circumstances, there are unprecedented opportunities of cooperation between China and U.S.. The organizers of this forum have made a wise choice. This forum enjoys many favorables: favorable timing, the improved tourist conditions and capabilities in many Chinese provinces and the fast growth of people-to-people exchanges nowadays between our two sides. Given the conducive exchanges both sides engaged in today, we surely expect the forum to yield positive results.

Ladies and gentlemen,

China-U.S. relationship is one of the most vibrant and promising bilateral relationships in the world, and its sub-national cooperation, including that among our provincial and state legislatures serves as a central form of its foundation. As the old Chinese saying goes, "The key to sound relations between states lies in the affinity between their peoples." When our people have close ties, intimate mutual understanding and deep friendship, the relations between our two countries will naturally enjoy a solid foundation and strong support. Touring and traveling are important means to strengthen ties and understanding among peoples, providing good opportunities for the Chinese people to know better about a modern and developed U.S., as well as for the American people about a time-honored and developing China.

To make the vision a reality will be a systemic project that requires ideas and efforts of people from all walks of life in both countries. Legislative leaders like you are in the prime position to help keep the China-U.S. Relations on track. Your leadership can help enable its sound development. You have the means to introduce better measures to facilitate and stage a great variety of cultural, educational, economic and trade activities to attract more people traveling from each other's countries so as to make our economic cake far bigger and our friendship much closer.

Opportunity is difficult to meet but easy to lose. Tomorrow is not easy given. The Chinese diplomatic missions in U.S. are ready to work together with you, to bring new vitality to the development of China-U.S. relations, and to enrich the new model of major-country relations between our two great nations.

In conclusion, I wish the forum a great success! Thank you.

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