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Speech by Consul General Zhang Ping at the Opening Ceremony of "Building A New Bridge:
President Nixon's Legacy in Three Chinese Cities" Photo Exhibition

It gives me great pleasure to visit the Richard Nixon Library and attend this opening ceremony of the Photo Exhibition Building A New Bridge: President Nixon's Legacy in Three Chinese Cities, jointly sponsored by the Nixon Library, Xinhua News Agency Los Angeles Bureau and China National Tourist Office, Los Angeles. First of all, please allow me to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles, warm congratulations on the successful opening of this photo exhibition. I also wish to thank Richard Nixon Foundation and Library, and President Baribault in particular for your hospitality in arranging my tour of the Library, which enables me to revisit the history of the normalization process of China-U.S. relations.

This photo exhibition presents the changes that have taken place in the three cities, Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, since President Nixon's historic visit to China in 1972. Looking at the contrasting images of the 1970's and present days, I guess everyone would be amazed to find how big the changes are in these three cities. Indeed, changes in China nowadays are so immense and unprecedented that no one would have imagined 46 years ago. Similarly, changes in China-U.S. relationship are also so immense and unprecedented that no one could have ever thought of 46 years ago.

China's development is a result of four decade long reform and opening up. It is attributed to the fact that China has found a development path that fits its own national conditions. It also benefits from the sound international environment in which China can focus its attention on nation's development.

The opening of normalization process of China-U.S. relations improved the strategic external environment for both countries. It changed the political and economic landscape in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large, heralding the end of the Cold War, making it possible for China to proceed reform and opening up to the outside world.

At present, China-U.S. relationship is standing at a new historical starting point, facing new opportunities of development, as well as various challenges. To what direction the China-U.S. relationship will go is a question that concerns many people who care about this relationship. To find answers to that question,  a revisit to the history of President Nixon's visit to China 46 years ago may give us some food for thought.

46 years ago, with the extraordinary strategic vision and political courage of the leaders of both countries, Chairman Mao Zedong, Premier Zhou Enlai, President Richard Nixon and Dr. Henry Kissinger, China and the United States made happen that  historical Handshake across the Pacific, reopening the door for exchanges between China and the U.S. As President Nixon said, what brings us together is the common interests which transcend vast difference between our two countries.

Today, with the growing common interests between our two countries, we see our two countries getting closely interconnected more than ever before. In the past four decades or so, despite various twists and turns, China-U.S. relations have achieved unprecedented progress both in width and depth. In 2017, our bilateral trade volume exceeded 580 billion U.S. dollars, 200 times larger than the figure when we established diplomatic relations. China has become the U.S fastest growing export market outside NAFTA. So far as Southern California is concerned, one third of our total bilateral trade volume 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 contributed 1.2 billion U.S. dollars of revenue to the local economy.

Being the world's two largest economies and permanent members of the UN Security Council, the close coordination and cooperation in international affairs by China and the U.S. play an irreplaceable role for world peace, stability and development.

Our common interests are far greater than the differences. We should take a constructive approach to manage those differences. We should transcend ideological differences, reject zero sum cold war mentality and work hard to enlarge the pie of common interests through win-win cooperation. This is what we've learned from the history of the normalization of China-U.S relationship and this is what President Nixon's legacy is about.

Peace and development remain the call of our day, as well as the shared aspiration of the human society. China is a builder of world peace, contributor to global development and maintainer of international order. China remains committed to the path of peaceful development and firmly adheres to the open-up strategy of mutual benefit and win-win results. China is endeavored to build a new type of international relationship and a community of shared future for mankind. China is actively seeking to develop global partnerships and expand the convergence of interests with other countries. China will never seek hegemony. China's development is not a threat but an opportunity to the international society.

We look forward to making joint efforts with the U.S. side to carry forward the strategic vision and political wisdom of the leaders of old generations, and follow the principles of mutual respect, mutual benefit and focusing on cooperation, to build a long-lasting, healthy and stable China-U.S. relationship for the benefits of peoples in both countries and the world at large.

The calendar New Year has already started and the Chinese lunar New Year is coming soon. On this occasion, I would like to extend my cordial New Year greetings and best wishes to all the guests present here. May the China-U.S. relations achieve new progress in this new year.

Finally, I wish the photo exhibition a great success.

Thank you.

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