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Opening remarks by Consul General Zhang Ping at 2019 China-California Business Forum
June 5, 2019
2019/06/08

It gives me great pleasure to attend the opening of the 2019 China-California Business Forum. First of all, please allow me to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in LA, a warm welcome to Hon. Lt. Governor Kounalakis, Vice Governor Ouyang Weimin of Guangdong Province, Minister Zhu Hong of Chinese Embassy in Washington DC as well as to the delegates from 8 Chinese provinces,autonomous region and municipalities and all business representatives from Southern California. Thank you very much for coming to this event.

We are particularly thrilled that HE Cui Tiankai, Ambassador of China to the US, has kindly sent us a letter of congratulations which I wish to read out as follows:

Congratulatory Message by Ambassador Cui Tiankai

I wish to thank him for his inspiring words.

Ladies and gentlemen,

China-California Business Forum is a signature event for trade and investment promotion under the framework of the China Provinces and US California Joint Working Group on Trade & Investment Cooperation. It is an important platform for policy dialogue, information sharing and business matchmaking between business communities in China and California

This year we have highlighted Guangdong Province as the Guest Province of Honor of the event, and we are grateful that Vice Governor Ouyang Weiming is leading Guangdong economic and trade delegation, bringing us the business opportunities from the newly established Greater Bay Area of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.

We are grateful to Hon. Lt. Governor Kounalakis for honoring us with her presence. We look forward to her keynote speech.

We are grateful to other speakers and panelists for their graciousness to agree to speak to the forum and joint in panel discussion. I believe their remarks and comments will help us to get a better understanding of the issues that concern us, and give us a better idea on where we can find business opportunities.

The heightened tension in current China-US relations brings challenges and uncertainties to the China-US sub national cooperation and tests the confidence of our business communities in the relationship.

It is gratifying to see that both our local governments and business communities remain committed. We have not only got support from our partners and sponsors throughout the preparation of the event, but also seen an active participation of Chinese and local business communities. The presence of high level government officials from both sides, the unprecedented number of guests turnout demonstrates the commitment of both our local governments and business communities to sub national cooperation and their aspiration for a better relationship between our two countries.

Here I would like to express my sincere appreciation and thanks to the Californian State government and the governments of 8 Chinese provinces, autonomous region and municipalities for their support and participation, particularly to the forum’s organizers, co-organizers and sponsors for their hard work and valuable contribution which is essential to the success of this event.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As we proceed with the forum agenda and explore various areas for collaboration, it is important that we take a long term approach, look beyond the present trade friction and build a lasting partnership. Despite many uncertainties in the bilateral relations, still there are good prospects for cooperation between our two sides.

We always believe that friendship and cooperation is the driving force of China-US relations. No matter how many differences we may have, there still exists a wide range of common interests between China and US. The interwoven ties and intertwined interests between China and the United States determine that the two economies cannot be decoupled or completely isolated from each other. Trade war inflicts harms to both sides. Confrontation leads us to nowhere and it should not be the option. Thucidides trap is not and should not be our destined future. Cooperation is the only right choice. While China stands firm to safeguarding its legitimate rights and interests in dealing with the current trade friction, it also remains committed to solving the disputes through negotiation and consultation based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits.

Sub national cooperation is one of the important foundations to support China-US relations. China is California’s largest trading partner and contributes the biggest amount of Chinese investment, tourists and students among all the states of the US. Such an outcome takes years of efforts and we need to do our utmost to maintain the momentum of its development.

To develop further China-California cooperation, we need to further strengthen the role of the existing intergovernmental mechanisms to provide a more effective platform for business communities to engage in cooperation.

We need to explore more opportunities to unleash the potentials for cooperation in different areas where we have respective strength and advantages.

We need to promote more dialogues and mutual learning between different cultures and civilizations by encouraging more people to people exchanges.

We believe that with our joint efforts and unweaving commitments, we will be able to find ways to overcome the current difficulties and bring China-US relations back to normal and healthy track. I thank you for your support and contribution to this endeavor.

I wish China-California Business Forum a great success.

Thank you.

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