On January 19, the Chinese Consulate General in New York held a Chinese New Year reception in Philadelphia. More than 300 people from all walks of life in the Greater Philadelphia community, and Chinese students gathered together to celebrate the traditional Chinese Spring Festival. The reception was hosted by Deputy Consul General Cheng Lei; Consul General Zhang Qiyue, Mayor of Philadelphia James Kenney, Director of China National Tourist Office in New York Wang Yanjie, and President of the China General Chamber of Commerce Qiao Lei addressed at the reception.
Consul General Zhang Qiyue first sent her best wishes for Chinese New Year to all walks of life in Pennsylvania, and sent overseas Chinese people, students, and business representatives greetings on behalf of China. Zhang Qiyue recalled the great progress made in the China-U.S. relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries 38 years ago, and introduced China's economic transformation and upgrade, future development prospects and practical local cooperation between the two countries.
Zhang Qiyue said that the mutual benefits of China and the United States are unprecedented and the interdependence has become increasingly close. The progress of development between the two countries has not only brought benefits to the people of China and the United States, but also provided profound impact to the development of the world. Currently, the China-U.S. daily bilateral trade volume is over 1.6 billion US dollars, and China's direct investment in the United States has exceeded 45 billion US dollars. China has created tens of thousands of job opportunities in the United States. The two countries also have an unprecedented scale of cultural exchange. 2016 was the "China-U.S. Tourism Year". More than 3 million Chinese tourists visited the United States. A total of 13,000 people traveled between China and the United States daily, and flight departure took place every 15 minutes.
Zhang Qiyue said that the current Chinese economy is undergoing major transformation and upgrade, and China's GDP is shifting from its double-digit to moderate high-speed growth. China and the United States are like a pair of hiking buddies: when the road gets steep, they should lend a helping hand to each other, and the only way to reach the summit is to work together. While the current world economic recovery is weak with increasing downward pressure, China-U.S. relations are also in a transitional stage. Thus, the two sides should strengthen cooperation, overcome difficulties, leverage comparative advantages to achieve win-win cooperation and joint development, and promote the continuous development of China-U.S. relations to a new stage.
Zhang Qiyue spoke highly of the fruitful achievements of cooperation between China and Pennsylvania in the fields of economy, trade, education, science and technology, as well as tourism. She pointed out that 700,000 Chinese tourists have visited Pennsylvania last year, and she hopes that Pennsylvania can seize the new opportunities from China's economic transformation and development to leverage comparative advantages and achieve win-win cooperation and joint development. She sincerely wished that China-U.S. relations would reach a new stage with the efforts of both Chinese and U.S. people in the New Year of the Rooster.
Mayor Jim Kenney thanked Chinese Consulate General in New York for hosting the Chinese New Year reception in Philadelphia. He said that Philadelphia is a multicultural cosmopolitan city. Philadelphia will always support local Chinese community development, welcome all Chinese enterprises and tourists, and stand behind U.S.-China friendship and cooperation. As the first World Heritage city in the United States, Philadelphia is looking to play a more important role in the cultural exchanges between the United States and China, to strengthen communications with regions and departments in China, and to promote development of U.S.-China relations in multiple fields and all aspects.
At the reception, the Chinese Consulate General in New York also issued letters of appreciation to the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Franklin Science Museum, the University of Pennsylvania, the Confucius Institute at Temple University, SynTerra, Fuling Global Inc., Philadelphia Chinese Community Organization United, and Greater Philadelphia Chinese School Union in recognition of their contributions to promote China-U.S. exchanges in the past years.
The ambience of the reception was warm and formal. Deputy Consul General Qiu Jian, Education Counselor Xu Yongji, Economic and Commercial Counsellor Zhou Shanqing, Cultural Counselor Li Liyan interacted with guests. People from all walks of life spoke highly of the achievements China has in various fields of China's economic and social development. They have expressed their confidence in the future of China-U.S. relations and their willingness to make greater contributions to China-U.S. friendship. Artists from Philadelphia have performed jazz music, and the venue also showcased books on Chinese culture, history and geography written in both English and Chinese, all of which were appreciated by the guests.