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Deputy Consul General Zhang Meifang Attends 20th Harvard China Forum

The 20th Harvard China Forum (HCF) was held in the Harvard Business School on April 21, 2017. Guests including Deputy Consul General Zhang Meifang of the Chinese Consulate General in New York, Mark Elliott, Vice Provost of International Affairs at Harvard University, and Stephen Orlins, President of the National Committee on United States-China Relations were invited to speak at the Welcoming Ceremony. Under the theme of "Sharing the Road Ahead", about 1500 guests from government, business, academia and other fields of the two countries gathered together to review the development of China-U.S. relations, look forward to the cooperation between the two countries, and discuss about China-U.S. trade, youth entrepreneurship, as well as cultural exchanges.

Zhang Meifang congratulated HCF on its 20th anniversary on behalf of Consul General Zhang Qiyue. Zhang reviewed China's development within the past four decades after reform and opening-up. She pointed out that China has been pushing forward structural reforms, guided by the five notions of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, so as to Promote economic restructuring and upgrading and achieve sustainable development. Zhang remarked that China is not only the beneficiary of economic globalization, but also a contributor to it. In the coming five years, China is expected to import $8 trillion of goods and service, and make $750 billion of outbound investment. China's rapid economic growth has been a sustained, powerful engine for global economic stability and expansion. The inter-connected development of China and a large number of other countries has made the world economy more balanced.
In 2013, President Xi Jinping raised the Belt and Road Initiative. Its significance is to establish an open and inclusive platform for development and cooperation, and to form more extensive partnerships in order to achieve global growth, prosperity and stability. The Belt and Road Initiative has also opened the gate of opportunities for the U.S. Enterprises. China has invited the U.S. to join the Belt and Road. Zhang said that China hopes the U.S. take a proactive role and attends the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which would be held on May 14 and May 15 in Beijing.

Deputy Consul General Zhang Meifang and Harvard Vice Provost Mark Elliott

Zhang remarked that last month President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump held their first meeting at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, which set the direction for the future development of China-U.S. Relations. The interests of China and the U.S. have been increasingly interconnected. The economic and trade cooperation as well as cultural exchanges between the two countries are more active at present than at any other time in history.

China is the largest developing country and the world's second largest economy; the U.S. is the largest developed country and the world's largest economy. The two countries are highly complementary in economic structure and have great potential for economic and trade cooperation. At present, China is the U.S.' largest trading partner. The trade volume is 210 times as large as what it was 38 years ago when China and the U.S. just established diplomatic relations. At that time, the total amount of bilateral investment between China and the U.S. was close to zero. Last year, the amount was more than 170 billion U.S. Dollars. Cooperation between China and the U.S. has brought many profits and welfare to people in both countries. As a world famous school, Harvard University has always been actively interacting with China with an international perspective. Zhang hoped that Harvard and China would jointly achieve global success through exchanges and cooperation, and make contributions to the greater development of China-U.S. relations.

Mark Elliot, Vice Provost of International Affairs at Harvard University, delivered his speech entirely in Chinese. He referred to historical examples to show the long history between China and Harvard. Elliot also remarked that the China-U.S. relations are the most important bilateral relations in the world. The cooperation between Harvard and China is at its best throughout history. More than one hundred events were held at Harvard Center Shanghai every year. Elliot said that Harvard is willing to make more contributions to the further development of China-U.S. relations.

Stephen Orlins, President of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, encouraged the young people present to shoulder responsibilities and not to be fearful of failure. "The future of the U.S.-China relations is in this room," Orlins said. He also encouraged the students to make new contributions to the U.S.-China relations in the new era and to bring the U.S.-China relations to a higher level.

The forum's featured guest speakers also included Lee Zhang, Founder and CEO of iKang Healthcare Group, Tad Smith, President and CEO of Sotheby's, Lawrence Tian, Founder of China Entrepreneurs Forum, Lucy Peng Lei, Co-founder of Alibaba and Chairwoman of Ant Financial, and Lei Jun, Chairman and CEO of Xiaomi. The influential guests discussed in depth topics related to China-U.S. relations, innovation in high technology, and financial services.

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