On March 2, the 5th China-U.S. Sub-national Legislatures Cooperation Forum was held virtually. Ambassador Cui Tiankai delivered video remarks at the event. Participants of the Forum included Lin Songtian, President of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries; Minister Xu Xueyuan of the Chinese Embassy; leaders of the standing committees of provincial or municipal people's congresses of Beijing, Hebei, Shanxi, Jiangsu, Hubei, Guangdong and Yunnan; Stephen Lakis, President of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation; and state legislative leaders of Alabama, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan and Tennessee.
In his remarks, Ambassador Cui said, the year 2020 was extraordinary in the history of humankind. The world was overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and China-U.S. relations experienced an unprecedented "cold snap". For many people, it was a long winter, and they have been longing for this spring. This being said, mankind keeps advancing amid various kinds of adversities. People draw experience and lessons from the past and outperform themselves in the future. Hopefully the year 2020 will prompt a rethinking of how people should live with nature and how countries should co-exist, so as to generate stronger will for progress.
Ambassador Cui said, we need to be aware that people in the world share the same future and countries have common stakes. Only by upholding the vision of a community with a share future, can we defeat our common enemies and build a better home. As two major countries in the world, China and the U.S. stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. We have a thousand reasons to make the relationship work and none whatsoever to let it fail. 2021 is the first year for the implementation of the 14th Five-Year Plan and for the new journey of fully building a modern socialist country. It also marks the centenary of the Communist Party of China. On the U.S. side, this year saw the inauguration of a new administration, and the curtain has been raised on its various governance priorities, such as pandemic control, economic recovery and climate change. The future trajectory of China-U.S. relations will have crucial impact not only on the domestic agenda of both countries, but also on global fight against COVID-19, economic recovery, as well as fairer and more inclusive development.
Ambassador Cui said, we are glad that on the eve of Chinese New Year, President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden had an in-depth exchange of views on China-U.S. relations in their telephone call, which has pointed the direction for the relationship at a crossroads, and sent out an encouraging signal to the two countries and the whole world. A China-U.S. relationship based on coordination, cooperation and stability is both in the fundamental interests of the two peoples, and meets the shared aspiration of the international community. The two countries need to work together under the principle of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, focus on cooperation and manage differences, to promote the healthy and stable development of China-U.S. relations, bring more tangible benefits to the two peoples, and contribute to peace and development of the humanity.
Ambassador Cui said, today's Forum is significant as it is the first national-level dialogue to be resumed between our two countries for two years. Both the deputies of Chinese provincial and municipal people's congresses and the American state legislators represent the people. This virtual gathering across the oceans represents a call for greater friendship and exchanges between the two peoples, a bridge of sub-national mutually beneficial cooperation, and an opportunity to strengthen the very foundation of our bilateral relations. During the Forum, the two sides will have extensive discussions on the theme of "Win-win Cooperation for a New Chapter". The topics covered are both practical, and critical to the social and economic development, and livelihoods of your constituencies. I believe this dialogue will help the two sides to enhance understanding, engage in mutual learning, deepen friendship and expand cooperation. It will bring great benefits to our peoples, and add positive energy to China-U.S. relations.
Participants of the Forum elaborated on the development of their respective provinces, cities and states, as well as their two-way exchanges and cooperation. They put forward many valuable suggestions for their future engagement via the mechanism of China-U.S. Sub-national Legislatures Cooperation, and expressed their shared aspiration for achieving sound and stable development of China-U.S. relations and for joining hands to meet global challenges.
The Forum was an outcome of President Xi Jinping's state visit to the U.S. in 2015. As an important exchange mechanism, it provides an effective platform for China-U.S. practical cooperation at the sub-national level. Five forums have been held.