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Keynote speech of Consul General Huang Ping celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Committee of 100

On April 5th, Chinese Consul General Huang Ping delivered a keynote speech at a gala in New York celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Committee of 100, a premiere U.S. organization of Chinese-American elites.

The Honorable Kevin Rudd,
Secretary Lawrence Summers,
Chariman David Rubenstein,
Congresswoman Grace Meng,
Distinguished members of the Committee of 100,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Good evening. It's my great honor and pleasure to join so many friends and distinguished guests. Let me first congratulate the Committee of 100 on this significant milestone of 30th anniversary, and your successful opening of the 2019 Annual Conference. I would also warmly congratulate the laureates of the C100 Lifetime Achievement Award, Mr. I. M. Pei, Mr. Morris Chang and  Mr. Maurice Greenberg. This is a well-deserved recognition of your personal and public achievements, which also reflects the C100's vision and long time efforts in respective areas.

For many of us who have been following the growth of China-US relations, the Committee of 100 is always a very dear and unique friend. It is unique not only because it has so many prominent members, but also because it's an institution of US citizens of Chinese heritage. As Chinese Americans, you represent two different cultures. Through the continuous efforts over the last 30 years, you have brought fantastic chemical reactions into the relationship between our two peoples. The outcome of such reactions, is not the knowledge about how widely we differ, but how commonly our values and interests can be shared. And that is the basis of any sound relationship.

Looking back to the history of China-US relationship, we can conclude it's common interests and responsibilities that have brought our two great countries together. Some 150 years ago, tens of thousands of Chinese workers joined their American counterparts in building the trans-continental Pacific Railway. Some 70 years ago, China and the United States, as allies in World War II, fought shoulder to shoulder, to defend the world peace and justice. 40 years ago, out of common vision and interests, leaders of our two countries made the groundbreaking decision to establish diplomatic ties, thus opened a new chapter in our bilateral relationship.

40 years later, this relationship has come to another juncture. On one hand, our trade, economic, and people-to-people exchanges are in full swing. But on the other hand, there have been growing misgivings about China's national policy and long term strategic intention. Some depict China as an irresponsible stakeholder,  misbehaved competitor, or even security threat. Some argue the US should disengage with China, as the two countries are distinctly different in the path to development. Frankly speaking, these opinions have lost sight of how much China and the US have benefited from each other's development, and how much they can achieve together by a shared vision and common responsibility. Here I would like to elaborate on three points.

First, China and the U.S. are still bonded by strong common interests and responsibilities.

After 40 years of development, the bilateral trade volume between our two countries has reached 633.5 billion dollars last year. China is America's fastest growing export market. Our two-way investment has registered more than 240 billion dollars, supporting 2.6 million jobs in the US.

Take my consular area into account, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Vermont achieved double-digit growth in their export to China in 2017. 570 Chinese companies, such as China Railway (CRRC), China Construction, Fuyao Glass, Vanke Group and Greenland Group, just to name a few, have invested in the north east 10 states, creating thousands of jobs for the local people. More than 120 thousand Chinese students are studying in this region, making up one third of all Chinese students in the US. The New York University Shanghai, Wenzhou-Kean University, and Tianjin Julliard Institute have set good examples for our higher-education cooperation.

At the same time, China and the US share extensive international obligations. From climate change, terrorism to cross-border crime, from the Korean Peninsular, Iran to Afghanistan, almost every hot spot issue need coordination between China and the US. Last week, China announced it would add all fentanyl-related drugs to the list of controlled substances. This is the latest progress in our bilateral anti-drug cooperation, which also carries positive significance to the global effort of drug control.

Without doubt, in spite of all the differences, China and the U.S. are more interdependent than ever. The right approach to addressing our differences is dialogue. Confrontation gets us to nowhere. We are happy to see the latest rounds of trade talks between the two sides have made important and substantial progress, with a bright prospect of reaching a final deal in the near future. We hope the two sides can continue to implement our two presidents' consensus in Argentina, bring our economic relations back on track, and work jointly towards a relationship of coordination, cooperation and stability.

Second, China's development will create even more opportunities for the United States.

Last year, China celebrated the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up. Reform and opening-up is a game changing move for China's development, which also has yielded considerable benefits to the US. Looking forward into the future, China will only open wider to the world. Last month, the National People's Congress passed a new foreign investment law, which will better ensure that foreign-invested enterprises can participate more and compete equally in Chinese market. China's Import Expo has been institutionalized as a national annual event, the Second Expo will be held in Shanghai this November. China's opening-up measures will be introduced quarter after quarter and year after year, adding momentum to the future cooperation between our two countries.

With rapid economic and social development, China's middle class already tops 400 million. According to a new report from the market research firm eMarketer, China will become the world's largest retail market in 2019. It is estimated that in the coming 15 years, China's imported goods and services will exceed 30 trillion and 10 trillion US dollars respectively, bringing huge opportunities to the U.S. and other countries.

Third, China and the U.S. shoulder great responsibility in promoting the progress of humanity.

We are living in a time of rapid changes. As we enjoy growing wealth and advancing technology, we are also clouded by income disparity, widespread poverty, digital divide, and many other challenges. As the two largest economies in the world and permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and the U.S. should aim high in improving the life of mankind, not merely focusing on their own interests.

On China's part, it has advocated for building a community with shared future for mankind. This vision has not stayed merely in talk shop, but has come into fruition through action-oriented initiatives, such as the Belt and Road Initiative. Over the last six years, the BRI has served as an important platform to build up connectivity among countries, as well as a strong support to multilateralism and an open global economy. The latest studies by the World Bank and other international institutions suggest that the BRI cooperation will cut the costs of global trade by 1.1 to 2.2 percent. What is more, it will contribute at least  0.1 percent of global growth in 2019. This month, China will host the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. China is ready to work with all parties, including the United States, to further advance quality BRI cooperation, and to better promote human progress across various areas.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The logo of the C100 shows a big character of Ren, or people, in a shape of two strokes supporting each other. I cannot think of a better demonstration of how Chinese culture views this very basic element of all societies. As human, we rely on each other, give each other support, and thrive on common ground. China-US friendship has its roots in the people, who can appreciate mutual understanding and constructive dialogue. On that note, I hope the C100 will continue to make leverage of your unique strength as a cross-border, cross-cultural and cross-ethnic group organization, to help build a mutually beneficial relationship between our two great countries.

I wish you enjoy another and many more 30 years of success.

Thank you.

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