The Fifth China-U.S. Governors Forum is underway in Kentucky. Government officials and business leaders discuss local-level cooperation on trade, culture, and people-to-people exchanges.
Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai says it is more important than ever for the U.S. and China to strengthen sub-national ties, reiterating that cooperation is the only right option for the two countries.
"We know too well that in today's world, no country can prosper alone. China will continue to pursue development with the commitment to opening-up and achieve win-win results through cooperation with other countries. To this end, we regard the US as an important cooperation partner. This year marks the 40th anniversary of China-US diplomatic relations. We have learned from the past four decades that cooperation is the only right option for our two countries and has brought huge benefits to the two peoples, as evidenced by the booming cooperation between many American states and China," says Cui Tiankai.
Cui says people from both countries share hope for greater engagement and understanding, not "decoupling" or estrangement.
Kentucky Governor Matthew Bevin says he believes that "decoupling" will never happen between U.S. and China. He has called for further efforts from the local level to advance bilateral ties between the U.S. and China, even though it may take time.
"We have to continue to speak company to company, state to state, person to person, culture to culture. There will be modernization of trading relationships between our countries, it will be updated, it will change, but change is good. This conference is designed to help find a solution," says Matthew Bevin.
Provincial offcials from Chongqing, Shaanxi, Jiangxi and Gansu are attending the event. They have introduced development and business opportunities in China.
Gansu Province vice governor Zhang Shizhen says a more open China is creating increasing opportunities for both China and its partners. He also extended a warm welcome to U.S. enterprises and investors to come to China.
"China is accelerating all-round opening-up, during which process Gansu has gained great development opportunities. For instance, under China's 'Belt and Road' Initiative, inland Gansu Province has become hotspot for investment. We welcome U.S enterprises and investors to come to Gansu, and we will also encourage more investment into the U.S. from Gansu. Cooperation would bring us greater mutual benefit and win-win outcomes,"says Zhang Shizhen.
Leaders from the US states of Washington, Tennessee, Colorado and Michigan also made speeches at the event.
The National Governors Association, one of the organizers of the event, says about 400 people from both countries are attending the event.
It says this shows strong interest in forging and maintaining strong relationships at the subnational level for the mutual benefit of the United States and China. Initiated in 2011, the China-U.S. Governors Forum has become an important platform to promote exchanges and cooperation between local governments of the two countries.