Speech at Welcoming Luncheon Hosted by Friendly Organizations in the United States
Xi Jinping, Vice President of the People's Republic of China
Washington, DC, February 15, 2012
Ambassador Carla Hills, Chair of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations,
Mr. Muhtar Kent, Chair of the U.S.-China Business Council,
Dr. Henry Kissinger,
Secretary John Bryson,
Ambassador Gary Locke,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to meet you, friends from various friendly organizations, during my official visit to the United States. The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and the U.S.-China Business Council had been promoting friendship and cooperation with China long before China-U.S. diplomatic relations were established. The normalization and development of China-U.S. relations would not have been possible without your tremendous contribution. I salute you for your efforts, and I wish to send warm greetings and express heartfelt appreciation to all the friendly organizations and American friends from various professions who have valued and supported the growth of China-U.S. relations over the years.
I am paying an official visit to the United States at the invitation of Vice President Biden, and I have come to further implement the important agreement reached between President Hu Jintao and President Obama and advance the building of a cooperative partnership between China and the United States based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. During the visit, I had a meeting with President Obama and held talks with Vice President Biden. I also had separate meetings with Secretary of State Clinton, Secretary of Defense Panetta, Speaker of the House Boehner and Senator Reid. We had candid and in-depth discussions on many issues, reached new and important consensus and achieved fruitful results.
This afternoon, I will go to visit Iowa, which will be my second visit in 27 years. I am going to tell my old friends there that the "golden keys" presented to us by the representative of the Muscatine City Hall 27 years ago symbolized the opening of local exchanges and cooperation between our two countries. And today, there are already 38 sister province/state relationships and 176 pairs of sister cities between our two countries. Forty-seven out of the 50 American states have seen their exports to China grow several or even dozens of times over the past 10 years. This shows that once open, the door to local exchanges and cooperation between China and the United States cannot be closed by any force. On the contrary, it will only open wider and wider.