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UPDATED: April 16, 2012 NO. 16 APRIL 19, 2012
Toward a New Chapter in the Mutually Beneficial Agricultural Cooperation Between China and the United States

Address at the China-U.S. High-level Agricultural Symposium

Xi Jinping, Vice President of the People's Republic of China

February 16, 2012

Secretary Vilsack,

Governor Branstad,

Ambassador Locke,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

I am glad to join you at this China-U.S. High-level Agricultural Symposium jointly hosted by China's Ministry of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture during my official visit to the United States. I am glad not only because I visited Iowa known as the "food capital" of the country 27 years ago as the head of a Chinese delegation to study corn plantation and deep processing, but also because, prior to that, I had spent seven years working in west China as a farmer and later a village head. In my successive service as an official in Hebei, Fujian, Zhejiang and Shanghai, agriculture was invariably part of my portfolio. I have thus had a soft spot for agriculture, the countryside and the farmers. While extending my warm congratulations to the successful opening of this symposium, I wish to express cordial welcome and deep respect to all the Chinese and Americans present today, particularly those who have been working in agriculture-related areas.

With strengthening the mutually beneficial agricultural cooperation between China and the United States as the theme, this symposium will address such hot topics as food security, food safety, sustainable agriculture and bilateral agricultural trade. The discussions, in my view, will further deepen China-U.S. agricultural exchanges and cooperation and play a big role in promoting the agricultural industry in both countries and making our rural areas and farmers more prosperous.

Food is the first necessity of the people. With agriculture constituting the basic industry underpinning human survival and development, food security with energy security and financial security ranks as the three pillars of economic security in the present world. It is therefore of major and far-reaching importance for us to promote international agricultural and food cooperation at the strategic level, thus enhancing mutual interest and common development of all countries.

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