Chinese officials eye more cooperation with southern U.S. states
Saturday, August 28, 2021 5:52 PM

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the United States, Aug. 28, 2010 (Xinhua News Agency) -- Cooperation between local governments in China and the United States would be a very important impetus for developing a healthy and stable bilateral relationship, former Chinese ambassador to the U.S. Zhou Wenzhong said here on Saturday.

"If we compare the China-U.S. relations to a skyscraper, high- level communication and cooperation will serve as the foundation, and local government exchanges will be the bricks," said Zhou, who is now vice president of the China-U.S. People's Friendship Association.

Zhou is heading a Chinese local government delegation, which is composed of 14 local government officials and entrepreneurs from three provinces, to attend the annual meeting of U.S. Southern Governors' Association (SGA) in Hoover, Alabama. The Chinese delegation is invited by the SGA to attend its annual meeting for strengthening economic and trade ties between China and the American South.

"Local governments in the United States play a critical role in developing trade and cooperation with China in a pragmatic and flexible way," Zhou said, adding that more and more states have realized that strengthening ties with China is beneficial not only to their own state, but also to the regional economic development.

But the veteran diplomat, who was Chinese ambassador to Washington from 2005 to 2010, warned that the development could be hurdled by some "frictions and problems occurring from time to time in China-U.S. trade relations."

"When the local government trade exchanges are thriving, we can also hear noise of trade protectionism against China, and RMB exchange rate issue. This no doubt creates obstacles for further development of China-U.S. trade relations," said Zhou.

"If this leads to the worsening of overall trade and economic environment, it will also bring negative impact on the local governments' expansion of trade relations and investment with China," he added.

Founded in 1934, the SGA is the oldest and historically the largest of the regional governors' associations. It is composed of the governors of 16 states and two U.S. territories, namely Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands.

 

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