|New Era, New Development, New opportunity
(Atlanta, Dec. 8, 2017)
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for attending the luncheon. I am honored to brief on two recent events which are closely related and with world significance. One is the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. The other is President Trump’s first state visit to China. I would also like to share with you my views about the new opportunities for the cooperation between Southern U.S. and China after the above two important events.
I．The 19th Party Congress opens a new era in China
The 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party was held in Beijing from October 18 to 24. More than 1000 reporters from 134 countries covered the congress. President Trump congratulated President Xi on the successful convening of the congress immediately. Washington Post and other major media published articles saying it as “one of the most important global political events of the next 5 years”, and believing “it could set the agenda not only for Beijing, but also for much of the world”.
People are asking, why could a party congress in a single country be so important? What are the outcomes of the congress? Where will China go? How China will interact with the world?
The importance of the congress is self-evident.
China is the largest developing country of the world (more than 1.3 billion). China’s ruling party- Chinese Communist Party is the largest party in the world (89 million members). The national congress of the party is held only once within five years.
The congress is held in a context of China’s rapid development. China’s GDP in 2016 accounts for nearly 15% of the world total, up to 13% than that in 1978. Over the past 5 years, as the 2nd largest economy of the world, China’s GDP growth rate averages more than 7%, contributing over 30% of global economy, ranking No. 1. Over the past 5 years, more than 50 million people have been lifted out of poverty. People are expecting more for a better life in the future. Many major breakthroughs have been made in science and innovation.
Over the past five years, I went back to China at least once each year. Each time, I was amazed by the huge changes. At restaurants, waiters would ask if I want to use WeChat or Alipay( the two smartphone payment options ) to pay. Then I saw almost everyone in major cities using smartphone to pay for everything, even in the farm market or street stalls. This is one of the reputational China’s Four Great New Inventions–the Alipay. The other three are high speed rail, E-commerce and the dockless shared bicycles.
High speed rail— China has built the world’s longest high-speed rail (HSR) network of more than 22 thousand Kilometers or 14 thousand miles. You only need take 4.5 hours from Beijing to Shanghai (a distance about from Houston to Atlanta) in a speedy and comfortable way. And no worrying about the bad weather.
E-commerce–With around 731 million Internet users, China has been the world’s largest and fastest-growing e-commerce market.
Dockless shared bikes–Compared with traditional shared bikes, dockless bikes allow users to simply pick up or park a bike on the street. A way of easy and green transportation, isn’t it?
The congress is held in a context that China and other countries are speeding up interaction and highly tied to each other.
China’s major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics has made further progress. Many more Chinese wisdom and Chinese solutions have become the world consensus and action, including those proposed in APEC Beijing Summit, G20 Hangzhou Summit, BRI Forum, and BRICS Xiamen Summit.
Then, What are the outcomes of the 19thcongress? Where will China be heading? How will China further interact with the world?
The congress has made a new blueprint for China’s future. It has planned a new timetable and roadmap for China’s development in the coming decades. These are: Building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the 100th anniversary of the CPC in 2020; Realizing socialist modernization by 2035;
Building China into a great modern socialist country by the middle of this century, featuring prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful. At that time, the People’s Republic of China will celebrate its 100-year anniversary.
To achieve the above goal, we need a new thought. The Congress has adopted the Xi Jinping Thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for the new era. It is the CPC’s understanding of the laws of social progress and it is the answer of the question how to adhere to and continue building socialism with Chinese features.
And the new thought will tackle the new problem.
The new contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved to be that between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life. The CPC will meet people’s new needs better, ensure people’s strong sense of fulfillment, happiness and security, and promote the full development of society.
It has set new policies for China’s development. For example,
Economy: China’s economy has been transitioning from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development. China will further supply-side structural reform, and enhance our economy’s strength in terms of quality. We will promote further integration of the internet, big data, and artificial intelligence with the real economy. We will move Chinese industries up to the medium-high end of the global value chain. We will continue to inspire and protect entrepreneurship, and encourage more entities to make innovations and start businesses, make China a country of innovators.
People’s wellbeing：People-centered is a basic philosophy through the 19th congress report. General Secretary Xi underlined it that “we must focus on the most pressing, most immediate issues that concern the people most”. The top priority is to develop education, making sure that every child has fair access to good education. We will improve the quality of employment, raise incomes, and narrow the gaps in incomes. We will strive to win the final-stage battle against poverty. Just as General Secretary Xi said, “This is a society to be enjoyed by each and every one of us; on the march toward common prosperity, no one must be left behind.”
ECOLOGICAL PROGRESS：China will step up efforts to promote green development, solve prominent environmental problems, intensify the protection of ecosystems, and reform the environmental regulation system.
International relations: China will never close its door to the world. We will improve the quality and level of the opening-up. We will further ease market access, further protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign investors. All businesses registered in China will be treated equally. China will become even more open，no matter whether other countries grant us market economy status or not.
China will keep following a path of peaceful development. China will follow the principle of upholding justice, achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration, taking an active part in reforming and developing the global governance system. China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion, no matter how much development China has achieved. China will continue its efforts to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development, and uphold international order.
China will be committed to promoting a new form of international relations, featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation. Together with other countries, we will work to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world, a community with a shared future for mankind.
In a word, the 19thNational Congress of CPC ushered in a new era with great expectations.
II. President Trump’s state visit to China and China-US relations
39 years ago, in December 1978, the CPC held its 3rdPlenary Session of the 11thCentral Committee, and adopted the policy of reform and opening-up. Over one month later, Chinese leader Mr. Deng Xiaoping visited the U.S., opened a new chapter of China-US diplomatic relations. 39 years past, the CPC held its 19th Congress. Less than one month later, President Trump paid his 1st state visit to China. He is the 1st head of state received by President Xi after the 19th congress.
Head-of-state diplomacy is crucial to the relationship of two countries. Both China and the U.S. paid high attention to the meeting of President Xi and President Trump in Beijing. President Trump has fully experienced his state visit-plus schedule.
i. Protocol-plus. When President Xi visited Mar-a-lago this April, President Trump and his wife offered a hospitable, considerate and high-standard reception. China is known as a nation of courtesy. We believe courtesy calls for reciprocity. Chinese side planned some special arrangement for President Trump. Upon his arrival, President Xi and his wife accompanied President Trump and his wife touring the Forbidden City, and hosted a private dinner for them in the Forbidden City. Another special protocol arrangement is that, State Councilor Yan Jiechi went to the airport and greeted Trump’s couple there.
ii. Culture-plus. The Forbidden City of over 600-year-age is a window of Chinese culture and history. Both heads of state and their wives had an afternoon tea in the Baoyun Building (the Building of Embodied Treasures) of the Forbidden City. They took photos at the square in front of the Taihedian (the Hall of Supreme Harmony), visited the antiques repairing hospital and the exhibition of antiques, and watched Peking Opera. President Xi introduced the palace’s architecture and Chinese history.
iii. Friendship-plus. Chatting over cups of tea in the Forbidden City, President Trump showed President Xi a video of his granddaughter Arabella, singing in Mandarin and reciting classical Chinese poetry. The video went viral on Chinese social media shortly. Arabella was already a little ambassador for China-US friendship. President Trump tweeted multiple messages of thanks to President Xi’s hospitality, saying he and his wife had unforgettable time in China.
iv. Cooperation-plus. The two heads of state held talks in private and large-group meetings. They also jointly met the press, attended the closing ceremony and agreements signing ceremony of China-US Business Exchange. They have reached a series of consensus on promoting China-US relations in the new era. Their meeting in Beijing has achieved important and fruitful outcomes:
Further the strategic guiding role of the head-of-state diplomacy in China-US relations. The two presidents believe that China and U.S. have extensive shared interests and responsibilities in upholding world peace, stability and prosperity, and the direction of China-US relations can have an important influence on the whole world. China and the U.S. should jointly meet the challenges of major global and regional issues, to serve the fundamental interests of the two peoples, and to meet the shared expectations of the world.
Give a full play to the four high-level dialogue mechanisms. The dialogue mechanisms are significant pillars for the bilateral relations. Diplomacy and security concern the overall development of bilateral ties and strategic mutual trust. Economic and trade cooperation is the stabilizer and ballast of China-U.S. relations. People-to-people exchanges are fundamental to the development of China-U.S. relations in the long run. Law enforcement and cyber security are vital to the security and happiness of the two peoples. Both sides should work together to achieve more under the dialogue mechanisms.
Make bigger the “cake of economic cooperation”. During President Trump visit, companies of China and the U.S. have signed contracts or agreements worth more than $250 billion, including energy, IT, agriculture, automobiles, aviation, electronics, and manufacturing. The value is almost a half of China-US total trade value last year, which is about $520 billion. It has set a new record in the history of China-US economic cooperation as well as that of the world. This super contract demonstrates that our common interests outweigh differences, and the China-US economic cooperation and trade is broadly based and enjoys a bright prospect
Enhance financial cooperation. Chinese side will open the door, according to China’s own timetable and roadmap, widening the access to the financial industry. For example, the limit on foreign investment shares in Chinese financial institution will be raised to 51%. Three years later, there will be no limit for foreign ownership.
The two heads of state reached broad consensus on cooperation in various fields including education, science and health. They also exchanged views on major international and regional issues such as the, the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, South China Sea and anti-terrorism. They agreed to push the adequate solution of the concerned issues and promote the world peace and stability.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Based on the solid foundation laid by two heads of state, China and U.S. have every good reason to push a healthy China-U.S. relation forward. China-U.S. partnership is the most important bilateral relationship in the world today. A healthy and robust China-U.S. relationship will benefit not only the Chinese and American peoples, but also the world peace, stability and prosperity. China and the U.S. have stayed in close communication, and worked together against international financial crisis, Ebola epidemic and for many other global and regional issues.
The basis of our cooperation is mutual understanding and mutual respect. China and U.S. have different history, culture and tradition. We may do not see everything eye to eye, but we both have the right to choose a way of development that is most suitable to our national conditions. China’s socialism with Chinese characteristics is the best way we found. This way may do not suit you, but it is good for us. Both China and U.S. should try to adhere to the fact that we are different. And being different does not mean we cannot cooperate. We should try to respect each other, and try to make good use of our differences in cooperation.
The Pacific is vast enough for China and the U.S. I believe our two countries are facing opportunities to enhance bilateral ties better than ever before. As for China and the U.S., cooperation is the only right choice, and pursuing win-win outcomes can lead to a better future.
III. The opportunities facing the Southern U.S.
An open and prosperous China can benefit the world. A sound and stable China-US relationship will benefit us better. Serving as Chinese Consul General in the 8 southern states, I believe we are facing more opportunities. Yet opportunities always favor those who are well prepared.
Let’s see whether we are fully prepared.
Chinese direct investment to the 8 southern states (my consular districts) has been over $21 billion. According to the latest report jointly published by National Committee on U.S.-China Relations (NCUSCR) and Rhodium Group, since 2000 Chinese companies have invested $1.6 billion in Georgia, 120 operations in the state now employ over 4100 workers.
The bilateral trade is booming. Take Georgia as an example again. From 2006 to 2016, Georgia export to China grew rapidly. With a total export value of $3.9 billion in 2016, the growth rate in Georgia goods export to China reached 107%, services export to China reached 383%. According to the US-China Business Council, Georgia’s exports to China supported more than 26 thousand American jobs in 2015. The top service export products in the southern states are travel and education. This is also a proof for the frequent people-to-people exchange in the area. I have more examples. ICBC, the world No.1 Bank opened a Branch last month in Houston. Delta Airline will operate a non-stop flight from Atlanta to Shanghai on July 20 next year.
High level exchanges are frequent. The mayor of Austin, the mayor of Dallas，the governor of Arkansas have visited China. Mayor Turner of Houston is visiting China now. Their purposes of visiting China are the same, to expand cooperation and to attract investment. Governor Hutchinson of Arkansas has visit China three times since he took office. He said to me that he will visit China every year during his term. He has already got great rewards. Several Chinese companies have invested or declared to invest more than $1.4 billion investment, with 1500 jobs in Arkansas since 2015.
Many companies are ready. Some of you may noticed that, at least 3 among the 29 companies headed to China with President Trump are from south, mainly are energy companies.
Many companies in Georgia, including Coca-cola and UPS being present here, had already went into Chinese market, although not going to China with Trump. Coca-cola are known to everyone and being everywhere in China. You have been in China since 1979, in the same pace with China-US diplomatic relations establishment, and also a label of China’s reform and opening-up. Mr. Goltzman, can you tell us how much profit did you company make from Chinese market? It must be remarkable. It is the rewards of Coca-cola’s business foresight. Ms. Terrell, I know that UPS has operated in China since 1988 and conducts more than 200 flights to and from its Chinese hubs weekly. You formed a joint venture with Chinese top delivery company- SF Express this September. This is a strong union, both you will take great advantage from the joint efforts.
Many Chinese companies are very interested in developing American market. Last month, the Wechat Pay and Alipay are marketing in China Town of Houston. Once they are launched here, more Chinese tourists will come and do more shopping.
Huge opportunities can be found in those key areas of cooperation in the two leader’s meeting, in which the southern states enjoy advantages and can meet the demand of Chinese market.
Energy (clean energy): China could be the top buyer of American LNG. Among the 29 business leaders visited China with Trump, 10 of them are from energy or energy-related area. We still expect more companies to join the cooperation. Besides, China is focusing on green economy, with huge demand for clean energy. So we can find huge opportunities not only in traditional energy area, but also in clean energy such as solar and wind power.
Medical treatment: many cities in the south own advanced medical facilities with world-class capacity and management. Chinese side needs to learn the advanced medical technology, management and service. The model of TMC in Houston, and some medical institutes in Atlanta have attracted broad attention of Chinese cities, entrepreneurs and scholars. We can promote wider and deeper cooperation with this regard.
Innovation: the U.S. is the most innovative country in the world. We have an annual mechanism of China-US Innovation and Investment Summit in Houston. It has become a regular innovative facility for small and startup companies. We can see an even broader future for cooperation on innovation.
Agriculture: Many of the southern states enjoy very advanced agriculture. The peaches of Georgia, beef of Texas, rice of Arkansas, oranges of Florida, all are famous in the world. American beef from some states are already on Chinese tables. Farmers of Georgia and other southern states should take action quickly.
Service Industry: I mentioned the rapid growth of service trade, including education, travel and courier services. Chinese students in southern states are about 60 thousand. American sports such as NBA and Super Bowl are super popular in China. Travel and education, as the advantages of Georgia, are the top services exported to China in 2015. China’s demand for courier services has grown rapidly in recent years. There are huge potentials for cooperation between Georgia and China in service sector.
Finally, let me quote a word by president Xi, “China-U.S. relations face limited challenges, but boundless potential for growth.” I wish to join hands with all friends of the southern states, together writing a new chapter for the relations of China and the southern U.S., to make new contributions for the great new era, and for the beautiful future of China and the U.S.