H.E. Cui Tiankai, Ambassador China to the USA

H.E. Cui Tiankai

Fostering China-U.S. Relations

President Xi Jinping will make a state visit to the United States in September at the invitation of President Obama. It will be an important visit that lays out the blueprint for China-U.S. relations and injects new impetus into the new model of major-country relationship. When Xi Jinping, then Vice President, visited Washington D.C. in February 2012, he said that the economic relationship between our two nations is the “ballast and propeller” for the overall bilateral relationship. China General Chamber of Commerce – U.S.A. (CGCC) has been and will continue to be an active player in this relationship.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the founding of CGCC. Over the past 10 years, we have witnessed the remarkable progress of this organization, including the establishment of six regional chapters and seven industrial committees. The growth of CGCC mirrors the progress of the economic and trade relations between China and the U.S. Ten years ago, our bilateral trade was only about $210 billion, but in 2014, this number more than doubled to $550 billion.

Over the past 10 years, CGCC and its members have played pivotal roles in the following areas:

First, the success of CGCC members in the U.S. brings positive spillover to China. Success stories of Chinese enterprises, in particular in the U.S., one of the most advanced economies, have proved that they have the capability to expand and succeed globally. It is an important indicator of China’s economic growth. In the meantime, by investing in the U.S., Chinese enterprises have better access to advanced technologies and managerial expertise, and they learn better about international standards, practices, and the global market. In this process, Chinese enterprises gain a stronger competitive edge. Such expertise and experiences, when brought back to China, inject positive impetus into our reform efforts, and contribute to the economic growth at home.

Second, CGCC serves as a platform where business investment can have a bearing on broader China-U.S. relations. The development and success of Chinese enterprises investing in the U.S. mirrors the mutually beneficial and complementary relations between China and the U.S. Every success story of CGCC members and other Chinese enterprises is a building block of a successful bilateral relationship. Meanwhile, their business success cannot be achieved without solid, robust, and sustainable China-U.S. relations. In this way, CGCC facilitates business success and contributes to the growth of a bilateral relationship, as the two are mutually reinforcing in nature.

Third, CGCC helps Chinese enterprises integrate into local communities when developing business in the U.S. It is not only investment that came with them to the U.S. but also an image of a new generation of Chinese enterprises, and to some extent, an image of China. They represent Chinese people, Chinese business, and Chinese culture. It is fair to say that every one of them is a showcase of China. In the meantime, they are also involved in community development. They bring job opportunities, help to improve living conditions for local people, contribute to local efforts on education and the environment, and provide other public goods. Their efforts were well recognized and appreciated by local people, which to a large degree have increased the mutual understanding between our two peoples and enhanced the collaboration between our two countries. It has proven that the new model of major-country relationship brings tangible benefits to our peoples.

As the two largest economies of the world, it is essential for China and the U.S. to look far and reach high, and secure a constructive bilateral relationship. The new model of major-country relationship featuring non-confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation will blaze a new trail for cooperation of the two countries. Looking ahead, we hope that CGCC continues to prosper, not only growing as a business organization but also contributing even more to China-U.S. relations and the friendship between the Chinese people and the American people. I believe CGCC, together with all of its members, can do this.

China is focused on achieving dual objectives: maintaining a medium-high-level growth rate and moving towards a medium-high-level of development. At the same time, China-U.S. trade and two-way investment are expanding. All of this means tens of billions of dollars of investment opportunities for business communities of China and the U.S. In this regard, I hope that the Chinese and the U.S. governments will step up negotiations on the Bilateral Investment Treaty and strive to reach an agreement at an early date so as to ensure a stable, transparent, open, and predictable environment for investors of both sides.

Finally, I would like to express my appreciation to LEADERS for this special issue on Chinese companies and investment in the U.S. I also wish to offer my best wishes to the business communities of both China and the U.S., and encourage them to build a stronger partnership and provide the “ballast and propeller” for the overall bilateral relationship in the years to come.•