|Remarks by Consul General Zhao Weiping at the Closing Dinner of the Second China-US Sister Cities Conference|
(October 23, 2015, Chicago)
President Mary Kane,
Vice President Xie Yuan,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Just one month ago, President Xi Jinping attended the third China-US Governors' Forum in Seattle during his historic visit to the US and he used that occasion to highlight once again the importance of China-US local exchanges.
Today, with the convening of the second China-US Sister Cities Conference, Mayors and senior representatives from about 70 Chinese and American cities are gathering here in the wonderful city of Chicago for the purpose of further enhancing the friendship and cooperation among the cities of our two countries.
This conference, as the first major event concerning the local exchanges since President Xi's successful visit, is of special significance in promoting China-US sister-city relationship as well as the practical cooperation between relevant cities.
On behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Chicago, I wish to express my warmest congratulations to all of you on the successful conclusion of this important conference.
Local exchanges, especially sister-city relationship, have always been a strong driving force for the development of China-US relations.
200 pairs of sister cities have been formed between our two countries since the establishment of the diplomatic ties, which has provided special links in bridging the relevant communities of both sides. Many companies, education institutes, hospitals, museums and other organizations have found their new partners in the other country through sister-city relationship.
The connection between our two countries has never been so deep and close in extensive areas. The contribution of sister cities in this regard should be fully recognized.
I wish to take this opportunity to express my high appreciation to all the Mayors, city government officials and friends from various circles for their dedication to the development of China-US sister-city relationship.
Especially, my appreciation goes to the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and Sister Cities International of the United States for their unique role in promoting China-US friendship.
As Chinese Consul General to Chicago, I am encouraged by the ever growing sister-city relationship between China and America's Midwest. Several more cities in our consular district have found their Chinese "sisters" since I came to office in Chicago two years ago. I was so delighted to witness several of the signing ceremonies for the establishment of these sister-city relationships.
I also wish to mention Chicago, a pioneer city in promoting China-US exchanges and cooperation. With the leadership of Mayor Emanuel, Chicago has not only greatly advanced its time-honored sister-city relationship with Shanghai and Shenyang, but also created a new model for the city-to-city relationship between our two countries as the first American city to establish joint economic cooperation mechanism with 8 major Chinese cities.
As China and the US are working together to build a new type of major country relationship and economies of our two countries continue to prosper, enormous opportunities will for sure emerge for the mutually beneficial cooperation between the cities of both sides. I hope and believe that China-US sister-city relationship will achieve even greater development in the years to come.