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Consul General Hong Lei Delivers Speech on China-US Relations at University of Michigan
2017/03/26

On March 26, at the invitation of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association of the University of Michigan, Consul General Hong Lei attended the first Michigan-China Forum held at the Ross Business School and delivered a keynote speech on China's development and China-US relations. Representative of Governor Rick Snyder and Executive Director of Michigan-China Innovation Center Brian Connors, Director of Global Initiatives at the Ross School of Business Liz Muller, Education Counselor Chen Yinghui and more than 500 university teachers and students attended the forum.

Consul General Hong Lei said that in 1978, the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China made the great decision of reform and opening-up. Over the last three decades, China enjoyed fast economic growth, greatly enhanced comprehensive national strength and took a historic leap of the people’s livelihood from poverty to a generally prosperous society. China has achieved unprecedented economic and social development. In the years following the outbreak of the international financial crisis, China contributed over 30 percent to global growth every year on average, making huge contribution to global economic development. Currently, with the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, China aims to achieve medium-high rate of growth and upgrade the economy to higher end of the value chain, which will bring more opportunities to the US and other countries.

Consul General Hong Lei said that through the extensive communication and joint efforts of both sides, the China-US relationship is transitioning steadily and developing in a positive direction. Last month, President Xi Jinping and President Trump had a very important telephone conversation where they reaffirmed the importance of following the one-China principle and pledged to push China-US relations to greater height from a new starting point. The phone call has set the direction and paved the way for bilateral relations. The two sides are having fruitful communications on realizing exchanges between our Presidents and at other levels and expanding all areas of cooperation. As long as we follow through on the consensus reached between our Presidents, follow the principle of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, then there is no reason why China and the United States cannot become good partners.

Consul General Hong Lei said that the healthy and stable development of bilateral relations between China and the US is of great significance in promoting world economic growth, confronting global problems, regional conflicts and hot spot issues. To better maintain and develop China-US relations, the two countries need to rise above the difference of our political and social systems, respect each other, live together peacefully and realize common development. We also need to get rid of the zero-sum mentality that goes against the trend of China-US relations in the 21st century, pull our efforts to enlarge our shared interests and continue to have innovate thinking, tap potentials for cooperation, and further strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, science and technology, energy and infrastructure.

Consul General Hong Lei emphasized that 45 years ago, greatly supported by Professor Alexander Eckstein and other American friends at the University of Michigan, the Chinese National table-tennis Team paid a return visit to the US and had a tour in this university, which made the University of Michigan a participant and witness of the beginning of China-US friendship. Table-tennis Diplomacy opened the door of friendly exchanges between our two peoples and initiated the normalization of China-US relations. Standing at a new starting point, we are confident that China and the US will make new progress in the relationship and bring more benefits to the peoples of our two countries and beyond.

Executive Director Connors reviewed the outstanding achievements of cooperation between Michigan and China in recent years and said that Michigan enjoys rich resources in agriculture, manufacturing and tourism and has broad prospects for cooperation with China. He welcomes more Chinese companies to invest and develop in Michigan.

Director Muller said that both Univerity of Michigan and the Ross Business School are committed to creating global business talent and have conducted extensive and fruitful cooperation with Chinese universities. She hopes to see more Chinese students coming to University of Michigan.

After the speech, Consul General Hong Lei attended a panel discussion and exchanged views with other guests on China-US relations, innovation, manufacturing cooperation and youth exchanges.

After the forum, Consul General Hong Lei accepted an interview by Colledge Daily.

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