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Consul General Hong Lei Addressed Illinois General Assembly
2018/05/30

On May 29, 2018, at the invitation of the Illinois General Assembly, Consul General Hong Lei visited and addressed the Illinois Senate and the Illinois House of Representatives in Springfield, the capital of Illinois. Joined by Senate President John Cullerton, House Majority Leader Barbara Currie, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, state representatives and state senators attended the event.

Consul General Hong Lei addresses the Senate hosted by Senate President John Cullerton

In his speech, Consul General Hong Lei stated that the China-Illinois partnership has made new and important development since the new century with bilateral trade, investment and people-to-people exchanges all achieving historic new highs. These achievements owe to the concerted efforts by both China and Illinois including state legislators. The fruit of the cooperation between China and Illinois are stellar examples of the great potentials and the huge common interests between China and the US, highlight the possibility and significance of strengthening coordination and cooperation between the two countries.

Consul General Hong Lei stated that during the past 39 years since China and the U.S. established diplomatic relations, thanks to the joined efforts by China’s successive leaderships and US governments led by Democrats and Republicans, as well as the support from legislative bodies of the two countries, China-U.S. relationship has made historic progress and grown into the most important bilateral relationship in the world. The common interests of China and the United States far outweigh their differences. Cooperation between the two nations is indispensable to global stability and prosperity. It is also in line with the common expectations of the people of China and the people of the United States as well as the expectation of the international community.

Consul General Hong Lei addresses the House of Representatives hosted by House Majority Leader Barbara Currie

Consul General Hong Lei stated that, currently, China-US relations have reached a critical moment. The two countries should draw on the historical experience of bilateral relationship, stay committed to the right choice of forging strategic partnership instead of rivalry, stay committed to the strategic direction of enhancing mutual trust instead of suspicion. The two countries must follow the path of mutual respect, stay committed to the path of increasing common interests through cooperation, and ensure a sustain, sound and continuous development of bilateral ties.

Consul General Hong Lei said that since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, particularly since the reform and opening-up, China has gone through an extraordinary journey. In the past 30 years, China has developed itself into the second largest economy in the world and lifted over 700 million Chinese people living under the UN standard out of poverty, equivalent to over 70% of the poverty alleviation population in the whole world. The 1.3 billion Chinese people have risen above material scarcity, lived a moderately prosperous life. However, China is still the largest developing country in the world, development remains the primary task of China, and we will continuously commit ourselves to improving people’s livelihood and realizing common prosperity. China’s door of opening-up will not be closed and will only open even wider. Looking ahead, China will significantly broaden market access, create a more attractive investment environment, increase intellectual property rights protection, take the initiative to increase import, and encourage credible and competitive Chinese companies to invest overseas in an orderly manner. China’s development will provide countries around the world with an even larger market, more investment, more diverse products and more valuable cooperation opportunities.

Meeing with Senate President Cullerton

Before and after the speech, Consul General Hong Lei met with Senate President John Cullerton, House Majority Leader Barbara Currie, and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin. He gave the legislators an overview of the China-US relations, especially the cooperation and exchanges between China and the state of Illinois. Consul General Hong Lei praised the legislators for their long-standing attention and support to the development of China-Illinois relations. He stressed that China is willing to work with members of the Illinois state legislature to enhance the mutual understanding between the people of China and the United States and to promote the exchange and cooperation between China and Illinois.

Meeting with House Majority Leader Barbara Currie (Middle) and other state legislators

Senate President John Cullerton and other leaders of the Illinois state legislature said that China’s development achievements are admirable, and that China plays an important role in North Korean nuclear Issue and other global and regional affairs. The United States and China need to strengthen cooperation, increase communication and dialogue, and provide more benefits to both peoples.

Meeting with House Minority Leader Jim Durkin

On the same day, Consul General Hong Lei also met with Mayor of Springfield James Langfelder in the State Assembly Building. They had a cordial discussion on developing friendly exchanges on economic and trade cooperation, as well as people-to-people exchanges between Chinese Cities and Springfield.

Meeting with Mayor of Springfield James Langfelder (Middle)

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