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Chinese Consulate General in Chicago Held National Day Reception
2018/09/20

On September 20th, 2018, the Consulate General held a reception at the Hyatt Regency Chicago to celebrate the 69th anniversary of the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and Mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel sent congratulatory letters, and Illinois State Representative Camille Y. Lilly, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas, distinguished guests from the spheres of politics, business, and education in the consular region, Consuls General and representatives from various Consulates General in Chicago, overseas Chinese, international students, representatives from Chinese enterprises, and relevant department heads and local government officials from Guangdong currently participating in the Mayors’ Training Program on Urban Sustainability were among the 500 and so people in attendance at the reception. The reception was hosted by Deputy Consul General Yu Peng.

In his speech, Acting Consul General Liu Jun said that this year marks the 40th anniversary of China's Reform and Opening-up. 40 years ago, when China implemented the policy of Reform and Opening-up, the relations between China and the rest of the world entered a whole new stage. Over the past 40 years, Reform and Opening-up have rejuvenated China's vitality. Through the process of Reform and Opening-up, China has found a path suitable for its own development. Through the process of Reform and Opening-up, China has achieved rapid economic and social development, better responded to the challenges of globalization, learned to swim in the countercurrent, and continuously strengthened its protection of intellectual property rights.

Acting Consul General Liu Jun continued that in just three months, we will usher in the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. Despite the struggles along the way, relations between China and the US have made historic progress and brought great benefits to the people of both nations. Ours has now become the most important bilateral relationship in the world. For some time, China-US trade friction has caused widespread concern. We believe, as we always have, that trade cooperation between China and the US is complementary and mutually beneficial. The US government's adoption of unilateral trade and protectionist measures not only violates WTO rules, but also harms the interests of Chinese and American companies and consumers, and undermines global value and industrial chains. It is thus inevitable that China takes necessary counter-measures. Dialogue based on equality, integrity, and pragmatism is the only correct way to solve this problem. Yesterday, at the third annual gala of the CGCC Chicago Chapter, nearly everyone in attendance agreed that China-US trade relations should be rooted in mutual benefits. Ultimately, despite any perceived gains, a trade war will only bring harm, and there will be no hope left for resolution.

Acting Consul General Liu Jun said that although China-US trade relations have recently traveled a bumpy road, the fundamentals of cooperation and exchange between our two nations have not changed. Take the states that the Consulate General covers as an example. Since the beginning of this year, local exchanges and cooperation have not lost momentum. Leaders from Shaanxi, Hunan, Hebei, Zhejiang and other provinces have visited the Midwest with their delegations. On the US side, Governor Snyder of Michigan is currently making his 8th trip to China since he took office. Mayor Emanuel of Chicago also made a successful visit to China in early July. Several other governors said they would lead a delegation to visit China after midterm elections. For many years, China has been among the top three trading partners and has established itself as an important investment source in the Midwestern states. According to the statistics of Rhodium Group, in the past 17 years, Chinese companies have invested 18 billion US dollars in the Midwest and created more than 47,000 jobs. 80,000 Chinese students are studying in major universities in the region, and an increasing amount of American students are studying in China. During the Spring Festival this year, high-level cultural performance groups from China came to the Midwest for the second consecutive year to conduct a "Happy Chinese New Year" tour. Four NBA teams, including the Chicago Bulls, also held "Happy Chinese New Year" celebrations with more than 100,000 people in attendance. In addition, we co-hosted the first Year of China with Minnesota and the first China Week with Michigan.

Governor Rauner wrote a letter congratulating the People's Republic of China on the 69th anniversary of its establishment, saying that he and the government of Illinois attach great importance to developing relations with China. At present, more than 400 Illinois companies invest in China, and more than 60 Chinese companies invest in Illinois. Additionally, many Chinese students study in Illinois universities. Last week, Illinois signed a MOU with Hunan Province to establish friendly province-state relations. The state will continue to expand and deepen cooperation with China in trade, investment, education and other fields.

Mayor Emmanuel wrote a letter saying that he is committed to making Chicago the most China-friendly city in the US. The gateway agreement signed between Chicago and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and eight Chinese cities has doubled China’s investment in Chicago. Wanxiang, CRRC, and other companies have created jobs and promoted economic development in Chicago. In July of this year, he made a successful visit to China and renewed the gateway agreement with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce in the hopes of bringing more Chinese investment to Chicago. Many outstanding Chinese students are studying in Chicago's universities. He hopes ever more students will choose Chicago.

Illinois State Representative Lilly, Director of the Greater Chicago Area Overseas Chinese Association Zheng Zheng, Bank of China-Chicago Branch President Xu Kefei, and US-China Trade National Committee Treasurer Keith E. Williams also delivered speeches, praising the economic and social development of China's Reform and Opening-up over the past 40 years, as well as the successful exchanges and cooperation between China and the Midwest in recent years. They expressed their willingness to work hard to further strengthen the friendly cooperation between the Midwest and China.

Acting Consul General Liu Jun, Deputy Consul General Yu Peng, and those who delivered speeches joined on stage to make a toast to the prosperity of China and the United States, to everlasting China-US friendship and cooperation, and to wish all guests good health.

At the reception, Bao Min, a singer from Dong Fang Performing Arts, and American singer Marisa Buchheit, sang the national anthems of China and the United States respectively. Wu Xiaoping from Chicago Chinese Performing Arts, along with Bao Min, He Ying, Shen Xiaoli, Zhang Xueping, and Guan Menghua from Dongfang Performing Arts also graced the audience with wonderful solo, quartet and guzheng performances.

Before the reception began, a “40th Anniversary of China's Reform and Opening-up” themed picture exhibition was held at the entrance of the hall, attracting a large number of visitors to stop and watch.

A China-themed video and a picture exhibition recounting the experiences of China-Midwest interaction in various fields were played at the reception. In summary, the reception was warm and festive, and the guests took many group photos to serve as life-long memories of a beautiful time spent together.

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