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Remarks by Consul Generel Hong Lei At Governor's West Michigan China Reception

Honorable Governor Snyder,

Honorable Mr Ouyang Weimin, Vice Governor of Guangdong Province,

Honorable Mr Brian Connors, Director of Michigan-China Innovation Center

Honorable Mr Birgit Klohs, President of The Right Place,Inc

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening.

I’m glad to attend Governor Snyder’s West Michigan China Reception tonight. First, I’d like to take this opportunity to express my warm congratulations to the successful conclusion of Michigan China Week and once again express my sincere thanks to Governor Snyder, the Michigan State Government and Michigan-China Innovation Center for your hospitality and dedication.

Thanks to the thoughtful preparation and organization by the Michigan team, the China Week was well-designed in schedule and rich in content, and achieved the goal of enhancing mutual understanding, consolidating friendship, strengthening exchanges and promoting cooperation between Michigan and China. This is a pep rally to strengthen sub-national cooperation between China and the U.S.. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Commerce Minister Zhong Shan and Governor Ma Xingrui of Guangdong Province sent congratulatory letters to Michigan China Week, speaking highly of the achievements in the development of relations between China and Michigan. Governors Snyder and Vice Governor Ouyang Weimin of Guangdong Province delivered remarks and expressed sincere willingness to deepen exchanges and cooperation between Chinese provinces and Michigan. I believed these cheerful encouragements and expectations will be transformed into an inexhaustible driving force for more friendly cooperation between the two sides and bring the province/state relations into the next “shining eight years”.

This is a get-together of elites from Chinese provinces and Michigan. Government and business leaders from six Chinese provinces and representatives of Michigan state government as well as business and academic communities gathered here to build a cooperation platform, discuss cooperation plans, and share cooperation opportunities, laying a solid foundation for further exchanges and cooperation.

This is a great promotion for relevant industries in Chinese provinces and Michigan. The delegations visited a wide range of companies and institutions such as Quicken Loans, American Center for Mobility and University of Michigan and the Chinese provinces introduced their respective characteristics at Michigan China Business Summit, which helped both sides get a better picture of each other’s industrial strengths and foster new growth points in the partnership between Chinese provinces and Michigan.

Sub-national cooperation plays an important role in the development of China-U.S. relations. Country-to-country relations ultimately rely on the support of the people and serve the people. Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the U.S. Over the years, our bilateral relationship has achieved great strides thanks to the support of local governments and their people. Going forward, it will continue to draw strength from the people and deliver benefits to the people. Tonight, as we approach the conclusion of Michigan China Week, we are also embracing a new beginning in exchanges and cooperation between Chinese provinces and Michigan. Currently, China-U.S. relations have maintained a steady growth, with deepening practical cooperation in all areas. Under this background, cooperation between China and Michigan will no doubt enjoy broader prospects. I sincerely hope that both the Chinese provinces and Michigan can take Michigan China Week as an opportunity and continue to move forward sub-national cooperation between our two countries.

First, we need to seize the tremendous business opportunities created by the immense size of the Chinese economy. China has grown into the world’s second largest economy, the largest industrial producer, the largest trader of goods, and the holder of the largest foreign exchange reserves. Over the past 40 years, China’s GDP has averaged an annual growth rate of around 9.5% in comparable prices and its foreign trade has registered an annual growth of 14.5% in US dollar. The six provinces participating in Michigan China Week have a total population of over 370 million, larger than the entire population of the U.S.. During their process of pursuing a new type of industrialization, IT application, urbanization and agricultural modernization and implementing a strategy of innovation-driven development, there will be enormous demands from the Chinese side for quality products, technologies and services from abroad. We welcome Michigan to fully utilize the platform built by Michigan China Week and advance cooperation with the six Chinese provinces to achieve win-win results.

Second, we need to take advantage of favorable policies and reforms introduced by the two countries. China have established pilot free trade zones in multiple provinces with the aim of complying with international trade and economic standards and comprehensively deepening reform and opening-up. This November, we will hold the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai. It is a major policy initiative and commitment taken of our own accord to open up the Chinese market. Friends from Michigan and the U.S. Midwest are welcome to participate in the Expo. China is also advancing the Belt and Road Initiative at a faster pace to build platforms for different parts of China to expand their external cooperation. More than 80 countries and international organizations have signed cooperation agreements with China and many U.S. companies have participated in the initiative. We do hope to see more Michigan companies getting involved in the the Belt and Road initiative. Under the leadership of Governor Snyder, Michigan has rolled out a series of policies and measures to increase export and attract foreign investment. I believe these policies will attract more Chinese companies to establish their presence here in Michigan.

Third, we need to unlock more local potentials for complementary cooperation. The key to successful cooperation is to leverage our respective strengths. Many areas in China and the U.S. boast unique local strengths that are highly complementary. We need to make full use of these strengths in our cooperation. Michigan is an important agricultural state and manufacture base in the U.S.. The past few days of visits have enabled us to better understand the advantages of Michigan in autonomous vehicles, medical devices, food processing and other fields. For the six Chinese provinces participating in Michigan China Week, each has its own strength, too. The two sides can not only cooperate in the above-mentioned areas but can also jointly explore third-party markets globally. And as we increase communication and dialogue, new areas of cooperation will continue to emerge.

The recent years have witnessed growing cooperation between Chinese provinces and Michigan in extensive areas, which has yielded many concrete results and brought tangible benefits to both peoples. As a Chinese saying goes, “A mountain is formed by accumulation of earth and an ocean is formed by accumulation of water.” In the new era of the development of China-U.S. relations, let us continue to demonstrate such hard work and perseverance, move forward in solid steps, and work together to make more progress in building the relations between Chinese provinces and Michigan and create an even brighter future for China-U.S. sub-national cooperation.

Thank you.

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