Remarks by Ambassador Qin Gang at the Video Dialogue between the Sister Cities of China and the United States
April 27, 2022
Mr. Lin Songtian,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to join you at the video dialogue between the Sister Cities of China and the United States. Today’s dialogue in the cloud enables us to renew friendship and pursue cooperation from different time zones, which is all the more precious during the pandemic, and I believe will bring a warm breeze to the current China-US relationship.
I visited California and three Midwestern states in the past two months, and gained some firsthand understanding of China-US sister-city relations. I went to Muscatine, Iowa, which President Xi Jinping visited in 1985. I toured the Sino-US Friendship House where President Xi Jinping stayed, and met with his old friends. I can see there that the seeds of friendship sown by President Xi have taken root, sprouted, blossomed and borne fruit. I was also very much moved by the nice and sincere, friendly and hard-working American people I met during my visits, and by their friendly sentiments for the Chinese people. These have strengthened my confidence that the foundation of China-US relations lies with people-to-people ties at the grassroots level. I have also become more convinced that the driving force for a stable China-US relationship is the many people who are dedicated to promoting, defending and contributing to the friendly exchanges and practical cooperation between our two countries.
There is no denying that in the past two years, China-US sub-national exchanges have met some headwinds due to the political atmosphere in the US and the pandemic. However, we have every reason to believe that the aspiration of the Chinese and American people for peace, development, exchanges and cooperation are not to be stopped. China and the United States are major countries with respective populations of 1.4 billion and 329 million. The exchanges between the people will empower China-US relations to move forward. There are 50 pairs of sister provinces and states and 234 pairs of sister cities between our two countries. If you link each pair on the map, you will see a closely knit web of connections between the two countries. The resilience of our sister cities is the resilience of China-US relations.
I believe that it is worthwhile and correct that we pay all the hard efforts today, because people will know this is the right thing to do, and amity between the people holds the key to state-to-state relations.
A few days ago in Iowa, I visited President Xi Jinping’s old friend Ms Sarah Lande. She recalled that President Xi Jinping said to her in his own words, “Friendship is big business!”
我前几日在艾奥瓦州拜访了习近平主席的老朋友兰蒂女士，她回忆说，习近平主席当年曾亲口告诉她：“友谊是一件大事（Friendship is big business）!”
Let’s pool our efforts to accomplish this big business!
Thank you very much!