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Minister talks economy, foreign relations at GCC

By AUDREY COCKRUM | November 15, 2012

Zhang Shaogang, a Minister Counselor of the Economic and Commercial Office at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C.  spoke last night in Charles Commons as the first speaker in the Global China Connection Hopkins Chapter’s (GCC-JHU) Fall Series Forum on US-China Relations.

At the event, titled “US-China Economic Relations: History and Perspective,” Shaogang discussed the present and future states of economic and trade relations between the U.S. and China. He emphasized the growing interdependence of the two nations and the tremendous benefits that both economies have received from this relationship.

“China and the United States have never been so closely interconnected,” Shaogang said. “Over the past three decades, the two countries’ trade and economic relations have achieved dramatic progress.”

Consequently, the Chinese-American economic relationship has become one of the most dynamic and promising relationships in the world.

Just last Wednesday, the Chinese president congratulated Obama on his reelection and commented on the positive progress that China has seen over the past four years from its relations with the U.S.

The American economy, too, has greatly benefited in recent years from this relationship.

“85 percent of U.S. companies in China saw their revenues grow in 2010,” Shaogang said. “Also, forty-one percent reported higher profitability in China than their global average.”

Shaogang said he hopes to see the continued development of a Chinese-American partnership based on mutual respect and economic benefit during President Obama’s second term.

China already has been one of the fastest growing export markets for the US, and, looking ahead, Shaogang predicts that Chinese markets will become even more attractive.

“The size of Chinese import market is likely to exceed 10 trillion dollars in the next five years,” Shaogang said.

Such growth will present amazing and opportunities for both businesspeople in both countries.

In his concluding remarks, Shaogang stressed that although the two nations do not agree on everything, it is imperative to focus on common economic interests rather than political differences in order to achieve further economic advancement.

“China is certainly willing to work with the US for the future,” he said. “We hope to strive for new progress in China-US partnerships in order to bring better, greater benefits to our two people and to all the people of the world.”

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