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Chinese ambassador calls for strengthening China-US agricultural ties

By YIFAN XU in Washington | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-04-24 09:06

China's ambassador to the US Qin Gang and ambassador Kenneth Quinn, honorary chairman of the World Food Prize Foundation, had an in-depth conversation on Thursday. [Photo/china-embassy.org]

Around 500 people attended the forum held both offline and online, including Shi Qingshan, the vice-governor of Hebei province; ambassador Kenneth Quinn, honorary chairman of the World Food Prize Foundation; Terry Branstad, former US ambassador to China; Nicholas Burns, current US ambassador to China; and officials from the agricultural departments of both countries and relevant agricultural associations and enterprises. Terry Branstad; Paul Fribourg, the chairman and CEO of ContiGroup Companies; Erik Fywald, CEO of Swiss agricultural giant Syngenta; Ryan LeGrand, president and CEO of the US Grains Council; Jim Sutter, CEO of the US Soybean Export Council; they all expressed their expectation on US-China friendship and cooperation, calling for more bilateral exchanges and deeper mutual trust. Others in attendance also celebrated the shared willingness to see more agricultural cooperation continue to move forward and overall relations between the two countries return to a positive and productive track.

During the forum, the Iowa Corn Growers Association announced a major import order for US corn from China. The China Agricultural Association for International Exchange and the Heartland China Association signed a memorandum of agricultural cooperation that sparked an enthusiastic response from the audience.

Earlier the same day, Quinn guided the Chinese ambassador around the World Food Prize Foundation building, explaining the Chinese elements and historical origins of the building, including the "soybean", one of the four major crops of humankind, written in Chinese characters on the lobby pillars, and the "Da Yu" engraved on the roof; Da Yu, a Chinese historical figure, has contributed to human agriculture. There was also the plaque of professor Yuan, and the golden plaque commemorating President Xi Jinping's speech here in 2012. Quinn also highlighted one of the most famous paintings in the gallery, "Two Interesting Stories: President Xi Jinping and His Farther Xi Zhongxun" based on Quinn's own memorable experiences hosting Xi and his father's visits to Iowa in 2012 and 1980, respectively.

After the visit, Qin and Quinn had an in-depth conversation on Iowa's friendship with China, the development of the US-China relationship over the past 40 years, and economic and trade and people-to-people exchanges between Iowa and Hebei.

Qin appreciated Quinn's contribution to promoting US-China friendship, cooperation, and world food security. Qin said that Iowa is unique in US-China relations, and the friendly provincial-state relationship between Hebei and Iowa is a pioneer and model. Qin stressed that the US and Iowa agricultural exports to China had grown rapidly in recent years. The two sides have great potential to complement each other in agricultural cooperation, improve production efficiency and protect the global environment, to benefit both countries and the world's people.

Qin noted that as two major countries, China and the US have the responsibility to work together to address the challenges of global food security as a result of regional conflicts and climate change, bringing more certainty and security to the world.

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