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San Francisco raises China's national flag

By CHANG JUN in San Francisco | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-10-02 09:57

Liston Hulse, a protocol officer at the San Francisco mayor's office, spent her whole morning on Friday arranging deco, flowers, souvenirs and four platters of sugar cookies in two designs - one crimson in the shape of China's National Flag and the other inlaid with bald eagles and spelling of San Francisco.

She was doing this to create a festive vibe for a ceremony in the city hall, to raise China's national flag in celebration of the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Joining the teamwork, Chinese diplomats stationed in San Francisco located local vendors to have authentic Chinese finger food - shaomai, spring rolls, steamed dumplings and golden shrimps - ready for the event.

Zhang Jianmin, China's consul general in San Francisco, raised the flag with Meron Foster, senior protocol officer at the San Francisco Mayor's Office of Protocol. Zhang expressed his gratitude for San Francisco's "very genuine gesture of friendship" toward China, as he spoke to an audience of US elected officials, representatives from local business, trade and communities.

Echoing Foster's acknowledgement of tremendous contributions the Chinese immigrants have made to San Francisco, Zhang said the city "always is a very special place, and has a very important role to play in China-US relationship."

Chinese immigrants first arrived in San Francisco around the 1840s, settled down and worked in railroad construction, mining, laundry, fishery and agriculture. They constructed the oldest and the most established Chinatown, mimicking everything from herbal shop, bakery, eatery to temples to replicate their Chinese hometowns to the maximum extent possible.

Considered a metropolitan with the "most vibrant" Chinese community, San Francisco in 1979 established the sister-city relationship with Shanghai. "It has been 43 years of friendship and great cooperation," said Foster.

"The question now is what comes next?"asked Zhang, citing the current difficulties hindering the China-US relationship. "It's fair to say that China has made an extraordinary journey. This is the result of the able leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and government, hard work of the Chinese people, and also the cooperation and support from the international communities, including the United States."

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of President Nixon's historic ice-breaking trip to China, said Zhang, adding a good and stable China-US relationship not only benefits the two peoples in China and the US, but the entire world.

During a July phone conversation with US President Joe Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the international community and the people around the world expect China and the US to take the lead in upholding world peace and security and in promoting global development and prosperity. This is the responsibility of China and the US as two major countries.

Xi also underscored that to approach and define China-US relations in terms of strategic competition and view China as the primary rival and the most serious long-term challenge would be misperceiving China-US relations and misreading China's development, and would mislead the people of the two countries and the global community.

"Our two countries need to have mutual respect, peaceful co-existence and win-win cooperation. We think this is the right way for our two great nations, two great countries to get along with each other," said Zhang.

"So we very much enjoy the good relationship we have with San Francisco. More importantly, it's a day to express our commitment to work even harder to get over the current difficulties, to improve and further grow the important relationship," said Zhang.

In the days to come, Zhang hopes exchanges and cooperation between China and San Francisco in all areas "will continue to flourish, bring more fruits, and to more benefit peoples of our two countries."

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