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Belt, Road dialogue focuses on whole of China-US relations

By Amy He in New York | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-16 07:54

Tung Chee-hwa, former chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, said that while trade and business ties between China and the United States are important, the "overall relationship should not be anchored on the economic relationship alone". He added that taking advantage of every opportunity to collaborate will move the relationship forward.

The two countries were able to come together to prevent an even bigger global financial meltdown from taking place during the 2008 financial crisis, collaborate on medical science in Africa during the Ebola crisis in 2014, and are currently working together to ensure a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, Tung said on Wednesday at the Asia Society in New York City during a high-level dialogue on the Belt and Road Initiative.

"Today, the fact is that the world is faced with many other challenges that need urgent attention," he said.

"A multilateral approach will be necessary, and the involvement of the big powers is crucial," he said.

Tung was Hong Kong's first chief executive after the transfer of sovereignty from the UK to the People's Republic of China in 1997. He served until 2005 and is currently vice-chairman of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

The Belt and Road Initiative dialogue was held at the Asia Society, jointly organized by the China Center for International Economic Exchanges and the Asia Society Policy Institute.

Cui Tiankai, Chinese ambassador to the US, said that the Belt and Road Initiative was a manifestation of China's preference for connectivity over separation.

It is open to all who want to participate and invest, and China would be open to increased participation by the US, he said. "Let's make it another joint venture between us," he said.

China and the US have economies that are so interdependent that there is no option for trade wars or zero-sum games, and healthy competition should be fostered, he said.

"There are signs of steps in the right direction," the ambassador said. "Just two months ago, President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump had their first meeting in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. It was a very successful and productive summit - maybe more successful than most people would expect. It set the tone and direction for our relations to go forward."

Regarding the 100-day plan initiated between the two sides at the meeting, Cui said that there have already been some "early harvests" and more new plans are in the pipeline.

The Belt and Road Initiative should be regarded as a new driving force in economic globalization, according to Zhao Qizheng, former minister of China's State Council Information Office.

"China is willing to share its economic power and experience with particularly underdeveloped areas and developing countries to further promote globalization," Zhao said at the Asia Society.

Hong Xiao contributed to the story.


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