Opinion / Editorials

Talking heart to heart across Pacific Ocean

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-09-23 07:43

Talking heart to heart across Pacific Ocean

President Xi Jinping, left, and his US counterpart Barack Obama walk at the Annenberg Retreat of the Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage, California, June 2013. [Photo/Xinhua]

A promotion video released two days before President Xi Jinping's first state visit to the United States has become popular because it lends a touch of compassion to the interactions between ordinary people of the two countries.

The less than 7-minute video, titled When China met Carolina, tells the story of two Chinese companies that have invested in South Carolina, created local jobs and worked with the local people for a better future. Using a soft approach and a narrative style, the video helps drive home the message that the ever-deepening exchanges between our peoples form the basis of bilateral ties.

Xi fully understands the importance of people-to-people exchanges between China and the US. In fact, he has set an example on the personal level in this regard during his previous visits to the US, even before he became China's top leader.

Xi has maintained a friendship that spans some three decades with residents and officials of Muscatine, a small quiet city in Iowa, through his visits in 1985 and 2012. Muscatine has become a shining example of Sino-US friendship.

During his ongoing visit, Xi will interact with ordinary American people despite his tight official schedule. State visits are generally known for their political agreements and business deals. But it is the touching moments leaders spend with ordinary people that make the difference.

Unlike the insipid diplomatic parlance and occasional exchange of harsh remarks between officials from both sides, tales of people-to-people exchanges can melt the hardest of hearts and reflect the soft side of the world's two largest economies that also share the most important bilateral relationship.

China and the US are also bonded by 43 pairs of sister provinces and states. Last year, 4.3 million trips were made between the two, with 17,000 people covering the distance per day.

The world has never seen people-to-people exchanges of this magnitude. This shows the ever-growing convergence of interests between our two countries. It is only natural that the two sides continue building on this momentum.

Xi used to say: "Once the door for local cooperation is open, no force can shut it down. Instead, the door can only open wider and wider." We believe his visit to the US will usher in a more harmonious atmosphere for our countries, an atmosphere in which people on both sides can work together to realize their national dreams: the Chinese Dream and the American Dream.

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