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A toast to economic ties at the Waldorf

By HEZI JIANG in New York | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-01-13 16:07

Eight days before Donald Trump's inauguration, a handful of the most influential figures in US-China relations gathered at the Waldorf Astoria New York hotel on Thursday evening to celebrate the two countries' economic relationship.

Representatives from the political arena, including former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai and Tung Chee-Hwa, former chief executive of the Hong Kong SAR, along with giants from the business world, Michael Bloomberg, Blackstone's Stephen Schwarzman and Anbang Insurance's Wu Xiaohui, sat at the main table at the China General Chamber of Commerce (CGCC) 2017 Annual Gala.

Tung started his speech by addressing the controversial charge that Americans are losing jobs to China.

Tung, quoting studies, said only 20 percent of jobs lost in the United States were caused by imports, which he said also helped create jobs in logistics and retail.

Also, China is the third-largest importer of US goods after Canada and Mexico, supporting 910,000 jobs, and Tung believes China will become No. 1 in the near future.

Tung is optimistic for growing economic prosperity in the US, with President-elect Trump's policies on tax cuts, deregulation and planned massive infrastructure projects, in which the Chinese enterprises are interested in participating, he said.

As the Chinese economy transforms from one based on exports to one based on science, innovation, technology and services, and as the middle class rises, Tung encouraged the US business community to consider opportunities in tourism, entertainment, automobiles and healthcare.

"All of these create unique opportunities for American enterprises and people," said Tung, who also urged the two countries' economic trade officials to meet soon after the new administration begins.

"We must begin this journey with the right start," said Tung.

In their speeches, Cui and Kissinger stressed the global impact of the "most consequential" relationship in the world, a common theme of several speakers.

"We impact on not only each other but the entire world," said Kissinger. "We can build new world order together."

Cui was awarded the Goodwill Ambassador for China-US Exchange Award by CGCC.

He called for closer cooperation between China and the new US administration, to find common interests and to build a better global community for everybody.

Bloomberg, the billionaire financial media mogul and former New York mayor who chairs the Working Group on US RMB Trading and Clearing, was recognized for his efforts in advancing the internationalization of the Chinese currency.

Bloomberg said he will continue to push for RMB internationalization in the US, as it helps American companies to be more competitive by lowering costs.

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