China-U.S. Governors Forum effective way to address common challenges: Chinese envoy

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- A newly established forum to promote dialogues between Chinese provincial leaders and U.S. governors will serve as an effective way for both countries to jointly address common challenges, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Zhang Yesui said Saturday.

Addressing a roomful of U.S. governors as well as federal and state officials at a reception at the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., Zhang congratulated the establishment of the China-U.S. Governors Forum, a new mechanism to promote sub-national exchanges and cooperation between the two countries.

"Governors of both countries face many similar challenges in economic development, job creation, energy and protection of the environment," said the ambassador. "This is important that the China-U.S. Governors Forum can be used as an effective forum to meet, discuss and explore ways to jointly address these common challenges."

"The importance of sub-national cooperation cannot be overemphasized," he added.

On the opening day of the U.S. National Governors Association (NGA) Winter Meeting in Washington, China and the U.S. Saturday signed an agreement to formally establish the new forum, which is one of the most important achievements of Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit to the United States last month.

During President Hu's visit, the two governments signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the creation of this forum in a bid to promote practical cooperation at provincial level in areas such as trade, investment, energy, environment and culture.

"The relationship between China and the United States is one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world. The interest of China and the United States has never been so closely interconnected," said Zhang.

Chris Gregoire, NGA chair and Washington governor, said at the reception that the forum will serve as a platform "for us to promote peer-to-peer exchanges on topics of mutual interest, for us to explore opportunities to promote practical cooperation and friendship."

Robert Hormats, Under Secretary of U.S. State Department, called the forum "a new development and encouraging one."

"I think there is enormous range of new opportunities from investment to trade, to education," he said, adding that the United States welcomes investment from China.


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