LOS ANGELES, June 5 (Xinhua) -- The 2019 China-California Business Forum opened in Los Angeles on Wednesday, with the participation of more than 500 entrepreneurs and officials from China and the U.S. state of California.
Sub-national cooperation is one of the important foundations to support China-U.S. relations. China is California's largest trading partner and contributes the biggest amount of Chinese investment, tourists and students among all the states of the United States, Chinese Consul General in Los Angeles Zhang Ping said at the opening ceremony of the forum.
"To develop further China-California cooperation, we need to further strengthen the role of the existing intergovernmental mechanisms to provide a more effective platform for business communities to engage in cooperation," Zhang suggested.
"We need to explore more opportunities to unleash the potentials for cooperation in different areas where we have respective strength and advantages," he added.
The two countries also need to promote more dialogues and mutual learning between different cultures and civilizations by encouraging more people-to-people exchanges, the diplomat said.
"We believe that with our joint efforts and unwavering commitments, we will be able to find ways to overcome the current difficulties and bring China-U.S. relations back to a normal and healthy track," Zhang said.
In a letter read at opening ceremony of the annual forum, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai said the forum "fully demonstrates the strong expectations of sub-national governments, enterprises and people of both countries on the sound development of their relations."
The ambassador noted that California has been deeply involved in close cooperation with China in fields of trade, investment, tourism, education and others, benefits from China-U.S. economic and trade relations.
Cui mentioned that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of China-U.S. diplomatic relations. Bilateral relations have developed with the dedication and contribution of generations of people and deserve to be cherished by the two sides.
"The Chinese government and people will stay committed to advancing China-U.S. relations based on coordination, cooperation and stability," Cui said in the letter.
Eleni Kounalakis, lieutenant governor of California, emphasized in her speech that keeping open lines of communication is a substantial effort to build relations between two countries.
Noting that trade and investment with China and Chinese tourists are important to the state, Kounalakis said, "There are some challenges right now in the trade relationship between the U.S. and China. Although the power to regulate trade rests with the federal government, California will continue to work to develop relationships and programs to promote trade and investment with China."
According to Kounalakis, last year California, which has six tourism offices in China, welcomed 1.6 million Chinese visitors. At this moment nine percent of the students studying the in University of California system are from China.
This year's annual forum makes China's Guangdong Province the guest province of honor. Ouyang Weimin, vice governor of Guangdong, highlighted business opportunities in the newly established Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area at the forum.
Ouyang suggested in his speech that California can join hands with Guangdong to promote innovation and development in the fields of IT, high-end equipment manufacturing, low-carbon technology, biomedical and digital economy, new materials and the marine economy.
China is California's largest trading partner and the third largest export destination for goods, according to the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles. Among the U.S. states, California has attracted the most Chinese investment and tourists and has the biggest number of international students from China.
The annual forum is a signature event within the framework of the China Provinces and U.S. California Joint Working Group on Trade and Investment Cooperation.
More than 70 companies from eight Chinese provincial regions participated in the forum, which features topics including clean energy, cross-border e-commerce, investment, manufacturing and innovation.