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(CIIE) Interview: Larger-Than-Ever U.S. Presence at CIIE Shows Interest in Stable, Productive Ties With China, Says U.S. Ambassador

The participation of U.S. official delegation and businesses in the recent China International Import Expo (CIIE) shows America’s “interest in a more stable and productive relationship with China,” U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns has said.

The larger-than-ever U.S. presence in the expo since its inception in 2018 brought more than 200 U.S. businesses and exhibitors, of which 17 exhibitors, led by the U.S. government for the first time, co-established the U.S. Food and Agriculture pavilion at the expo.

“We felt it was very important for the United States to be present in Shanghai for economic reasons and reasons to do with our wish to have a productive relationship with the PRC (the People’s Republic of China),” Burns told Xinhua in a joint interview during the CIIE.

“We have the largest number of businesses and exhibitors this year. That’s more than any other country,” he said, reaffirming “the commitment of the United States to this relationship.”

Describing two-way trade as “expanding in very important areas across the board of our economy,” Burns said that China is now the third largest trade partner of the United States.

“Our economic and trade relationship is important with China,” he said, adding that two-way trade in 2022 hit a record high since the 1970s.

“I would say that the outlook has been actually (great), the curve is up and the trade is expanding,” he continued. “I think it also serves the diplomatic and political interests of the United States.”

Instead of seeking to “de-couple the economic relationship between the two countries,” the ambassador said, “We seek to move forward the two-way trade between the United States and China.”

He opined that the United States needs “stability in the relationship between Beijing and Washington,” adding that the two sides began to achieve that over the last six months.

On the recent series of high-profile meetings between the two sides, he said they “helped us stabilize U.S.-China relationship,” and those visits will continue.

“We’ve just had a visit by six mayors from cities across the Mississippi River, meeting with their fellow mayors from the Yangtze River Delta. We’ve had the Governor of California Gavin Newsom (in China), and here we’ve had our first congressional delegation (since 2019),” Burns noted.

“Of course, we have many issues where we disagree with each other. Those issues remain and they’re important,” he said. “But we do have an ability to communicate better at the highest levels and we’re pleased about that.” 

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