To jointly write new stories of friendship between Chinese, American people in new era
"For any great cause to succeed, it must take root in the people, gain strength from the people, and be accomplished by the people. Growing China-U.S. friendship is such a great cause," said Chinese President Xi Jinping when delivering a speech at a welcome dinner hosted by friendly organizations in the United States on Nov. 15, local time.
At the welcome dinner, Xi met with friends from all walks of life in the United States to renew friendship, charting the course and gathering strength for advancing the cause of China-U.S. friendship.
This welcome dinner was a gathering connecting history and the future. Thirty-eight years ago, Xi, then Party chief of Zhengding county in north China's Hebei province, visited the United States for the first time. The visit started from San Francisco.
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at Welcome Dinner by Friendly Organizations in the United States, in San Francisco, the United States, Nov. 15, 2023. [Xinhua/Yao Dawei]
In his speech this time, he profoundly summarized the important role played by people in advancing the China-U.S. friendship. He stressed that China is ready to be a partner and friend of the United States, and the fundamental principles that China follows in handling China-U.S. relations are mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation.
No matter how the global landscape evolves, the historical trend of peaceful coexistence between China and the United States will not change. The ultimate wish of the two peoples for exchanges and cooperation will not change. The expectations of the whole world for a steadily growing China-U.S. relationship will not change.
Participants to the welcome dinner hailed Xi for his sincere and profound remarks, which they believe have sent a positive signal to the world that China is willing to strengthen communication and cooperation with the United States.
The foundation of China-U.S. relations was laid by the two peoples. The door of China-U.S. relations was opened by the two peoples.
During World War II, the two countries fought side by side for peace and justice. The Chinese people still remember that a group of American volunteers, known as the Flying Tigers, went to the battlefield in China. They not only engaged in direct combats fighting Japanese aggressors, but also created "The Hump" airlift to transport much-needed supplies to China. The American people, on their part, always remember the Chinese who risked their lives to save American pilots.
For 22 years, there were estrangement and antagonism between the two countries. But the trend of the times brought them together, converging interests enabled them to rise above differences, and the people’s longing broke the ice between the two countries.
In his speech, Xi mentioned a recent trip to China by Flying Tigers veterans, during which they visited the Great Wall and were warmly received by the Chinese people. He also reviewed the 1971 visit by the U.S. table tennis team to Beijing - a small ball moved the globe. To pass on the China-U.S. friendship from generation to generation is a common aspiration of friendly people in both countries.
The stories of China-U.S. relations are written by the two peoples, which promoted the development of China-U.S. ties. People-to-people relations underpin state-to-state relations.
Chinese President Xi Jinping meets and poses for a group photo with representatives of friendly personages before attending Welcome Dinner by Friendly Organizations in the United States, in San Francisco, the United States, Nov. 15, 2023. [Xinhua/Xie Huanchi]
Xi's enduring friendship with his American friends in Muscatine, Iowa is heartwarming. From first staying with them during his inaugural visit to the United States, to revisiting Muscatine years later, and to continuing to value those bonds today, his cherished ties with these old friends remain touching.
In the past few months, Xi has respectively met in Beijing with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Bill Gates, and California Governor Gavin Newsom.
He sent a congratulatory letter to the "Bond with Kuliang: 2023 China-U.S. People-to-People Friendship Forum," replied to a letter from the U.S.-China Youth and Student Exchange Association and friendly personages from all walks of life in the U.S. state of Washington, and replied to a letter from Chairman of the Sino-American Aviation Heritage Foundation and Flying Tigers veterans. He also sent a message to the fifth China-U.S. Sister Cities Conference and replied to a letter from Matias Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Hoping the friendship between the two peoples to grow better, Xi personally cares for and promotes people-to-people exchanges and subnational cooperation between the two countries. Friendly personages in the United States said that Xi has brought a new atmosphere as U.S.-China relations hit a low, and has brought the hearts of the two peoples closer.
The future of China-U.S. relations will be created by the two peoples, and the two peoples will renew the chapters of friendship in the new era.
The more difficulties there are, the greater the need for China and the United States to forge a closer bond between the two peoples and to open their hearts to each other, and more people need to speak up for the relationship. It is the convergence of many streams of goodwill and friendship that has created a strong current surging across the vast Pacific Ocean; it is the reaching out to each other by the two peoples that has time and again brought China-U.S. relations from a low ebb back onto the right track.
Xi stressed that the hope of the China-U.S. relationship lies in the people, its foundation is in their societies, its future depends on the youth, and its vitality comes from exchanges at subnational levels.
He announced that to increase exchanges between the two peoples, especially between the youth, China is ready to invite 50,000 young Americans to China on exchange and study programs in the next five years. This has been warmly welcomed by U.S. friendly organizations.
The Chinese and U.S. Presidents have reached important consensus during their meeting in San Fransisco. The two countries will roll out more measures to facilitate travels and promote people-to-people exchanges, including increasing direct passenger flights, holding a high-level dialogue on tourism, and streamlining visa application procedures. The two peoples will make more visits, contacts and exchanges and write new stories of friendship in the new era.
San Francisco has borne witness to exchanges between the Chinese and American peoples for over a century, and also to the efforts made by China and the United States to open up new prospects.
To galvanize the Chinese and American peoples into a strong force to renew China-U.S. friendship, advance China-U.S. relations, and make even greater contributions to world peace and development – this is not only a responsibility that China and the United States should fulfill as major countries, but also the common aspiration of all countries.
The views don't necessarily reflect those of Qiushi Journal.