Government officials, diplomats and business representatives gather in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the United States, on July 19, addressing concerns on the recent trade frictions between the United States and China and the importance of promoting trade relations. (Xinhua/Liu Liwei)
SANTA FE, the United States, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Government officials, diplomats and business representatives met at a forum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Thursday, addressing concerns on the recent trade frictions between the United States and China.
The International Cooperation Day Forum, jointly sponsored by China General Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. National Governors Association (NGA), focused on U.S.-China economic ties, growth, strategies and investment cooperation to build a platform for better mutual understanding.
The Chinese Consul General in Los Angeles, Zhang Ping, said the trade frictions are causing a negative impact on the normal trade dealings between the two countries.
"Trade war brings mutual destructions and is in nobody's interest," he said, adding that after nearly four decades of development, China-U.S. relations have made great progress where the two country's interests are closely connected and intertwined.
In order to promote the relations, China and the United States should enhance communication not only between business communities and local governments, but also between Chinese provinces and U.S. states, Zhang said.
His remarks were echoed by the governors of Colorado and Utah.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper told Xinhua his state highly values the good relationship built between the two countries, expressing the hope for subnational cooperation to help maintain it.
"Almost all the governors are trying to work very hard to make sure we maintain our good economic relationships with our trading partners in China. We are very focused on maintaining momentum," he said.
When "your national government isn't successful in a relationship, [the] subnational can maintain relationships in a constructive way," the governor said. "We can go a long way in terms of continuing building relationships we have with individual trading partners in each ... state. I think that's very important."
With 1150 languages spoken in Utah, its Governor Gary Herbert takes communication very seriously. He said "the final three feet" is vital to build real trust and understanding.
"China is halfway around the world from Utah," he said. "The final three feet is where you can sit and talk to each other eye to eye."
The governor, an advocate for free and fair trade, said the United States should not isolate itself from the rest of the world.
"I believe in international trade and international business. I believe the marketplace is global in nature... We need, in fact, to work together and find ways to have international exchange," he said.
Chinese business representatives shared their views on the recent U.S. tariff hikes and expressed support for closer U.S.-China collaboration and communication at the subnational level.
The forum was part of the NGA Summer Meeting held from July 19 to 21. Over 20 U.S. governors attended the event and all 150 U.S. states sent representatives. Delegations from China, Canada, Kenya, Japan and Mexico also participated.