CGCC celebrates China-US relationship at prestigious gala

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On Thursday night in New York, business leaders and diplomats attended a gala organized by the China General Chamber of Commerce. The event awards those who’ve contributed substantially to the China-U.S. relationship. But this year Trump was the elephant in the room.

CGTN’s Karina Huber reports.

CGCC celebrates China-U.S. relationship at prestigious gala

CGCC celebrates China-U.S. relationship at prestigious gala

On Thursday night in New York, business leaders and diplomats attended a gala organized by the China General Chamber of Commerce. The event awards those who’ve contributed substantially to the China-U.S. relationship. But this year Trump was the elephant in the room. CGTN’s Karina Huber reports.

The Chinese lunar New Year is a chance for the China General Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the China-U.S. relationship.

But this year’s gala – emceed by CGTN’s Mike Walter comes at a challenging time. A new U.S. president is set to enter the White House, a president whose Twitter outbursts strike a radically different tone to China-U.S. relations than his predecessors.

Trump’s name was never mentioned, but he seemed to be top on the minds of many of the business and political leaders in attendance, including former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a vocal Trump critic.

“It is the year of the rooster. The rooster is the symbol of good luck and I think given what’s going on in the world, we’re all going to need some of that,” Michael Bloomberg said.

Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, who will chair Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, stressed the upcoming changes.

“The United States is in the midst of a period of profound political and economic transition. The question we face is how to manage that transition in a way that addresses the legitimate concerns of those in United States who feel left behind by global forces beyond their control, while maintaining a productive and peaceful relationship between our two countries,” Schwarzman said.

Trump has accused China of stealing jobs from Americans, but the latest research shows trade with China supports more than 2.5 million U.S. jobs and also indicates automation is a bigger jobs killer.

Many in attendance also highlighted the fact that the United States is now one of the top destinations for Chinese investment.

The hotel where the event took place was the Waldorf Astoria, purchased by China’s Anbang Insurance for $1.9 billion in 2014. Now it may be one of the most-high profile Chinese acquisitions in recent years, but there have been many more.

Chinese foreign direct investment into the U.S. surged over $45 billion last year. That’s triple the amount in 2015.

The U.S. real estate sector has profited tremendously as have other industries.

China’s Ambassador to the U.S. reiterated China’s commitment to work with the new administration.

“We know the road ahead will not be all smooth, but we are determined to overcome all possible difficulties and develop a stronger more stable and more productive relationship with the United States,” Cui Tiankai, China’s U.S. Ambassador, said.

Long time diplomat Henry Kissinger voiced optimism.

“I have every hope that each side will conclude as we have for the previous decades that common efforts are in the fundamental interests of our country in the United States and of China,” Kissinger said.

Throughout the evening, the message was clear that the China-U.S. relationship may be a delicate balancing act at times, but it is one that is vital to the stability of the global community.

“I will suggest people to be more careful and act in a more responsible way, when they try to talk about possible disputes in other people’s waters. Having won the friendship of one foreign country should be encouraged for wining more friendship from all countries,” Cui Tiankai said.