China-US Think Tank Symposium hopes to improve relations between countries

World Today

The Chinese delegation to the China-U.S. Think Tank Symposium is being led by Zhao Qizheng, a former minister with the Chinese State Council Information Office.

In his opening remarks, Zhao quoted Chinese President Xi Jinping, noting that there are a thousand reasons to improve trade, but no one reason to harm it.

CGTN’S Roee Ruttenberg reports in Des Moines, Iowa

Think Tank is a part of a larger diplomatic strategy that includes not just government-level diplomacy, but public diplomacy, people-to-people exchanges and academics.

The context being concern, by some, that protectionist language coming from Washington may jeopardize bilateral trade between the world’s two largest economies.

It now stands at more than $500 billion. The Trump administration points out that trade dis-proportionally favors China, and the White House wants to see more American exports going to china to balance it out.

The symposium is part of a 100 Day Plan to talk trade. It’s the first meeting being held in Iowa and the first time many in the Chinese delegation have visited the U.S. state, known for its agricultural exports and for once hosting Xi Jinping in his earlier years.

Iowa is one of the mid-Western U.S. states now rolling out special measures to attract Chinese investment. It’s also a politically important state in the U.S. to hold a presidential primary every four years, which means Iowans largely influence who’s in the White House.

The former U.S. Ambassador to China, Stapleton Roy, said talk is good and important. But he warned that behavioral patterns are currently not consistent with the rhetoric, and, he said, there could be consequences.

Meanwhile, Hong Lei, the Chinese Consul General in the region, said the relationship with the U.S. is too important. He added that meetings like these are vital for the exchanges ideas.

Iowa marks an important moment for China-US trade

As CGTN’s Owen Fairclough reports, it’s an important moment for how these two powers do business with each other.

Chinese President Xi Jinping stayed in an Iowan house briefly while he studied agriculture in Iowa in the mid-1980s.

The Sino-U.S. Friendship House in Muscatine is fast becoming a must-see, if perhaps unlikely destination, for the latest delegation of Chinese officials keen to retrace their President’s footsteps.

China continues to study U.S. large scale agricultural methods for growing the crops to help fuel the growing appetites of the millions of people lifted out of poverty

China isn’t just studying these crop, but buying them – and the machinery that produces them – in unprecedented quantities. And that’s driving explosive export growth in U.S. states like Iowa.

This kind of farm is considered such a good model, it’s being replicated in China.

China has something like 20 percent of the world’s population but only 9 percent of the world’s arable land.

This latest Chinese delegation visits as President Xi and U.S. counterpart Donald Trump work toward fulfilling a 100 day deadline for lifting barriers that impede trade.

The U.S. wants to boost exports to China to reduce a huge trade deficit – and for these farmers, that means making hay while the sun shines.

Iowa gathering part of 100-Day Plan to discuss trade in US-China symposium

Improving trade relations and economic cooperation between the world’s two-largest economies country. That’s the goal of the China-U.S. Think Tank Symposium this week.

CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg reports.