On Wednesday, the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. hosted a reception celebrating China National Day. The event was a festive one, marking the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Several U.S. lawmakers were among the attendees, as well as Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump, the son-in-law and daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump. The couple are close advisers to the President.
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China’s Vice Premier Liu Yandong also attended the event. Vice Premier Liu is in Washington for the China-U.S. Social and Cultural Dialogue, one of four dialogues agreed to by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump when the two met at Mar-a-Lago, Florida in April.
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Vice Premier Liu spoke for about 10 minutes, with consecutive translation. Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump listened to her speech, alongside the Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai.
Vice Premier Liu talked about the great lengths China has taken to improve the lives of its nearly 1.4 billion people, as well as the contributions it’s made to the development of China and indeed the development of the world.
But she said there’s still much that needs to be done. “Looking forward,” Liu said, “we will remain committed to our path of development suited to China’s national conditions. We will keep to socialism with Chinese characteristics and forge ahead, and take the cause of socialism with Chinese features constantly forward from a new starting point.”
Vice Premiere Liu also stressed the importance of cooperating with the United States, as well as the importance of people-to-people exchanges. She delivered her comments before a very large, diverse and indeed international crowd, the type of audience where this message would resonate very distinctly.
These are people who already support greater exchanges between China and the U.S. as a way to improve relations between the two Pacific powers. Liu noted that some 5 million mutual visits between the two countries happen each year, or 14,000 visits every day. She said it is important that those continue.
On Thursday, Vice Premiere Liu will take part in the formal dialogue, alongside U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. She finished by saying she’s greatly looking forward to those discussions.