Chinese ambassador encourages trade cooperation at Lunar New Year gala

Global Business

Cooperation, not confrontation, is the answer to overcoming trade tensions with the U.S. That’s what China’s ambassador said to business leaders during the China General Chamber of Commerce’s Lunar New Year gala.

CGTN’s Liling Tan reports from New York.

Children of the International Academy of New York opened the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce’s Lunar New Year gala, heralding the approaching Year of the Pig. In the audience, business leaders from China and the U.S. gathered in early celebration. However, the chorus of cheer and humorous banter did little to mask the mood of uncertainty stemming from the U.S.-China trade standoff.

“History has told us for China and the United States, cooperation would benefit both countries, confrontation would hurt both. Therefore, cooperation is the only right option for us,” said China’s Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai.

“China remains committed to expanding our cooperation with the United States on the basis of mutual benefits, managing our differences on the basis of mutual respect, and developing a relationship with the United States based on closer coordination, cooperation and a greater stability.”

So far, the trade war has seen the U.S. impose tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods. That doesn’t even factor in China retaliating on $110 billion worth of U.S. products. Now bilateral talks are underway to resolve the dispute.

Some of the most influential people in the China-U.S. cooperation space were under the same roof during the event. There was also one common refrain: that the economies of China and the U.S. are so interconnected and interlinked, that relations must improve for both nations to prosper in the Year of the Pig and beyond.

“The two countries’ economic structure is quite complementary and supplementary, and also China now still has the biggest population in the world and is also one of the largest consumption markets as well,” said Xu Chen, Chairman of the China General Chamber of Commerce. “So to American products, I think it’s a huge potential market, and we are all waiting to see the negotiation results of the two countries’ delegations.”

“Here tonight with the Greater China Chamber of Commerce event, the spirit here is doing business together, U.S. business, Chinese businesses finding ways to work together for our common interests,” echoed Jim Reynolds, Chairman & CEO of Loop Capital. “Just with the turnout tonight and the excitement tonight, I think we all have reason to be optimistic.”

The event also recognized business leaders who have made huge strides in Sino-U.S. partnerships, celebrating successes of the past and pinning hopes on the future.