Our countries increasingly are bound together by the exchange of financial capital, education, information, culture, tourism and scientific research.
WASHINGTON state is ready to welcome China’s President Xi Jinping Tuesday when he makes Seattle the first stop in his visit to the United States.
The visit has deep historical significance, as four consecutive Chinese heads of state will have recognized the key role we play in building productive ties with China.
Robust trade across the Pacific supports much of our economy and jobs, from aerospace engineers to cherry growers, providing China’s market with the best products in the world.
The value of two-way trade between China and Puget Sound ports, which represent the third-largest container gateway in North America, totaled $33 billion last year. Washington state surpassed California to become the largest state exporter to China.
But while trade has been the bedrock of our ties, a broad array of partnerships and exchanges has flourished to connect us in common cause for global health, international education and environmental sustainability. With our deep cultural ties and close connections between so many different people, it is remarkable just how integrated Washington state and China have become.
In Washington state, American and Chinese partners are working together to solve problems that impact the world.
We will be proud to show President Xi our commitment to building a new campus where the best minds from the U.S. and China can learn together.
The University of Washington and Beijing’s Tsinghua University, backed by Microsoft, will blaze a new trail in education with the Global Innovation Exchange, the first Chinese research institution to establish a U.S. presence. At their new campus in Bellevue, students and faculty from both universities will strive to create cutting-edge solutions to complex global problems.
We will be excited to tell Madame Peng Liyuan, China’s first lady and an ambassador for the World Health Organization, about a decadelong partnership between Seattle health nonprofit PATH and China National Biotec Group in Chengdu. The partnership, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has led to a more affordable vaccine for Japanese encephalitis that can reach more than 100 million children in poor countries.
Washington state is leading an effort to forge a groundbreaking agreement between U.S. states and Chinese provinces to lower carbon emissions and develop our cities more efficiently and sustainably.
Our two peoples are increasingly bound together by the exchange of financial capital, human capital, education, information, culture, tourism and scientific research.
These connections can have a positive impact on the future of U.S.-China relations by demonstrating shared interests, providing a platform for cultural exchange and understanding, and promoting open communication.
We have convened a group of community, business, nonprofit and government leaders to welcome President Xi and Madame Peng to our region and experience the beauty and hospitality of the Northwest while engaging in important dialogue.
The visit comes at a time when our countries are facing some serious challenges. We know we have disagreements with China and realize that resolving our differences will take time and perseverance. That’s why it is so important to engage in a frank dialogue and keep the conversation going. This visit will help.
The U.S.-China relationship is critical for peace, prosperity and the health of the planet. The world needs this relationship to work. Washington state offers a strong positive model for how that can be achieved.