A worker records the data at Fuyao Glass America's new facility in Moraine, Ohio, the United States on Oct. 7, 2016. (Xinhua/Wang Naishui)
by Xinhua writer Yang Shilong
NEW YORK, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- "Through my brother's eyes, I saw factory after factory closed, unemployment grew, Dayton (a city in Ohio) became hollowed out," according to Stephen A. Orlins, but great changes have taken place due to investment from China.
Orlins, president of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, was quite emotional when recalling the grand opening of the newest U.S. facility of Fuyao Glass, a Chinese company leading the world's automotive glass manufacturing, in early October in his hometown.
"That morning two months ago, I watched the rebirth of a community because Fuyao Glass, a Chinese company, took over the closed General Motors factory, and created 2,500 American jobs," said Orlins at the organization's 50th anniversary gala on Thursday.
Upon completion, Fuyao Glass America, a nearly 470,000-square-meter facility housed in General Motors' former assembly plant, will be the largest glass fabrication plant in the world.
This represents 450 million U.S. dollars in total investment by Fuyao, the largest Chinese investment in Ohio history and the eighth largest direct foreign investment in the United States over the last decade.
"(The moment) I know I have glimpsed the promised land of a constructive U.S.-China relations and I know we'll get there," Orlins said, citing a famous phrase by Dr. Martin Luther King in 1966.
Orlins was not alone in having a glimpse of sound relations between the world's largest developed country and the largest developing country.
"China is enormously important to our success as a company and as a major U.S. exporter," said Raymond L. Conner, vice chairman of Boeing Co., the largest U.S. exporter, in his speech at the event.
More than 50 percent of the commercial jetliners operating in China are Boeing airplanes, he said.
Chinese President XiJinping addresses a welcome ceremony held by Boeing Company during his visit to the Boeing Company's commercial airplane factory in Everett of Washington State, the United States, Sept. 23, 2015. (Xinhua/Li Tao)
Boeing has forecast that in the next 20 years, China will demand 6,810 new aircraft with a total value of about 1 trillion dollars. This demand will make China the biggest customer of Boeing commercial airplanes.
Chinese customers are expected to take delivery of 30 percent of all Boeing's top-selling 737 models and about 25 percent of all aircraft produced in Washington State and South Carolina, Conner said.
"Obviously, these deliveries are very significant to the nearly 76,000 Boeing employees who design, assemble and support our commercial airplanes," he said.
"It's also very significant to the 1.5 million people in jobs that are supported through our supply chain here in the United States, and also for the communities, where all these businesses and people live and work across all 50 states."
"Clearly the Chinese aviation market continues to grow, so we're going to continue to see the number of the U.S. jobs at Boeing and throughout our supply chain continue to grow as well," said Conner, who joined Boeing in 1977, five years after President Richard Nixon's groundbreaking visit to China in February 1972.
"Just give you a sense of broader impact on the U.S. economy: Deliveries to China by Boeing support approximately 150,000 U.S. jobs every year, that's an incredible number," he said.
Describing Boeing's partnership with China as "amazing," Conner said a sound U.S.-China relationship is "vitally important to the world, certainly to the United States and China alike."
"We are all stronger for working all together through the years, and we certainly look forward to the opportunities to continue to strengthen, and celebrate these ties that are so important to our mutual success."
Oscar Munoz, United Airlines CEO, also echoed Orlins and Conner's confidence in the future of U.S.-China relations.
"I see a future that is increasingly open, connected, collaborative and creative," he said. "That's a future that is increasingly defined by win-win mentality rather than zero sum context between closed markets, and that has never worked, as (former U.S. Secretary of State Henry) Kissinger said, and never will work."
United Airline, which now flies a total of 100 weekly flights to six Chinese destinations including Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Xi'an, Chengdu and Hangzhou, is striking out strategies to meet the traveling needs of innumerable people in the rising country, Munoz said.
Statistics from the Wall Street Journal show that while Chinese investment in the United States was next to zero in 2006, it jumped to more than 20 billion dollars in 2015.
Former U.S. secretary of state, Dr. Henry A. Kissinger(C) receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Carla Anderson Hills (L), chair of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations during an event marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of National Committee on U.S.- China Relations (NCUSCR) in New York, on Dec. 15, 2016. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
More than 5 billion dollars of Chinese investment in the United States were completed in the first three months of this year alone, according to a study released in April by the NCUSCR and a research firm Rhodium Group.
The largest was Dalian Wanda Group's 3.5-billion-dollar acquisition of the Hollywood studio Legendary Entertainment, known for "The Dark Knight" and "Jurassic World," among other movies.
With California remaining a top destination, Chinese investment in the United States is increasingly spread throughout the nation into hospitals, auto parts and other industries, according to the study.
China pumped 59 billion dollars into the United States from 2000 through December last year, buying or creating more than 1,900 companies that employ 90,000 workers, it said.
Chinese garments manufacturer Tianyuan Garment announced in October that it will build a factory to produce clothing for brands like Adidas, Armani and Reebok in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Slated to open in 2017, the 20-million-dollar factory is expected to bring 400 jobs to Arkansas over the next four years.