PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Three million mainland Chinese visited the United States in 2016, and over 20 percent of them chose Philadelphia as their destination.
"Last year, the United States received 3 million mainland Chinese visitors, and 700,000 visited Philadelphia," said Zhang Qiyue, Consul General of China in New York, told a large cheering crowd including Jim Kenney, Mayor of the Pennsylvania's largest city, at a reception celebrating the upcoming Year of Rooster.
This is just one set of the numbers the Chinese Consul General cited to illustrate the mutual benefits of the extensive growth of the China-U.S. relations in recent years.
In 1972, when former U.S. President Richard Nixon first made his trip to China, and the Philadelphia Orchestra made its historic visit, there was very little bilateral trade to talk about.
"But now, on every single day, 1.6 billion dollars of goods and services flow between our two countries," Zhang said.
China is now America's largest trading partner and the third largest export market after Canada and Mexico.
Chinese direct investments in the United States have hit "a record high of 45 billion dollars" in 2016, three times that of 2015, creating hundreds of thousands jobs in America, she said.
Apart from the robust commercial ties, the extent of people-to-people exchanges between the two countries has also witnessed a rapid increase.
More than 300,000 Chinese students study in the United States, she said.
"There is a flight between China and the United States every 15 minutes. More than 13,000 people travel across the Pacific every day," she said.
On every second, a Chinese consumer is buying an apple product, be it iPhone, iPad or apple watch, she said.
"More and more, they are showing a growing appetite for imported goods, including food," she added. "So just imagine, how much dairy products and poultry they would buy from Pennsylvania if you could reach out to them."