NEW YORK, May 29 (Xinhua) -- A former U.S. agricultural official called China an important market for the Midwestern U.S. state of Iowa, highlighting the significance of furthering relations with China.
Iowa is an export state and China is one of its top four trade partners, Patty Judge, who served successively as Iowa's secretary of agriculture and lieutenant governor between 1998 and 2010, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
As an agricultural state, Iowa raises more corn, soybeans and hogs, and produces more eggs than any other U.S. state, according to Judge.
"We have to export ... Export markets are critically important to our economic viability. China is an important market, one we want to nourish, and hope that (the relationship) will last for many years," she said.
Judge has made several trips to China, with the first one taking place around 20 years ago.
Over the years, she has noticed tremendous changes in both rural and urban parts of the country. "China has moved so much farther forward ...The country has so much potential."
China's rapid growth also promises a vast array of opportunities for China-U.S. cooperation, including agricultural and industrial cooperation, said Judge, who is now working with the local Chinese community to translate some of the opportunities into reality.
She has been assisting with some projects to promote business trips and educational opportunities for the Chinese youth.
By doing so, Chinese and Americans will hopefully have better understanding of each other's culture, Judge said.