NEW YORK, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Forty years after the establishment of diplomatic relations, the United States and China still "need each other," and should continue to work together to make the world a safe place, a prominent American business leader said here Monday.
"I'm confident in the future," said Maurice R. Greenberg, former chairman and CEO of the U.S. insurance giant American International Group (AIG) at a local event marking the 40th anniversary of the establishment of U.S.-China diplomatic ties.
As one of the first Americans to visit China in the 1970s for investment and business operations there, Greenberg was deeply involved in China's four decades of reform and opening up, and recently became one of only 10 foreigners across the world to receive a China Reform Friendship Medal from the Chinese government.
At the 2019 Chinese Lunar New Year Gala held by the China General Chamber of Commerce -- USA (CGCC-USA) on Monday evening, the 93-year-old entrepreneur was awarded the honor of "Goodwill Ambassador for China-U.S. Exchange."
Although there are ups and downs in the U.S.-China relationship, "the downs will disappear and the ups will survive," Greenberg said.
In a signed congratulatory letter for the event, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, whose administration formally established diplomatic ties with China on Jan. 1, 1979, echoed Greenberg's views.
"When (then Chinese leader) Deng Xiaoping and I negotiated the normalization of U.S.-China relations, we had to overcome many hurdles to reach an agreement," recalled the 94-year-old former leader.
At a time when the relationship is encountering "unique and unprecedented challenges," programs like the CGCC gala "are crucial to restoring it while bolstering economic, educational and cultural ties," Carter wrote.
Founded in 2005 and currently with more than 1,500 members, the CGCC-USA is recognized as the largest and most influential non-profit organization representing Chinese businesses investing and operating in the United States.