Geoffrey Garrett, dean of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, speaks at the opening ceremony of the 2019 Penn Wharton China Summit in Philadelphia, the United States, on April 19, 2019. (Xinhua/Yang Chenglin)
PHILADELPHIA, the United States, April 19 (Xinhua) -- The 2019 Penn Wharton China Summit, a student-run gathering to discuss development of China and the United States and their cooperation, kicked off at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) in the U.S. city of Philadelphia on Friday.
The three-day forum, themed "Paving the Global Road," started with keynote speeches focused on China's development, the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and China-U.S. ties.
"There are very few things in my professional life that are more important to me than the relationship between China and the United States," Geoffrey Garrett, dean of the Wharton School at the UPenn, said in his opening remarks.
"We are living in a time obviously there are real challenges in the global system, challenges in the national level, frictions between the U.S. and China," Garrett said. "I think nothing could be more important than to increase, open people-to-people dialogue between our two countries, and this event embodies that spirit."
Max Baucus, former U.S. ambassador to China, in his remarks called the bilateral relationship "the most important in the world," while urging patience, positiveness and persistence from the U.S. side in handling ties with China.
Chinese Consul General in New York Huang Ping was also present.
Friday's event will be followed by panel discussions about international relations, technology, finance and healthcare, among other topics, and a startup pitch competition, in the coming two days.
Organizers said the summit, which was founded in 2016, intends to gather students, professionals, and entrepreneurs from both countries to discuss China's social and economic development and its interactions with the United States and the rest of the world.