Interview: Former Houston mayor urges concerted effort to improve U.S.-China ties

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-23 13:11:43|Editor: ZX
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NEW YORK, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Cooperation between Chinese and U.S. cities has enjoyed great momentum through various mechanisms, Annise Parker, former mayor of Houston, has said, while calling for a concerted effort to boost relations between the two countries.

"There are lots of different mechanisms for cities to connect. One of the most important in my view today is a number of cities, particularly many cities in China that are active, are in the C40 Climate Leadership Group," Parker told Xinhua in a recent interview.

C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a network of 94 cities around the globe that are committed to addressing climate change.

Representing over 700 million citizens and one quarter of the global economy, mayors of the C40 cities are committed to delivering on the most ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement at the local level, according to the official website of C40.

"As mayors we know that climate change is a hugely important issue, and there are many things we can do in our cities," Parker said.

Climate change is among the primary challenges now facing large and densely-populated cities around the globe, including air and water pollution, healthcare, mobility, and demographic issues, according to Parker.

Apart from effective mechanisms, Parker further pointed out that successful sister-city relations require "a core of committed citizens who want to connect," which better drives city-level cooperation, especially on business and cultural levels.

"There are many cities in China, and many cities in the United States that would love to see those kinds of relationships develop, because we have had these relationships in our sister cities for decades," Parker said.

"Now you see people who have cross-cultural experiences when they are young now moving into senior leadership positions in business and in government. Those good feelings remain, and they open new doors," she added.

As the ongoing U.S.-China trade tensions have caused concerns about bilateral ties, Parker said it is "a temporary impediment" to a better and long-term relationship between the two countries.

However, that would "require a more concerted effort," and make it harder to maintain bilateral relationships at different levels.

Trade tensions benefit no one, she added. "In this case, there are companies on both sides that will have irreparable damage, and it will slow both economies. So the faster we can get to a point where we can move forward again, the better."