CHICAGO, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese and U.S. provincial and state officials and entrepreneurs gathered online on Tuesday to explore agricultural trade and cooperation opportunities between the two sides.
Addressing the opening ceremony of a virtual U.S.-China Agricultural Roundtable conference, President of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) Lin Songtian said agricultural trade has brought tangible benefits to both Chinese and American people.
Lin expressed hope that China and the United States can communicate frankly at the conference and join efforts to bring agricultural exchange and cooperation between the two countries back to the right track.
The United States and China share a long history of agricultural cooperation, which dates back to the beginning of bilateral relations in the 1970s, said Jason Hafemeister, trade and foreign agricultural affairs acting deputy under-secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
"That relationship remains vitally important to U.S. agriculture, especially as China is once again our top market," Hafemeister said.
Wanxiang America Corporation President Ni Pin, Syngenta Group CEO Erik Fyrwald, ADM Chairman and CEO Juan Luciano, and Deere & Company Board Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John May recalled operation experiences in China and expressed the hope for further cooperation with Chinese companies in the future.
Chinese Hubei Province Vice Governor Ke Jun, Hebei Province Vice Governor Xia Yanjun, U.S. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill and Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate gave an introduction to their provinces and states, respectively, and briefed the participants on potential cooperation sectors.
The roundtable conference, jointly organized by the CPAFFC and the United States Heartland China Association (USHCA), will organize virtual Trade and Business Dialogue, Agricultural Education Dialogue and Think Tank Dialogue in the following days.
"Agriculture is more than just about trade and business. It is the bedrock of a healthy U.S.-China relationship," said Bob Holden, former governor of Missouri and currently chairman and CEO of the USHCA.
"It is imperative that we support continued dialogue and collaboration in order to build a healthy U.S.-China relationship around agriculture and beyond," Holden said.
Founded in 2003, the USHCA is committed to building stronger ties between China and 20 U.S. states that stretch from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. Enditem