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US business leaders call for engagement between US, China in resolving differences

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-02-14 20:37
Jim Wunderman, CEO of the Bay Area Council, file photo. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]

SAN FRANCISCO - The US and China are the two biggest economies in the world, and they should engage with each other to solve their problems via dialogue and negotiations, Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council in San Francisco said Wednesday.

"There was a real history of cooperation between the two countries, especially going back to World War II where we fought jointly to preserve two societies," Wunderman told Xinhua at the end of the council's ninth annual Chinese New Year reception held Wednesday night to celebrate the Year of the Pig in China's lunar calendar.

"We have such a strong community from China here in San Francisco, the oldest Chinatown in America. It's such a pervasive relationship that we should not treat China as an adversary," he said.

Wunderman stressed that the relationship between the United States and China "should be one of cooperation."

He admitted that in the hi-tech field, competition exists between China and the United States, and it is natural that new problems or even disputes would emerge.

"The best way to deal with that is through conversation, discussion, engagement, expression," Wunderman added. "There's much more in common than there is that separates us. The best way to solve problems is by taking each problem head-on."

"We should stop engaging in creating tariffs, blocking trade, pointing fingers and all of that. It doesn't do any good, and it's not helping," he noted.

Del Christensen, chief of Global Business Development of the Bay Area Council, said despite the current difficult period in the US-China relations, the Bay Area Council has decided to grow its China program and stay in China.

The council opened its Beijing office in 2018, in addition to offices in three other Chinese cities of Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou.

"Where there's a problem, there is also an opportunity. The United States and China are two markets that are so big and so intertwined that ... (they) are going to do business for a long, long time," Christensen said.

He said there is a large Chinese population in San Francisco and a lot of Chinese students are studying in the United States, while many American students are also being educated in China.

"The more we get to know each other, the better off we're gonna be," Christensen added.

Founded in 1945, the Bay Area Council is a business association in San Francisco that is dedicated to economic development in the San Francisco Bay Area. It has been pushing for close economic and trade ties between China and the United States, with greater focus on California and San Francisco in particular.

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