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China-US relations should grow deeper in 2015, ambassador says

By Hua Shengdun in Washington | China Daily USA | Updated: 2015-02-09 11:24

China and the United States should seek more common ground in 2015, China's ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai said Friday in Washington.

"China and the US have collaborated in many ways in recent years, and the collaborations are reaching a wider and deeper scope," Cui said at a Chinese New Year gala held at the Chinese Embassy on Feb 6.

Despite the differences in culture, history, and social systems, both sides should take a "constructive" perspective in building mutual relations, Cui said.

"In the Chinese Year of Sheep, I hope China-US relations will be more like the 'Pleasant Sheep' and less like the 'Big Bad Wolf'," he said, referring to two Chinese cartoon images that have popped up in recent years. Pleasant Sheep represents integrity and good will, and the Wolf represents the bad guy in the cartoon series.

President Barack Obama has invited China's President Xi Jinping for a state visit this year, US National Security Adviser Susan Rice said earlier in the day.

The first time Xi visited the US as president was at the Sunnylands Retreat in Rancho Mirage, California, meeting with Obama in June 2013.

They two met again in November 2014 in Beijing and reached a wide range of cooperative agreements on the environment, military and visa-extension issues.

The US State Department announced last Wednesday that Deputy Secretary Antony Blinken will travel to East Asia this week, his first trip overseas in the position.

The former deputy national security adviser to President Obama will meet with government officials and non-governmental experts in Asia to advance relationships, according to the State Department.

Visits to China, South Korea and Japan are on his itinerary.

"Cooperation between the heads of both states is indispensable for the two countries' mutual relations," Cui said. "The schedules for further interactions are still in discussion."

"We will keep on enhancing China-US relations this year," he said.

Cui also said China will press on exchanges with America to build up the bilateral relations.

"We will keep on devoting time and energy to the interactions between officials, nongovernmental organizations and regular people," said Cui.

The embassy hosted more than 800 Chinese Americans, Chinese international students and business people at the event.

The gala included dances and songs performed by the embassy's staff and spouses and children of Chinese diplomats.

Official cultural exchanges for the upcoming Chinese New Year are underway in the US.

More than 15 celebrations will be staged over the next few weeks in the Washington, DC area, with more "Happy Spring Festival" events in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and other places in the US around Feb 19, the first day of Chinese New Year.

The events will be sponsored or co-sponsored by the embassy.

About 570 events were held in over 320 cities of more than 100 countries last year, a 50 percent increase over the previous year.

Sheng Yang in Washington contributed to this story.

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