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Carter expresses hope for closer US-China ties

Updated: 2012-01-16 08:00
( Xinhua)

HOUSTON  - Former US President Jimmy Carter on Sunday expressed the hope that US-China ties will continue to strengthen and grow.

"Today, the US-China relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world, and it is my hope that with mutual respect and through continued dialogue and cooperation, the bond will continue to strengthen grow, both in the new year and for many years to come," Carter said in a letter congratulating a variety show, Celebration of US-China Friendship, Sunday night in Atlanta, Georgia.

The show, co-sponsored by the Chinese Consulate General in Houston and the city of Atlanta, "is a wonderful example of the cultural and people-to-people exchanges necessary to build closer ties between the Chinese and American people," Carter said.

Carter recalled that during his visit to Beijing last month, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and he attended a commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Ping Pong Diplomacy between the two countries.

"Vice President Xi and I also discussed the great progress and accomplishments made since Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping and I made the decision to normalize relations 33 years ago," he said.

Nathan Deal, governor of Georgia, in his congratulatory letter to the show, said that through the show, "you will see wonderful and talented performances and acts, all designed to showcase the rich cultural heritages of both East and West. "So tonight I hope that this performance further strengthen to bridge between two peoples," he said.

"The exchange and cooperation between China and Atlanta reached unprecedented breadth and depth" in 2011, and the year of 2012 " will open another new chapter for Sino-US relations with more high-level visits and more cooperation in all areas between our two countries," said Xu Erwen, the Chinese Consul General in Houston.

The variety show featured acrobat, Chinese dance, Erhu solo, flute solo, songs as well as Jazz play. Audience include state and city officials, officials from the Chinese Consulate General, enterprise CEOs, foreign diplomats, Chinese community leaders, and other representatives from all walks of life.