SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- "Good morning, China!" "Good evening, America!" Warm greetings kicked off the Oregon Agricultural Products Online Promotion Meeting on Tuesday evening.
More than 80 economic officials and entrepreneurs from China's Fujian Province, Tianjin Municipality, and the U.S. state of Oregon participated in the event from more than a dozen venues.
"This is the first economic exchange event organized through the sister relationship between China and the United States since the U.S. election," Oregon China Council (OCC) President Lan Jin told Xinhua on Wednesday.
China's Fujian Province and Tianjin Municipality respectively founded the Sister Relationship with Oregon in 1984 and 2014. They both decided to organize their economic officials and companies to meet with Oregon counterparts over the virtual gathering to conduct business cooperations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Oregon has experienced a severe outbreak of COVID-19 and wildfires this year. China exhibited its generous support to Oregon with donations, concerns, and sympathies, the OCC noted. "The virtual meeting between Oregon and Chinese buyers is a further expression of the enduring friendship of both sides."
As initiator and one of the organizers, OCC held the online promotion conference along with the Foreign Affairs Office of Fujian Province, Fujian Department of Commerce, Tianjin Foreign Affairs Office, Tianjin Municipal Bureau of Commerce, and Oregon Department of Agriculture.
"Cooperation at the sub-national level forms the basis for China-U.S. relations at the national level," said Wang Donghua, Chinese Consul General in San Francisco during his keynote speech.
Wang argued that it is time to bring Sino-U.S. relations back to normal, which calls for the synergy of efforts at both national and sub-national levels to create a better environment for cooperation. "The history of China-U.S. relations shows that they stand to benefit from cooperation and lose from confrontation."
"This event demonstrated the willingness of local cooperation between China and the United States and the desire for economic exchanges. From concrete things, from the basic things, and the needs of the people, we devote ourselves to build Sino-U.S. relations," Lan echoed Wang's remarks.
"China is Oregon's largest trade partner and export destination. The trade volume between China and Oregon exceeded 9.2 billion U.S. dollars last year, making due contribution to local jobs and revenue," Wang said.
Shemia Fagan, the Oregon Secretary of State-elect expressed her appreciation in her speech that the mutually beneficial relationship between China and Oregon has supported families and communities like hers in those very agricultural producing parts of the state.
"I couldn't help but recognize really the fact that I need somewhat an embodiment of the community that you and your relationship helps support here in Oregon," she noted while recalling her childhood. "I just want to stand here as kind of the human embodiment of those relationships."
After Jess Paulson, Program Area Director at Oregon Department of Agriculture presented the state's agriculture products at length, many Chinese potential buyers showed great interest and inquired further about the product's details during the following Q &A session.
"It's important for our state and our relationships with our friends in Fujian and Tianjin and all over China to act as an example on how we can work together for the rest of the United States." David Brock Smith, an Oregon State Representative said.
"Our friendships can only continue to grow in those relationships. We need to do this more often and collaborate more so that we can benefit both our peoples," he added.
Wang also introduced the new development in China at the meeting, saying "a more mature and brisk domestic market will generate more opportunities for other countries."
He hoped that China and Oregon would further explore the potential for cooperation and translate the potential into real benefits as both sides complement each other in economic development.
Brian Clem, the Chair of the Agriculture and Land Use Committee at Oregon House of Representatives, has visited China 29 times in the past ten years and is always ready to make new friends.
The Chinese market is huge and the cuisine is attractive, he commended, adding that it would be great if Chinese chefs can eventually use ingredients from Oregon.