Ambassador Zhang Yesui held a reception for the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) at the Chinese Embassy on April 20, 2012. About 200 people attended the reception, including Dr. Lori Murray, President & CEO of WACA, representatives of local councils and over 160 American high school students who participate in the WACA Academic World Quest at Georgetown University.
In his remarks, Ambassador Zhang outlined China's history, culture, and its economic and social development from multiple perspectives. He pointed out that China is an ancient nation yet a very young state; it cherishes historical traditions while embracing a diverse and inclusive culture; it has made great progress in the past 30-plus years since reform and opening-up, but it is still a developing country and faces a lot of challenges and difficulties in its way forward; it pursues an independent foreign policy of peace, acts as an active participant in international system and continues to contribute to world peace and development.
Ambassador Zhang stressed that China-U.S. relations is one of the most important and dynamic relationships in the world. Our two economies have never been so closely interconnected. In the era of globalization, China and the United States can be regarded as a community of interests. China-U.S. relationship is not, and should not be a zero-sum game relationship. We have every reason to believe that if we manage the differences well, China and the United States can establish a new model of relationship under which two big countries can coexist peacefully and develop together.
Ambassador Zhang emphasized that the younger generations represent the future. Understanding and friendship between the Chinese and American people, particularly the young people, bears great significance to the future of China-U.S. relations. He encouraged American students to take advantage of all opportunities available, learn the Chinese language, get to know its culture, go to China for study or tour, engage with the young people in China, and contribute to China-U.S. friendship and cooperation.
In her remarks, Dr. Murray thanked Ambassador Zhang for hosting the reception. She shared strongly with Ambassador Zhang's view on the importance of mutual respect and partnership between the United States and China and that U.S.-China relationship is not a zero-sum game. WACA will continue to encourage young Americans to engage with and understand China, and it will continue to promote frienship and cooperation between the American and Chinese people.
Founded in 1918, WACA is the United States' largest non-profit organization dedicated to educating, inspiring and engaging Americans in international affairs. It has almost 100 councils in over 40 states.