WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- China-U.S. Governors Forum, a newly launched sub-national consultation mechanism, will strengthen bilateral cooperation in a more effective way, a senior Chinese official said here Saturday.
"The forum is one of the direct, pragmatic and effective platforms between the two countries," Zhou Qiang, secretary of the Hunan Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, told reporters on the sidelines of the U.S. National Governors Association (NGA) Winter Meeting.
Earlier in the day, Zhou witnessed Li Xiaolin, vice president of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), and Christine Gregoire, chair of the NGA, sign an agreement that formally established the forum.
The new initiative has far-reaching significance in three dimensions, Zhou said.
Firstly, the forum provides a platform for timely and direct exchanges of information between Chinese and U.S. governors, he said, noting that sub-national governments in both countries are facing opportunities as well as challenges in economic development, science and technology, education and many other areas.
Secondly, the forum will help solve the problems confronting the two countries' sub-national governments "effectively and pragmatically," the provincial chief added.
He said that he has had working talks with six U.S. governors during the visit, and has signed a memorandum of understanding about cooperation with the state of Delaware.
Thirdly, it will promote comprehensive exchanges and cooperation between sub-national governments of the two countries, Zhou said.
The forum, he said, will contribute to advancing the China-U.S. relations. Washington and Beijing committed themselves to forging a "cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit" during President Hu Jintao's state visit to the United States in January.
While there are many differences between the two countries, there are also common interests, said Li of the CPAFFC, adding that "it needs person to person communication to find the common points."
Li said that there will be an annual forum for U.S. and Chinese governors to exchange their ideas concerning such topics as job creation, education, health and economic cooperation.
"It will not only benefit China's development, but also be good for the U.S. economic recovery," Li added.
During Hu's January visit, the two governments signed a memorandum of understanding commissioning the CPAFFC and the NGA to create the governors forum mechanism.
According to the document, the forum will serve as an important communication platform aimed at promoting practical cooperation at the sub-national level in areas such as trade, investment, energy, environment and culture.