January 12, 2024
BEIJING – President Xi Jinping said that China is willing to work with the United States to promote the steady, sound and sustained development of China-US relations, and to seek more benefits for the two peoples and provide more public goods for the international community.
Xi made the comment in a reply letter on Jan 4 to one of his longtime friends in the US state of Iowa, Sarah Lande. She is former executive director of Iowa Sister States, a nonprofit organization that builds global cultural, economic and educational partnerships.
In 1985, Lande received Xi, who was then secretary of the Communist Party of China Zhengding county committee in Hebei province, when he visited the small Iowa city of Muscatine.
During Xi’s visit to the US in 2012 as China’s vice-president, he went to Lande’s home again to meet with those he has affectionately referred to as his “old friends” in Iowa.
In May, 2022, Xi sent a reply after Lande wrote to him and enclosed a copy of her memoir, “Old Friends”: The Xi Jinping-Iowa Story, as a gift.
Recently, Lande wrote another letter to Xi, saying that the US and China, as major countries, should work together to address issues including climate change, food security, narcotics and regional conflicts, for the benefit of human society.
In his reply, Xi emphasized that China and the US are the world’s largest developing and developed countries, respectively, and the future of the planet “needs the stability and improvement of China-US relations”.
Beijing is willing to work with Washington to jointly build a world of lasting peace, universal security, common prosperity, openness and inclusiveness, as well as cleanliness and beauty, he said.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-US diplomatic ties. On the first day of the new year, Xi and US President Joe Biden exchanged congratulatory letters to celebrate the anniversary.
In his reply to Lande, Xi noted that the relationship, after weathering winds and rain, is bearing the fruits of cooperation, benefiting the two countries as well as the world.
He emphasized that the achievements made in the relations are first and foremost attributable to the joint efforts of the two peoples, and the ties’ future growth “needs to rely even more on the two peoples”.
In November, the Chinese and US heads of state met in San Francisco, and the two sides achieved a series of outcomes.
During Xi’s visit to the US in November, Lande attended a welcoming banquet for the Chinese president that was jointly organized by US friendship groups, and she exchanged pleasantries with Xi.
In her letter to Xi, she said the president’s speech at the banquet was well received and inspiring.
Noting the plan unveiled by Xi under which a total of 50,000 young people from the US will be invited for study and exchanges in China over the next five years, she said the program is exciting and she hopes that Muscatine High School will be part of the program.
In his reply, Xi said the future of China-US relations lies with youths, and he welcomed the students from Muscatine to participate in the exchange program.
He quoted a Chinese saying, “Read 10,000 books and travel 10,000 miles”, which highlights the equal significance of theory and practice.
He said that he announced the exchange program in the hope that more young people from the US will visit China, observe the country with their own eyes, listen to China with their own ears, and measure China with their own feet.
He added that he hopes youths in the US can experience the real, multidimensional and comprehensive China, and build more bridges of mutual understanding between the two peoples.