For two years, the Obama administration has made it a priority to strengthen the bonds between the United States and China. We have worked to extend mutual understanding and interests beyond national governments to individuals, businesses, and state and provincial governments.
Individual U.S. governors have been reaching out to China for years, including at least eight who led trade delegations there in 2010. Chinese provincial leaders have made over 100 visits to America last year alone. There are already 36 sister provinces and states. Each has potential to bring significant benefits to people on both sides, and in some cases, they already have.
That is why we support the National Governors Association and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries in creating the Governor’s Forum, which is designed to help states build their own successful partnerships. Governors will share ideas, connect people and businesses, and then sustain and deepen these connections through regular meetings. Our states and provinces can be laboratories that generate solutions. We can help each other grow trade and investment, create jobs, educate our children, and solve the problems we all share.
This agreement is a recognition by our governments that we want more cooperation on a sub-national level because the United States and China face many similar challenges and opportunities. I congratulate China’s leaders and those in our own government who are committed to this important aspect of our relations. You are not only creating new opportunities for the people of your states and provinces—you are laying the groundwork for closer ties between our nations for many years to come.