Thank you very much. It is an honor for me to be here. And Vice Chairman, thank you as always for your leadership and support of the efforts that we are launching today.
I just came from an exhibit of cookstoves that are manufactured and used here in China. And that illustrates how we can work together to meet the challenges we face – sometimes in very big ways like working on agreements, but sometimes in smaller, equally significant ways like working through the Global Alliance on Cookstoves that China has just joined.
It also means working not only at our national government level but also with state and local governments, the private sector, and civil society. Last January, together we created the U.S.-China Sub-National Initiative. It has already sparked dozens of joint efforts between states in China and the United States on issues ranging from trade and investment to job creation. Some of our most successful partnerships are working to answer a question that is very important to both of our countries, and it is this: How can we meet our shared need for affordable energy while also preserving our environment?
We already have 13 EcoPartnerships, and today we are launching five more. One will connect experts on two of our nation’s most precious resources, the Yangtze and Mississippi Rivers. They will exchange ideas about restoring ecosystems. Two other partnerships will pair researchers working to develop electric cars. Two more will help development environmentally friendly cities and create exchange programs for local officials who work on environmental issues.
So if you combine the good news that Councilor Dai gave me that China is joining the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves with the EcoPartnerships, I think once again our cooperation is really paying dividends for the people of both our countries and the world. This illustrates once again that the United States and China can and will work together in new ways and through many channels to address our common challenges on energy and the environment, two issues that transcend politics that we live with every single day in our homes, our businesses, and our communities.
So congratulations to all the members of our new partnerships, and thank you for doing work that will benefit the generations to come and strengthen the relationship between the American and Chinese people.
Now I’m told we’re going to take a picture, which is even the best part. (Applause.)