The courtyard where Beijing People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (BPAFFC) and Beijing NGO Association for International Exchanges are located welcomed foreign guests – over 20 friends from American NGOs – on December 30. On this fine, cold winter day, the two sides had a lively talk in a cordial environment, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and reminiscing about the sound development of people-to-people exchanges.
Executive Vice President Zhang Qian introduced the colorful exchanges of BPAFFC and Beijing NGO with American non-governmental friendly organizations, and answered the questions about climate change and urban governance the guests were concerned about.
The delegation consists of members from New York, Chicago, Minnesota and others, including many journalists and social activists. Cynthia McKinney, former Georgia congresswoman and former presidential candidate of the Green Party, said with sincerity that what she saw was wholly different from what she heard. Many friends said that they would come to China to see for themselves, and it was really different. Despite many different political opinions and voices in the United States, the American people are peace-loving and are willing to contribute to the development of bilateral relations. Li Xiaoxuan, Secretary-General of China-US People-to-People Exchange Association, hopes that more China-US people-to-people friendly exchanges will be carried out in 2020 to spread the stories of China, and enable the American people to gain a better understanding of China.
Lila, a worker of New York Labor Organization, said that bustling New York streets see many homeless people, especially ex-soldiers who served the country and who are now in physical and mental torment. In the absence of effective federal and government relief measures, ex-soldiers without working skills are living on the streets. This is a sad thing. People in Beijing wear smiles and happiness on their faces.
Law professor Junie, National Writers Union member Klingler, journalist Daniel, etc. also expressed that China supports peace and promotes peaceful development, helping others and influencing the world through exchanges in the fields of economy, culture, education, and science and technology. China also shares innovation results with countries around the world. We agree with this development model and hope that Western media make objective coverage of China.
Executive Vice President Zhang Qian said that the traditional Chinese culture stresses that “harmony is most precious” and “one shall develop oneself before helping others.” We cherish this invaluable friendship. The two sides share the idea of fostering people-to-people friendship. China and the United States are partners rather than rivals. China-US relations have gone through ups and downs. The most important revelation from this is that “Both will benefit from a harmonious relationship, or injured because of conflict.” As the New Year approaches, BPAFFC and Beijing NGO, as the messengers of people-to-people friendship, stand ready to help more foreign friends learn about and love Beijing, and to promote the people-to-people exchanges between the two countries in the years to come...
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