BEIJING, Nov. 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — In October 2023, U.S. veteran pilot Harry Moyer, who was turning 103, climbed the Great Wall in Beijing.
Moyer returned to China with a delegation of around 30 members consisting of families of Flying Tigers veterans, eight decades after his courageous service in south China alongside the Chinese against Japanese aggression during World War II.
"To me, the spirit of the Flying Tigers means friendship," said Jackson Long, the youngest member of the visiting delegation and the great-grandson of Flying Tigers veteran Clifford R. Long Sr.
"When I go back, I will tell my friends about my trip in China. I will show them the photos I took," said the 15-year-old, beaming with excitement about his trip to the Great Wall in particular.
On Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said stories of the Flying Tigers prove that the friendship between the Chinese and American peoples, which has stood the test of blood and fire, will be passed on from generation to generation, at a welcome dinner held in San Francisco.
Hope of China-U.S. ties lies in people
The future of China-U.S. relations will be created by our peoples, Xi said, calling for building more bridges and paving more roads for people-to-people interactions.
China and the U.S. will roll out more measures to facilitate travels and promote people-to-people exchanges, including increasing direct passenger flights, holding a high-level dialogue on tourism, and streamlining visa application procedures, he said.
"We hope that our two peoples will make more visits, contacts and exchanges and write new stories of friendship in the new era," said Xi.
This year, Xi has met with U.S. guests including former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Bill Gates, and stressed that the hope of the China-U.S. relationship lies in the people, its foundation is in our societies, its future depends on the youth, and its vitality comes from exchanges at subnational levels.
At the welcome dinner, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Tesla CEO Elon Musk were among the roughly 400 guests.
The two business tycoons have both visited China this year. During a meeting with Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao in May, Musk said the relationship between the U.S. and China is not a zero-sum game. Musk also expressed confidence in the Chinese market, and conveyed his willingness to deepen cooperation for mutual benefit.
"I welcome more U.S. governors, Congressional members, and people from all walks of life to visit China," Xi said on Wednesday.
"To increase exchanges between our peoples, especially between the youth," he announced that China is ready to invite 50,000 young Americans to China on exchange and study programs in the next five years.
China is ready to be a partner and friend of the U.S., Xi said.
Plenty of room for win-win cooperation
Xi also stressed that win-win cooperation is an inherent property of China-U.S. relations, noting that the two countries have plenty of room for cooperation, and are fully able to help each other succeed and achieve win-win outcomes.
The Belt and Road Initiative as well as the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative proposed by China are open to all countries at all times including the U.S., he said.
During a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday morning, Xi and Biden agreed to set up a working group on counternarcotics to advance cooperation and help the U.S. tackle drug abuse.
China sympathizes deeply with the American people, especially the young, for the sufferings that Fentanyl has inflicted upon them, Xi said.
The two heads of state also reached important consensus on expanding various bilateral exchanges in education, overseas students, youth, culture, sports and between the business communities.
"For any great cause to succeed, it must take root in the people, gain strength from the people, and be accomplished by the people. Growing China-U.S. friendship is such a great cause," Xi said at the welcome dinner.