Fu Ying: In­fra­struc­ture can be China-US bridge

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By HEZI JIANG in New York hezijiang@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

Fu Ying sees in­fra­struc­ture as a great op­por­tu­nity for US-China co­op­er­a­tion un­der Amer­ica’s pres­i­dent-elect.

“You need a big­ger har­bor,” said Fu, chair­per­son of the For­eign Af­fairs Com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress of China, draw­ing au­di­ence chuck­les dur­ing a China-US forum at on Thurs­day held by New York Univer­sity (NYU) and the China-US Ex­change Foun­da­tion at the NYU Law School.

Fu said that the CEO of COSCO Group, China’s largest ship­ping com­pany, told the US Congress two years ago that Amer­ica has to up­grade its ports to grow its ex­ports.

“But Amer­ica doesn’t want to take in­vest­ment from other coun­tries like China, and you don’t in­vest your­self,” she quoted the CEO as say­ing.

She said the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump may lead to a new phase, as he vowed to “trans­form Amer­ica’s crum­bling in­fra­struc­ture”.

“US needs to be more open. I think there can be very, very good co­op­er­a­tion,” said Fu, who for­merly served as China’s am­bas­sador to Aus­tralia and the United King­dom. “Back then, China bor­rowed from all over the world to build our in­fra­struc­ture, and now we are build­ing rail­ways and high­ways in Africa.”

Asked if she wor­ries about a chang­ing land­scape of US-China re­la­tions un­der the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion, Fu said it was too soon to tell, but she is not pes­simistic.

She said the phone call be­tween Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Trump was “very en­cour­ag­ing”, as Trump agreed with Xi that co­op­er­a­tion is the only choice be­tween the two coun­tries, and they will ad­vance the re­la­tion­ships to bring more ben­e­fits to the peo­ple of the two coun­tries.

She said a trade war be­tween the two was un­likely.

“It will bring too much dam­age af­ter some cal­cu­la­tion,” Fu said. “Es­pe­cially (be­cause) your pres­i­dent-elect is a busi­ness­man. He’s smart enough.”

But she hopes for an im­prove­ment in trade and in­vest­ment be­tween the coun­tries, and wants Amer­ica to be more clear and con­sis­tent with its mes­sage.

“What do you want ex­actly? You want China to in­vest in here, to cre­ate jobs?

... Your pres­i­den­t­elect is a busi­ness­man. He’s smart enough.”

Fu Ying, chair­per­son, For­eign Af­fairs Com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress of China

Then why do you politi­cize the in­vest­ments from China?” asked Fu, who sug­gested the US gov­ern­ment and po­lit­i­cal can­di­dates be more care­ful with rhetoric about China. “Peo­ple are lis­ten­ing. The world is lis­ten­ing,” she said.

Also in at­ten­dance was Sta­ple­ton Roy, a se­nior US diplo­mat who spent much of his ca­reer in East Asia cities, in­clud­ing Bei­jing, Hong Kong and Taipei.

Roy en­dorsed Fu on the idea of in­fra­struc­ture, and said the two coun­tries should fur­ther co­op­er­ate on cli­mate change and cy­ber­se­cu­rity. He said the US may still par­tic­i­pate in China’s Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive de­spite it re­fused to join the Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank project, which he con­sid­ers as a mis­take.

Fu said “we were sur­prised and dis­ap­pointed that the US was against” the Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank. “But the US is es­pe­cially wel­come to join the Belt and Road ini­tia­tive, with all the ad­van­tages the US has.”


Fu Ying (cen­ter), chair­per­son of the For­eign Af­fairs Com­mit­tee of China’s Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress, dis­cusses US-China re­la­tions with se­nior US diplo­mat Sta­ple­ton Roy (right) at a China-US forum held by New York Univer­sity (NYU) and China-US Ex­change Foun­da­tion at the NYU Law School on Thurs­day. The panel was mod­er­ated by Jef­frey Lehman, vice-chan­cel­lor of NYU Shang­hai.

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