The US-China Business Council (USCBC) and the National Committee on US-China Relations (NCUSCR) hosted a reception and dinner at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in New York City in honor of PRC Premier Wen Jiabao on September 22. More than 400 government and business leaders attended the event. USCBC Chair and Coca-Cola Co. Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent offered welcome remarks and a toast at the start of the dinner. Attendees heard remarks from US Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who spoke about China’s impressive economic growth in the past three decades and how vital the commercial relationship is for both countries.
Wen’s remarks at the dinner—the only speech he delivered on US-China relations during his New York visit—expressed confidence that trade frictions and issues between the two countries will be resolved. He noted that “the future of the Sino-US relationship is bright.”
Responding to claims in the United States that Beijing is keeping its currency low, Wen said that there was no basis for a drastic appreciation of the renminbi, which would cause many Chinese companies to go bankrupt.
The Honorable Carla Hills, chair and CEO of Hills & Co. and chair of NCUSCR, conducted a brief question-and-answer session following Wen’s speech. In response to a question about the greatest risk for China’s continued economic and social development, Wen stressed the lack of balance and coordination and the need for China to pursue a more sustainable development model.