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Charles Foster, chairman of US China Partnerships in Houston, just returned from a trip to China with a large delegation led by the city"s Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston Great Partnership President Bob Harvey.
"I think it"s important for Houston to raise a flag in China. I have encouraged the mayor not to think of this as a onetime trip and said to him, "You should go to China every year. We should think to set up an office in China"," Foster said.
During his most recent visit to China, a positive atmosphere could be felt, Foster said.
"The vision created at the 19th CPC National Congress was a well-referenced road map from people"s speeches. It"s viewed as a fair policy development. It created the sense, at least in the delegation I was in, that the (Chinese) economy is strong and developing with a clear vision. China is expanding its role internationally, taking leadership in areas with respect to broader global economic issues."
Foster said that President Xi Jinping and China clearly have embarked on a new era. "China now recognizes that to a certain degree it has achieved economic parity with the US to become, along with the US, the major global power and with that comes global responsibilities."
Foster has been traveling to China regularly since 1979 and knows what the economic situation of China was like back then.
"China has been fortunate that it has been able to maintain phenomenal growth in its economy so that over a period of years every sector has seen significant benefits," he said.
"Even though some sectors have benefitted faster than others, all have benefitted, thus creating a broad-based support throughout China for the government and its initiatives," Foster said.
"I think the broad principles introduced by President Xi Jinping will continue to provide significant stability for China and, more importantly, to spread the benefits of its extraordinary economic developments more broadly throughout the Chinese people."
Foster said that if China can make such huge economic advances over a few decades, it"s encouraging to think that this experience can be applied broadly to developing economies in Africa, Latin America and elsewhere, which would be immensely beneficial to people the world over.