Chinese President Hu Jintao expressed confidence in the current U.S.-China relationship and optimism for future cooperation at a luncheon in Washington, DC, co-hosted by the National Committee and the US-China Business Council. The luncheon was held on January 20, 2011 at Marriott Wardman Park hotel, in cooperation with nine other organizations.
President Hu addressed the audience of over 580 industry leaders, heads of cultural organizations, current and former American government officials, and Chinese officials. The luncheon was President Hu's only public event during his state visit to meet with President Obama. The National Committee and the US-China Business Council hosted an event for President Hu during his 2006 state visit, as well as an event for Premier Wen Jiabao in September, 2010 in New York City.
The president stressed the importance of deep engagement on a wide range of issues, highlighting the need to respect differences and not allow small disagreements to interrupt constructive relations. He stated, “It is fair to say our two countries have never enjoyed such broad common interests and shouldered such important common responsibilities as we do today.” He repeated his commitments made in a press conference the previous day to continue a policy of reform and “opening up,” which will bring a greater focus to “social and equity and justice.”
Former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger introduced President Hu. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke also delivered remarks at the event. National Committee Chair Carla A. Hills and National Committee Director and US-China Business Council Chair Muhtar Kent jointly emceed the lunch.