Chinese President Jiang Zemin said Wednesday morning (Beijing time) that he was looking forward to his third meeting in a year with US President George W. Bush, with bilateral trade and key international and regional issues of common concern topping the agenda.
Jiang will meet with Bush at the president's ranch in Crawford, Texas, on Friday -- being only the fourth foreign leader to be invited to the private estate.
"I believe the meeting will produce positive results, and propel Sino-US constructive and co-operative relations further forward,'' Jiang told Illinois Governor George H. Ryan.
He said the development of bilateral ties has maintained a sound momentum. The two countries share extensive and important common interests, though differences do exist.
Co-operation in anti-terrorism and economic and trade arenas have not only brought both parties "huge, practical benefits," but are also conducive to peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world as a whole, Jiang said.
He said he was pleased to come to Chicago, his first visit to this third biggest US city as president, and hoped Chinese cities and regions would conduct more fruitful co-operation with Chicago and Illinois.
Chicago is a key financial, trade, industrial and cultural hub in the United States, with such conglomerates as Motorola and Boeing based in the city. China is currently the state's seventh biggest export destination.
After the meeting, Jiang was invited to a banquet given in his honour by Governor Ryan, the Chicago Municipal Government and the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations.
In his speech to 400 local guests, the Chinese president drew a rosy picture of economic and trade exchanges between China and Illinois and Chicago, stressing that China has entered a new era of its opening up drive since it became a WTO member last year.
Extending a warm welcome to Jiang, Governor Ryan said his state will co-operate closely with Chinese partners to forge an even more promising future.
The Chinese president and his entourage are scheduled to arrive in Houston this morning (Beijing time), the second stop in his four-day visit to the United states.
They will visit the Johnson Space Centre Thursday afternoon.
(China Daily October 24, 2002)