- Minister Zhao Qizheng Meets With German Journalists
- Minister Zhao Qizheng Addresses Opening Ceremony of Photo Exhibition
- Minister Zhao Qizheng Meets With Dow Jones Deputy CEO
- Minister Zhao Qizheng Addresses WCNA Annual Meeting
- Photo Exhibition 'Memory of History' Successfully Held in the US
Minister Zhao Qizheng Meets With German Journalists
Dr. Uwe Jean Heuser, director of the Economic Section of the German weekly Die Zeit, visited Beijing and Shanghai between October 25-Novelnber 5 at the invitation of the Information Office of the Chinese State Council. During his visit, Dr. Heuser covered news about the steady and sustained growth of China's economy, China's role in the WTO, China's labor market, the reform plan of China's new government and other issues.
On the morning of October 29, Zhao Qizheng, minister in charge of the Information Office of the State Council, met with Dr. Heuser and Gcorg Blune, Die Zeit's resident correspondent in Beijing.
Dr. Heuscr first thanked the State Council Information Office for the careful arrangement of his visit in China, which helped him acquire valuable materials for reports about the country. He told his Chinese host that former German Chancellor Schmidt, a distributor of Die Zeit, is going to visit China soon, and that the weekly, a very influential one in Germany, Europe and the world at large, is very concerned of the progress made in China.
Minister Zhao then answered questions posed by his guests.
Heuser:How many Chinese people read newspapers and watch TV frequently?
Zhao:China now has 2,200 kinds of newspapers, more than 8,000 kinds of magazines and about 450 TV stations with numerous channels. At present, about 900 million of China's 1.3 billion people watch TV. Newspapers arc widely accessible. Except for illiterates (6 percent of the Chinese population over the age of 15 are illiterates), all the Chinese read newspapers. Since the mid-1990s, Internet has developed rapidly in China. According to statistics available in June this year, about 68 million people in China frequently surf on the Internet. The Chinese divide newspapers into official papers and tabloids. The former is reliable and serious, with fewer reports that afford great delight. The latter, which is less reliable and serious, carries more lively and interesting, and even sensational and fabricated, reports to attract readers. Media reports are free in China, provided they are not against the Constitution. China exercises a system of multi-party cooperation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. There are no mutual attacks between the party in power and parties not in the office. Foreigners may think this represents a lack of freedom. In the past 10 years, media's supervision over the government has become increasingly intensified in China. Some corrupt practices and cover-ups of the deaths and injuries in some incidents were first exposed by the media. The media also organize discussions of laws and regulations formulated by the government. For instance, some newspapers attracted numerous people to participate in the discussion concerning the Law on Traffic Safety before it was submitted to the National People's Congress (NPC) for examination and approval. The driving speed on China's expressways is 110 km/hour. Some people suggested it be raised to 120 km/hour, while others asked for canceling the speed limit, like the practice in Germany.
The Chinese Government encourages the media to criticize immoral practices in society and the errors and mistakes of irresponsible government officials, and requires the media to guide their readers in a correct way. To be correct means to be objective and impartial and to safeguard the interests of the country and the nation. The attitude toward other countries should be fair too.
Heuser:China has such a large number of readers, and great differences exist between their educational levels and living environments -- developed regions vis remote areas and cities vis the countryside. How will China's media determine their orientation?
Zhao:Media units in different localities do show varied styles in reports sometimes. With regard to China's WTO accession, while newspapers published in east China were quite straightforward, those based in the west were somehow reserved. Or, in explicit terms, while agriculture-oriented areas hoped China could join the WTO a little bit later, export-oriented industrial areas believed the sooner the better. Uneven economic development in different areas is one of China's national conditions.
Heuser:Farmers in EU are also against their countries' entry into the WTO.
Zhao:In China, each major decision made by the state should be submitted to the NPC for deliberation prior to its publication. Policy decisions that are found immature should have their implementation postponed or on a trial basis until the time is ripe. The government once planned to merge the road maintenance fee paid by automobile users with the fuel fee. Some people challenged that the new policy would be unfair to farmers as tractors rarely ride on roads, but consume large quantities of diesel oil. So related government decision has been put into practice on a trial basis only in Hainan Province, instead of the whole country. Opinions about the laws and regulations drafted by the NPC are canvassed extensively. While listening to the opinions from all sides, relevant government departments should also provide guidance. Before reform and opening-up, China almost had no private enterprises, and the concept of a planned economy remained dominant. From the banning to the permission and encouragement of the development of private enterprises, China has undergone a process of continuous exploration and innovation in both theory and practice. Discussions on questions like this have been going on in the media for years and will continue. The German people advocate philosophy, so do the Chinese. With regard to Marxism, breakthroughs have been made in both understanding and practice. Our understanding of Marxism should also move with the times and take China's actual conditions into full account.
Blune:Mr. Deng Xiaoping raised the slogan: Let some people become rich first. According to the experience of Western modernized countries, the expansion of wealth gap has brought about numerous social problems. Once such a gap has formed, it will become a chronic malady that could hardly be overcome. This problem has occurred in China too, which brought some people a sense of loss. How will China solve this problem?
Zhao:Mr. Deng's remark of letting some people get rich first aims to achieve common prosperity, by encouraging those who become affluent first to influence and bring along others to embark on the road of common prosperity. This is what Mr. Deng meant. Both in theory and practice, it is impossible to let all people get rich simultaneously. The Chinese Government, attaching great importance to the problem of an ever-expanding wealth gap, has adopted some countermeasures. For instance, the government has given assistance to underdeveloped areas and vulnerable groups of people, by exercising preferential tax policies and transferred payment and by developing educational undertakings in these areas. Improvement in education will help the poor people enhance their production skills, increase their incomes and get rid of poverty. This is also conducive to the development of local economy. The government encourages talented people in the east to move to the west and urges professionals cultivated in the west to stay there and serve local economic construction. At present, of every 100 Chinese people, less than four have received a higher education.
Heuser:Lots of changes have taken place in China since the new government leaders assumed office. For instance, media's supervision has been intensified. The Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee reports its work to the CPC Central Committee. This shows a new form of democracy. The media has played a positive role.
Zhao:Your observation is very keen. In the present stage of development, China's legal system is incomplete. Our press conferences are different from those in Europe and America. They are not confined to answering questions only. We invite ministers of government departments to introduce the development of relevant sectors and keep the general public informed through the media. Our press conferences are broadcast live on CCTV 4, CCTV9 and Hong Kong's Phoenix TV. This is an innovation and also a challenge.
Blune:Recently, we quickly saw on TV President Hu Jintao delivering a speech in Bangkok. The live broadcast of press conferences sponsored by the State Council Information Office is a good method. Many Chinese know me -- they saw me on TV. The press conference is not rigid, but is lively and has its own style. Not every country can do a good job in this regard, though improvement in yours is needed.
Zhao:The task of the State Council Information Office is to introduce China to the world and answer questions about China concerned by other countries. We will strive to increase the number of such briefings and enrich their content.
Blune:I frequently attend your briefings. You've done a good job.
Zhao:Thank you for your support.
Heuser:You just mentioned the United States. It is the most powerful country in the world. It also faces many problems, such as wealth gap. China, as a developing country, should avoid the detours taken by other countries.
Zhao:It's true. To learn from the West, we should learn their outstanding culture and advanced science and technology. During the course, we should cast aside things that are backward and declining. China persists in taking the socialist road and in social equity and fairness, and strives to prevent the appearance of grave social inequality. The key to solving problems in this regard lies in development. Methods to solve existing problems should be sought through development. China features the coexistence of diverse forms of ownership, with the state-owned economy remaining dominant. The state controls the economic lifeline and sectors that have a close bearing on the national economy and the people's livelihood, such as energy, transport and finance. China's private enterprises are undeveloped, far from reaching the level of monopoly. Yet, we have already taken note of problems that might occur. The government is very concerned of the rural poor people and urban employees in financial difficulty. Efforts have been made to enhance their employment ability, provide them with more job opportunities and basic medicare services and education, and increase guarantees for their livelihood. China, as a developing country, is unable to provide sufficient social security as some West European welfare countries do. But we are trying our best to improve our social security system.
In foreign affairs, the Chinese Government adheres to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence). China stands for global multi-polarity, and opposes hegemonism and power politics in international affairs, such as the practice of bypassing the United Nations and finding an excuse to send troops to another country to overthrow its government and occupy its territory. The Chinese Government and people feel very uneasy for this practice. Many countries are discussing the issue of euthanasia. The cons believe that people with ulterior motives may take advantage of it and avoid moral censure and punishment by law. This shows how cautious people are to deal with lives. The practice of sentencing the government of a sovereign country to death with an unverified charge is also a kind of power politics. The EU can play an important role in balancing the world strength and curtailing the development of a one-polar world.
Heuser:We appreciate the role played by the EU, which is advocated by Mr.Schmidt. Asia may refer this practice.
Zhao:Many Chinese believe that Germany is the most friendly among European countries. It is a great country that is proud of by its people. Germany boasts Bach, Rontgen, Hegel and Marx. German motor vehicles have successfully rumbled into China's market. The magnetic levitation train project, however, has not been set. Its success or failure in China may determine its fate in the world as a whole.
Heuser:German leaders will persuade the Chinese Government to import magnetic levitation trains.
Zhao:In my view, they should first persuade themselves to lower the price, offer the technology and provide government loans.
Heuser:Your remark is wise.
Zhao:The German Government should seek long-term overall interests by making temporary and partial concessions, which means it should promote the completion of the project in China with a relatively low cost.
Minister Zhao Qizheng Addresses Opening Ceremony of Photo Exhibition
-- Memory of History, a large photo exhibition put on by China, opened at the US Air Force Museum on October 18. The photos and objects on display show the profound friendship established between Chinese and American peoples in their shoulder-to-shoulder fight during World War Hand their cooperation in China's war against Japanese aggression. Zhao Qizheng, minister in charge of the State Council Information Office, delivered the following speech, one brimming with warm feelings, at the opening ceremony of the exhibition:
Today, with the same hope and the same feelings of great reverence, we put on this photo exhibition -- Memory of History -- to cherish the memory of those who made contributions to or even sacrificed their lives for the peace and bright future of humankind during the anti-fascist war.
On the occasion of the opening of the exhibition, please allow me to extend my deep condolences to American soldiers who heroically sacrificed their lives in the Chinese people' anti-fascist war, and pay my sincere tribute to all veteran soldiers who participated in the war, their families and other American friends.
The photos exhibited here record the deeds of young American soldiers who fought shoulder to shoulder with the Chinese people against Japanese aggression 60 years ago. When the Chinese people faced extreme hardship and difficulty in their war against Japanese aggression, tens of hundreds of American youth, in response to President Roosevelt's call, voluntarily went to China to participate in the anti-Japanese war, bidding farewell to their homes, parents and lovers.
During the war, the Flying Tigers air squadron led by General Claire Lee Chennault shot down more than 2,000 Japanese planes and eliminated 60,000 Japanese troops. In order to transport anti-Japanese weapons and materials, the American air force opened an air route named Hump over the Himalayas on the Roof of the World. Owing to the high altitude of mountains, long distance and tough climate, more than 600 Chinese and American planes crashed while performing their missions and more than 1,500 pilots sacrificed their precious lives.
Apart from the heroic deeds performed by Flying Tigers and those flying the Hump air route, there are photos showing the touching stories of ordinary Chinese people braving their lives to rescue American pilots and of American pilots giving up the chance of baling out and sacrificing their own lives to avoid harming Chinese civilians. Also displayed are pictures showing the love stories of Chennault and the Chinese girl Chen Xiangmei and of others.
I assume, the young people who sacrificed their lives, both Chinese and American, had had happy families and their loved ones. If had not been the war, they might have become good fathers or good husbands. However, they chose to fight the war for peace and freedom. Though they lived a short life, they won the perpetual respect and love of Chinese and American peoples.
The Chinese people have not forgotten this phase of history. There is an American soldiers' martyr cemetery in Nanjing, capital of southeast China's Jiangsu Province. The wreckages of some American planes have been found in snow-capped mountains or dense forests in China's Tibet, Yunnan and Guangxi. The local people spontaneously established monuments in places where the wreckages were found, using this traditional way to commemorate the American pilots--young people imbued with a kind human nature who were as dear as their own kith and kin.
In history, facing the common enemy, Chinese and American peoples once fought shoulder to shoulder and made great contributions to safeguarding peace. Today, facing the same challenges and common interests, 1 believe the two great nations will .join hands to create a peaceful, stable and prosperous world in the 21st century.
Let this phase of history lie embedded in our memory forever. Let's gear to the needs of the future with best wishes.
Minister Zhao Qizheng Meets With Dow Jones Deputy CEO
On October 31, Zhao Qizheng, minister in charge of the State Council Infimnation Office (SCIO), met with Richard F. Zannino, deputy CEO of the American Dow Jones Co., and his entourage in Beijing. The two sides exchanged views on media cooperation, Sino-US economy and other questions of common concern.
Zhao:I just attended the large photo exhibition Memory of Histol3, held jointly by the SCIO and the American Air Force Museum. The exhibition drew great interest from the American people. While in the United States, we had discussions with Yale University on cooperation in publishing a Chinese culture series, and with the Metropolis Museum on how to increase Chinese introduction materials. The SCIO has entered into cooperation with many American media units, and Dow Jones is one of them. In China, only the SCIO and a few other units now subscribe to your Factiva website, and I have recommended your website to some other main units. But they found that your charge was too high. I suggest you lower your fees.
With regard to Chinese websites, I suggest you establish relations with the leading ones. The Chinese Government has made investment to build the China economic website, which will be run by China Economic Daily. But it is not the paper's electronic or English edition. It will provide China's authoritative economic information. Your help will be appreciated. I hope you could tell them what economic information readers worldwide would like to get from China.
Zannino:Thank you for your introduction and suggestion. We are willing to work in cooperation with the Chinese side and offer help to improve the level of the China economic website.
Zhao:We not only provide the world with China's economic information, but also pity attention to collecting relevant information across the world. Over the past month, we have followed Dow Jones' and some Japanese websites, searching for referential comments made by leading personages and major institutions on Renminbi (RMB) exchange rate. Quite ii few of them are against the appreciation of the RMB. Wall Street Journal has carried varied views. But most American congressmen are still asking their government to put pressure on China. Perhaps, they don't browse your website, so they don't know how complicated the issue is. They don't know either one should press the RMB to appreciate by only taking into account the interests of the United States. In fact, China's economy has been overestimated. China is still a developing country. Furthermore, every country determines its monetary policy in accordance with its own national conditions. The favorable balance in China's trade with the United States has had limited negative influences on the US economy, while the positive impact is much greater. If the United States does not import from China commodities that are not produced in large quantities locally, it will import them from other countries. Let alone, Chinese commodities are cheap but good.
Zannino:What's your opinion about the practice that many large American enterprises have extended their business to China and then export the products made in China to the United States? And how do you comment on the impact of China's trade surplus on the US economy'?
Zhao:Many American and Japanese enterprises have made investment and built factories in China -- to seek a way out while facing a difficult position at home. Taking into consideration China's low-cost labor and raw materials, many foreign enterprises moved their production bases to China when recessions battered their domestic economies. It is a wise choice. Though China benefited greatly from this, foreign companies benefited the most. The Boeing Co. has been producing some aircraft parts in China. A decade ago, its Baltimore employees complained that the practice would threaten their survival. Their boss said if the Boeing did not use this method to lower cost, how could it compete with the European Airbus. Another fact is that the United States has been exporting to China products with a relatively low technological level. Take computer for example. Computers in the United States have been classified into seven grades. Those sold to China are of the three lowest grades. The United States restricts exporting high-tech products to China, worrying that they would be applied in military fields. But China has relied on its own forces to develop such products and does not need to import them from the United States. So China should not be blamed. I wish reports in American newspapers could be impartial. As a senior, you'll have greater influences on your subordinates.
Zannino:It's true. But newspapers are not my responsibility. As for economy, China's favorable balance in its trade with the United States is nothing serious in the short run. In the long run, however, any country would take this problem seriously. It would affect America's domestic market, although the United States is willing to make contributions to enhancing the global economic level.
Zhao:You can make a speech in China on this issue. I'll take the responsibility of inviting reporters and chief editors. It will give you a chance to carry out exchange with the Chinese media. It's normal that China and the United States have some frictions and differences on certain issues. Exchange of views between the two sides is important. The chief editor of a European magazine told me that he believes the United States has exerted greater impact on China's economic pattern than Europe has. He said the United States has developed a wealth gap and China is following suit. In fact, there is a gap between China's rich people and America's moneybags, and China's poor people are poorer than the American poor. The Chinese Government is taking positive measures to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor in the country. At present, China has not realized urbanization, and the economic returns of agriculture are low. Though China has had favorable balance in its trade with the United States, it still faces great difficulties.
Zannino:I agree with your opinion. Opportunities and challenges coexist. China has been developing rapidly. During the course of development, some problems will gradually come to the surface. Existing problems can only be resolved through continuous development. Generally speaking, China is prosperous. The world now pays close attention to your country. The cheap but good products exported by China have been well received. The Chinese people are becoming increasingly wealthy and are willing to buy good products.
Zhao:The Chinese favor GM and Ford cars. American and German automobile manufacturers have made direct investment in China, achieving successful results. But, in my view, there is much to be desired for the US side to improve its economic policy toward China. Dow Jones, as a major economic institution, should make greater contributions to Sino-US relations. Bloomberg and Reuters also have successful experiences in China. China's huge market is big enough to accommodate your competition. In a word, you enjoy a potential market in China. China's development will take a long process. During the course of transforming from a planned economy to a market economy, China needs to learn a lot of useful things from Europe, America and Japan and absorb the essence of their experience, while maintaining its socialist orientation.
Zannino:Successful experience is important, but the lesson of failure should also be taken.
Zhao:Europe, America and Japan are different from one another. We should learn from and select positive aspects.
Zannino:I know the task of the SCIO is to let China be acquainted with the world and let the world know China. A forum will be staged in Boston next April, and 60-70 people from the business circle are expected to attend it, including the leader of China's Legend Group. I'd like to listen to your opinion about this event.
Zhao:In my view, the title design is very important. As some Chinese businesspeople are invited, there should be something interesting to them, such as the influence of the "plaza agreement" reached by the United States and Japan. Some people say the agreement will extend Japan's economic recession to over 10 years. Urban traffic is another problem worth studying. Superficially, it seems to be a problem related to the living environment. In essence, it is an economic problem. This is only a suggestion of mine. China and the United States, staying in different development stages, have different views. Discussions can help enhance mutual understanding.
Minister Zhao Qizheng Addresses WCNA Annual Meeting
In his address at the recent annual meeting of the World Chinese Newspapers Association (WCNA), SCIO Minister Zhao Qizheng introduced to participants the situation of China's reform and opening-up and expounded the challenges and opportunities faced by Chinese newspapers worldwide. The following arc slightly abridged excerpts from his speech:
The Third Plenary Session of the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China put forward various measures for improving the socialist market economic system and continuing reforms in all fields in depth in order to achieve the goal of building ii well-off society in an all-round way. By 2020, China's GDP is expected to quadruple that of 2000, reaching US$4 trillion in terms of the current exchange rate between the RMB and US dollar.
The outbreak of SARS in spring this year adversely affected China's economy in the second quarter. (The growth of GDP in this quarter was 6.7 percent, down 3.2 percentage points from 9.9 percent in the previous quarter.) However, as the Chinese Government promptly adopted corresponding fiscal and tax policies and many affected sectors tapped their potentials of development in the third and fourth quarters, the adverse impact brought about by SARS to the overall economy for the whole year is limited. In the first three quarters, the mainland's GDP totaled US$955.79 billions (7,911.4 billion yuan), a rise of 8.5 percent in terms of comparable prices. The total import and export volume reached US$606.3 billion, showing an increase of 36.2 percent on last year's same period and leaving a trade surplus of US$9.1 billion. During the period, the country used US$40.2 billion in foreign capital, up 11.9 percent. By the end of September, the country's foreign exchange reserves had soared to US$383.9 billion, up US$97.5 billion on the beginning of this year.
However, China is still in the initial stage of socialism and still has 30 million poor people. The SCIO assumes the responsibility of assisting a poor banner in Inner Mongolia where the per-capita annual income of herdsmen is only 1,400 yuan. During the outbreak of SARS, we compiled a booklet for local herdsmen, which uses pictures to explain the ways for preventing SARS. The achievement of the goal of building an all-round well-off society calls for long-term hard work of all Chinese people, as well as the assistance of Chinese-language newspapers worldwide.
China's media sector has developed rapidly. China now has more than 2,100 kinds of newspapers, 8,800 types of magazines and over 450 TV stations. The number of subscribers to the Internet has reached 68 million. The media sector has become the fourth largest taxpayer in the country, following electronic information, manufacturing and tobacco industries. The Chinese press now has 550,000 employees. However, the comprehensive strength of China's media is not strong enough. China lacks trans-media groups in real sense, and Chinese media's influence on global public opinion is limited. The reasons behind our media's weak influence are many-faceted, including the few number of Chinese-speaking countries, despite the large Chinese-speaking population. Western media is quite developed, and English is popular worldwide. Even for the tens of millions of Chinese descendents residing in other parts of the world, mainland newspapers and magazines lack direct publicity capacity and contents geared to their needs. They can hardly compete with your publications, which are more advantageous as they are published locally and are familiar with local readers' tastes.
China has witnessed continuous social progress and growing economic prosperity. There is no doubt that after its WTO accession, China has been acknowledged worldwide as a main player on global political and economic stages. A decade ago, international media had rare comments on China's economy, and few people cared about the exchange rate of the RMB. Today, however, news reports about China can be seen everyday on major newspapers worldwide. It goes without saying that the international community now finds it more imperative than before to acquire information from China.
The problem lies in whether the Western media could present China correctly. If the tens of millions of overseas Chinese and other Chinese people residing abroad could timely learn the current happenings in China, they would be able to pass the news to more others. It is my greatest hope that information about China could be reported in a correct way. The SCIO is ready to provide you with wholehearted services.
By the end of 2002, the number of foreign students studying in China had exceeded 60,000, with the majority of them learning Chinese. The Republic of Korea (ROK) recently disclosed that it had planned to train 25,000 people having a good command of Chinese in 10 years. At present, the number of ROK students studying Chinese in China has exceeded that of Japanese students. It is good news that Chinese newspapers have had these new readers.
The current process of economic globalization, in a sense, is dominated by a few developed nations. Former German Chancellor Schmidt pointed out a short time ago that countries worldwide should be on guard against the act of using globalization to erode on other countries' culture and languages. The 21st century will see the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, including the rejuvenation of China's economy and culture. Some 3,000 years ago, the Chinese civilization excelled on a par with the civilizations of ancient Egypt, ancient India and ancient Babylon. Ancient Chinese civilization not only contributed to the world four major inventions, but also precious cultural heritages like the philosophy of various schools of thought. China began to fall behind only in the 18th century. Now we see the dawn of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Chinese-language media abroad, which have always taken the spread of Chinese civilization as their task, are messengers of Sino-foreign cultural exchange. You have remained a major force contributing to the revitalization of Chinese culture. Chinese culture is a part of the global cultural treasure house. Your accomplishments have not only contributed to Chinese culture, but also to the world culture, as they have gone beyond the boundary of China.
I look forward to more glad tidings about your further achievements.
Photo Exhibition 'Memory of History' Successfully Held in the US
On October 18, the large exhibition Memory of History opened at the Air Force Museum in the United States. The exhibition, organized by the State Council Information Office, displayed photos and objects about Sino-US cooperation in the fight against Japanese fascists during World War II. A similar exhibition was held in Washington last year, evoking strong repercussions. At the request of the US side, an exhibition was held in the office building of the US Senate and the House of Representatives at the beginning of this year. After this, the US Air Force Museum asked for holding an exhibition, which is larger in scale and more substantial in content.
The Air Force Museum, located in Ohio and adjacent to the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (the largest of its kind in the United States), is the biggest aircraft museum in the world. The exhibition Memory of History held in the museum covered the deeds of Chinese and American peoples in their joint fight against Japanese aggression more than 60 years ago. Cherishing the memory of American pilots who sacrificed their lives during the anti-fascist war and Chinese civilians who braved their lives to rescue American pilots, the exhibition told the stories of the Flying Tiger air squadron, the Hump air route and the Rescuing Doolittle Team, which demonstrate Sino-US cooperation and friendship established during World War II. While addressing the exhibition's opening ceremony, SCIO Minister Zhao Qizheng said that in the past Chinese and American peoples fought shoulder to shoulder and at present the two great nations are joining hands to create a peaceful, stable and prosperous world in the 21st century.
The US side attached great importance to the exhibition, showing the desire to hold it jointly with the Chinese side and inviting important personages from American political and military circles to visit it. More than 400 people attended the opening ceremony, including Lt. Gen. Reynolds, commander of the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and representatives of the governor of Ohio and World War II veterans. Lt. Gen. Reynolds noted that the exhibition would help enhance the friendship between American and Chinese peoples. He hoped that the two countries and their armed forces could strengthen exchange and cooperation to jointly deal with terrorism that has posed a threat to the whole world. Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Charles D. Metcalf, curator of the Air Force Museum, said this phase of history should be let known by the young generation, in order to encourage the young people of the two countries to join hands to promote peace. He hoped that the exhibition would initiate opportunities for cultural exchanges between the two countries' armed forces. On the second day of the exhibition, the US side told the Chinese side that it hoped to extend the exhibition from six months to a year. Thus, the exhibition has become the one lasting the longest time among all large foreign publicity activities held by the SCIO.
ABC, NBC, US air force magazine and local newspapers and radio and TV stations actively covered the exhibition and its opening ceremony.
The exhibition evoked strong repercussions from American people, particularly veteran soldiers. More than 10 veterans attended the opening ceremony, and in early November, nearly 70 veterans went to China's Yunnan Province to revisit the place where they had fought.