Economic collaboration driving forcein U.S.-China relations -- Neil Bush

Updated 2017-11-07 15:02:58 Xinhua

U.S.-China economic collaboration has strengthened the bilateral relationship between the two world powers, American businessman and investor Neil Bush, son of former U.S. President George H. W. Bush, said.

In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Neil Bush, who is also a younger brother of former President George W. Bush, stressed the role of economic partnership in the strengthened level of U.S.-China bilateral relations.

"I think the economy has brought these two great countries together," he said. "Economic relations and ties, business to business, are the cement that glues the countries' collaborations. I think there are so many ways that we can collaborate."

Like a ripple effect, Sino-U.S. collaboration not only benefits the two countries, but improves global sustainable development and prosperity.

"My dad has always said that the U.S.-China relationship is the most important bilateral relationship in the world," Neil Bush said. "And these two countries, as strong as we are, must collaborate in helping solve great global challenges that lay ahead of us."

Neil Bush is chairman of the George H.W. Bush China-U.S. Relations Conference initiated by his father in 2003, which annually convenes leaders of the two countries to cooperate on issues of global importance.

Because of his family's China connections, he paid his first visit there more than 30 years ago. Today, he travels to China on business almost every month. From his vantage point of watching China's phenomenal growth in the past three decades, he is working to strengthen the bonds even more.

"China and the United States must find ways to join forces, to lock arms, to do good for the world, to combat the challenges that we face," he said.

Bush acknowledged that there are political sensitivities in certain areas on each side, but said maintaining close contact on all levels is the way to ensure that that bilateral relations remain on the right track.

"We need government-to-government collaborations," he said. "We need people-to-people exchanges. And all these things help put roots into the ground so that when political winds blow, the relationship stays strong."

Born and raised in the southern state of Texas, Bush is proud of his home town with world-leading energy and medical industries as well as space center.

As one of the key industries in Texas, the energy sector provides a steady bridge for Chinese companies to invest and do businesses. He referred to the flourishing shale oil development to say that Chinese companies can learn and practice in Texas before bringing innovative technology and know-how back to China.

"In West Texas there are a number of Chinese companies that I know of that are learning from the operators in that part of the world ... how to develop and extract oil from shale and gas from shale, which may have application back home in China," he said.

In addition to traditional oil and gas industries, China is an ardent proponent of clean and renewable energy, particularly solar and wind energy. Bush said both countries can learn from each other and benefit from cross-border trade, which "really does deepen the relationship."

Healthcare is another area. "There's a growing need in China for a higher quality healthcare and more healthcare for people," he said.

Houston in Texas, the fourth largest U.S. city, is home to the world's largest medical center, and first-rate medical schools and research centers.

Bush said the technological advances developed in Houston are applicable in China, while technologies developed in China can be helpful for American doctors and medicine makers.

"There's going to be more cross-border collaboration and sharing of best practices in a range of different areas," he said.

Bush welcomed Chinese investors to explore the opportunities in Houston.

"I encourage Chinese investors to jump on Air China's direct flight from Beijing to Houston -- you can get here in 13 hours," he said. "We're a very warm and welcoming diverse city, and the state is very open to Chinese investment."

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