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April 11, 2006

CCCME Dinner and Reception

On Tuesday, April 11, 2006, the U.S.-China Policy Foundation held a dinner and reception in honor of a delegation from the China Chamber of Commerce for the Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME). Held at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Washington, the event began with a reception lasting from 6:30-7:00 PM, followed by a dinner from 7:00-8:30 PM.

After the dinner, Dr. Wang Chi, President and CoChair of the foundation introduced Ms. Yao Wenping, head of the delegation and vice president of the China Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Yao presented some brief remarks about her delegation’s mission and business opportunities in China. She explained that the China Chamber of Commerce is one of the most important business organizations in China. The delegation was comprised of more than 50 leading Chinese executives and Ministry of Commerce officials. The CCCME delegation was the business-side of a broader delegation, which included Vice-Premier Madame Wuyi and Chinese Commerce Department officials. On the night of the dinner, Vice Premier Wuyi also attended a dinner at the National Archives to meet with U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative officials. While the CCCME delegation had a separate itinerary than the Commerce delegation, their mission and goals were one. The delegation visited the United States for two weeks immediately preceding Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit. The full delegation has traveled through the U.S. for ten days, stopping in multiple cities to meet and sign deals with new and old American business contacts. In total, the “purchasing delegation” signed 16 billion dollars worth in purchasing agreements. Ms. Yao concluded that she felt that the delegation had achieved real success and paved the way for a positive visit for Chinese President Hu.

Following Ms. Yao’s statement, Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr., former Assistant Secretary of Defense, former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and former Deputy Chief of Mission in China, addressed the audience in English and Chinese, much to the delight of the Chinese speakers in the audience.

The dinner allowed American and Chinese businesspeople to meet in an intimate setting. Noted guests included USCPF board members, retired government officials, representatives from prestigious trade organizations, as well as distinguished American and Chinese businesspeople. The foundation hopes to continue with its efforts to develop the trade relationship between the U.S. and China. Plans are underway at the foundation to lead a delegation of businessmen from medium-sized firms to meet with their Chinese counterparts in the next year.

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