LOS ANGELES, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. port officials and Chinese representatives met Friday in Long Beach, California, to discuss bilateral cooperation amid ongoing global supply chain challenges.
The meeting was hosted by the Long Beach-Qingdao Association (LBQA), which was established in 1985 with an aim to promote exchange and trade between Long Beach and Qingdao.
Zhang Ping, Chinese consul general in Los Angeles, underlined that with decades of development, the global supply chain has become a hallmark of economic globalization and a main feature of world economy, playing an important role in promoting economic connectivity, integration and growth.
Speaking highly of the friendly relations between the two cities, Long Beach and Qingdao, and the two ports, Port of Long Beach and Port of Qingdao, he said, "We look forward to seeing more practical cooperation done, and more cultural exchange activities carried out."
According to Bonnie Lowenthal, a commissioner from the Long Beach Harbor Board, Long Beach's container throughput rose from 3.5 million containers in 1997 to a record 9.4 million in 2021.
"As we've grown, we've both benefited from mutual exchanges of information and cooperation," she said. "Clearly the vital commercial link between our ports has indeed been a great wellspring of prosperity for our nations."
"I am always amazed by the production capacity of China," said Daniel Gardner, president of Trade Facilitators, Inc., a Los Angeles-based supply chain consulting and training firm.
China is now a "manufacturing powerhouse" and produces high-quality, well-engineered, reasonably-priced products for the world, said Gardner, adding that logistically, on port operations and automation, "there is a lot to admire and learn from China."
The panelists agreed that as the U.S.-China cooperation on supply chain sustainability is a paramount concern, much more needs to be done.
Noel Hacegaba, deputy executive director at the Port of Long Beach noted that since 70 percent of the port's import containers come from China, any move to decouple the U.S. and Chinese economies -- the two largest economies in the world -- would cause more global disruptions.
Zhang warned against politicizing the global supply chain, pointing out that in the United States, some people are still preaching for U.S.-China economic decoupling -- even though that would further disrupt the global supply chain.
"The two countries share a wide range of common interests and there exists a great potential for closer trade and economic ties," he said, adding that the two countries should make joint efforts to stabilize the global supply chain and promote the steady recovery of the world economy. ■