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Chinese ambassador optimistic that global teamwork can fix economy

The future of the relationship between China and the United States is looking up, China’s ambassador to the U.S. Zhou Wenzhong, told students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Tuesday.

‘In understanding between our two peoples, I’m confident, I’m optimistic,’ Zhou said.

Chinese President Hu Jintao recently spoke with President Barack Obama on the phone about a potential visit, Zhou said.

‘Obama is welcome to visit China, and Obama also expressed his welcome,’ Zhou said.

Globalization is a permanent reality, so Zhou said world leaders must work together to solve the worldwide economic crisis. China is undertaking a 4 trillion yuan economic stimulus package of its own, equivalent to $585 billion, he said.

‘China will definitely do its share, but China alone can’t solve the problem,’ Zhou said. ‘We have to do it together.’

China will continue to develop and learn from the western world in some ways, Zhou said.

‘We know that we need to learn from others,’ Zhou said. ‘We’ll continue to learn whatever is good for China. The development needs to be sustained. We need to grow our economy in a sustainable way. We need to do better.’

But China was the first country to come up with a national plan for environmental protection, despite being a high polluter, Zhou said.

‘You’ll see a reduction of 10 percent in terms of pollutants [by 2010],’ he said.

Zhou said the most important thing is a unified effort.

‘Developed countries should help developing countries,’ Zhou said. ‘The beauty is that we have a common responsibility.’

A conference at the end of this year to discuss what the international community can do to reduce pollution is part of this common responsibility, Zhou said.

‘China is doing what it should do and what it can do,’ Zhou said. ‘You try to get all the countries to give and take . . . to undertake a mutual combination. Otherwise the problem won’t be solved.’

MIT graduate student Lu Gao said Zhou gave him a sense of optimism about U.S. foreign relations.

‘[He’s] quite positive about the future and what’s going on,’ Gao said. ‘His appearance here emphasizes that we are on the right track and are developing together.’

MIT junior Sean Liu agreed.

‘We have a lot to look forward to,’ Liu said. ‘This presentation is kind of representative of this new trend . . . as we move forward a lot of it’s going to be working together in partnerships. This workshop is just another example of the partnership between the two countries.’

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