US and the New Silk Road: 2017 US-China Transportation Forum in San Francisco

June 24, 2017

Over 200 Chinese and American government officials and infrastructure company delegates participated on June 22 in the "2017 U.S.-China Transportation Cooperation Forum" in San Francisco. China Daily reports today that: "Chinese infrastructure techniques are urgently needed to rehabilitate America's poorly maintained and in some cases dilapidated bridges and road system, industry experts from both countries agree. The fact that the U.S., the world's most economically and technologically powerful country, should import fast-train know-how from a developing China, reflects a new normal for China-U.S. cooperation and communication."

Luo Linquan, China's consul general to San Francisco, said in a keynote speech at the forum: "China and the U.S. cooperation on the infrastructure front is posed to become the new highlight in the trade engagement between the two countries. California along with its neighboring states has especially close trade relations with China. The import and export volume between this region and China has mounted to more than $201 billion in 2016."

Chad Edison, deputy secretary for transportation at California's state transportation agency, said at the forum: "The One Belt, One Road Initiative was conceived in China but it provides a global platform for economic development for all the countries participating." Edison said that the transportation system in the state was "not as efficient as it should be," but could be improved with Chinese builders, know-how and services.

The president of the China Railway Signal & Communication Corp., Michael Lee, told the Forum that he hoped to build the group's "second home" in the U.S. "American infrastructure may be outdated," he said, "but the country has very high industry standards. Those high standards help Chinese companies learn and grow."

China Daily noted that experts at the forum "concluded that the two governments' very different attitudes toward infrastructure and how it would affect the economy have become an inevitable hurdle."