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four decades has been a blessing to not only our two countries, but the whole world,” said Cui Ti
ankai, Chinese ambassador to the US, in his remarks during the awards presentation.
“And the essence of the 40-year story is amity between the peoples, which lays the foundation for
and shapes the future of our relations,” he said, adding that the stories shared by peoples from the two cou
ntries through the My China Album series will always “be a source of inspiration and motivation for us”.
Hundreds of US citizens participated in the series from Feb 6 to April 19, sharing their personal stories about China thro
ugh photos and captions. Ten of the participants were recognized for their genuine and touching stories.
“I was so honored to win first place in this year’s My China Album,” said
Max Horne, an incoming Harvard University freshman who visited Yunnan province years a
go and studied the Naxi culture, a local ethnic group. “There’s endless culture for us to appreciate.”
tain a breakneck pace of economic development, which has brought booming economic prosperity.
Unfortunately, it has also brought a deteriorating environment. Seeing heavy smog, for ex
ample, many people feel that a worsening environment will destroy the happiness brought by economic growth.
Since 2012, the new leadership under President Xi Jinping has put forward a series of ecol
ogical ideas. On Sunday, Xi said at the opening ceremony of the exhibition that “green mountains and cle
ar waters are indeed mountains of gold and silver, and environmental improvement means great productivity”.
This idea, dubbed the theory of two mountains, enjoys immense popular support in China.
Xi, who is also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party o
f China, urged officials at all levels never to sacrifice the environment for economic growth.
addressed are the issues that the business community is concerned about”.
“It is excellent that President Xi recognized some problems,” especially those associated with its Belt and Road Initi
ative, such as transparency and corruption, said Craig Allen, president of the US-China Business Council.
Experts also were interested in how the reform policies and laws would be implemented, something Xi addressed in his speech.
“People are very positive about the direction, but they need to
know the details” of how the promises would be delivered, Overholt said.
Xi, citing the old Chinese saying “honoring a promise carries the weight of gold”, pledged to install a binding mec
hanism for international agreements, to make sure governments at all levels operate in well-regulated wa
ys, and to update laws and regulations to abolish unjustified practices, keeping in line with the needs of opening-up.