Philadelphia tries to set the tone for U.S.-China relations

Kenney: "I think it's important that cities continue to forge relationships with our partners."

Pat Loeb
August 20, 2018 - 1:19 pm
Mayor Jim Kenney stands at the podium as Chinese attendees look on and Kenney shakes hands with Heyi Song, chief editor of Chinese Media Group

Pat Loeb | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — U.S.-China relations may be strained over tariffs, but Philadelphia-China relations are good and getting better. The city co-sponsored a forum at the Pennsylvania Convention Center with Chinese officials on Monday. The forum focused on their shared interest in cultural heritage and urban development, but it promoted general good will, too.

Chinese Consul-general Zhao Yumin started the forum off, sharing his concerns about the direction of U.S.-China relations.

"Not all American people want to be friends and partners to China," he said. "Some of them argue we are rivals because China is stealing our jobs, stealing our technology."

Mayor Jim Kenney was sympathetic and reassuring.

"The United States of America has gone through a very difficult period of time in the last year and a half," Kenney said. "I think it's important that cities continue to forge relationships with our partners, especially China."

The city is working on getting non-stop flights to Beijing, and hopes the forum — which included Chinese tourism officials and was heavily covered by Chinese media — will raise its profile in China.