By Xinhua writers Chen Yu, Zhang Yongxing
HOUSTON, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- China's development has not only brought better life for its own people but also contributed to world prosperity, and hence should be welcomed, a Texas city official has said.
"If the world needs to advance, it should be built on previous advances. If China advances, the whole world will build on that success, " Danny Nguyen, council member of Missouri city, Texas, told Xinhua in a recent interview.
"I knew of China when I was a kid in elementary school in Vietnman, studying the history of China. You know China and Vietnam have long relations and that is part of history. The two countries share many similarities," said Nguyen, who came to the U. S. in 1984 as an immigrant from Vietnam.
As a city official, Nguyen came to have hands-on knowledge of China when he first visited China three years ago with a delegation headed by Houston Mayor Annise Parker to the Shanghai World Expo. Last year, he had the opportunity to visit southern China's cities Foshan and Shenzhen with a delegation from Fort Bend county, Texas, and helped hammer out a MOU between Fort Bend and Foshan.
"China's economic performance over the past 30 years has been remarkable. It was outstanding. I have seen it with my own eyes. That's a unique success story," Nguyen said.
In Foshan city, Nguyen said, "we were very impressed with all the transformation that has taken place in the city, all the buildings and industries. " This very dynamic city "is a good match for Fort Bend county," Nguyen said.
The development, like what is taking place in Foshan, "is great for China, because in the process of transforming and improving economically, China has reduced poverty significantly, " said Nguyen, adding that the development enables China to provide a better-quality of living for its people.
"In terms of the whole world, I think we also benefit from that (China's development). I believe the advancements of any country will have direct impact on the whole world, "Nguyen added.
Asked if he thinks that China's development, like some people have said, may be a threat to other countries, Nguyen said: "I do not think China's development is a threat."
"If you look at it from the social, cultural and economic perspectives, China's development is great," he said. "It is a great thing because it's beneficial to everyone. "
"For example, there is a group of people going to school in a same group, and one person is doing extremely well. Do you think that person is a potential threat to others? I think that person's doing well is good news, because if a person advances, others will have the opportunity to advance too," said Nguyen.
In Nguyen's view, the real threat to countries "is poverty, disease, pollution, not people to people." In that sense, China's development, which contributes to the world's prosperity, "should be welcome and is something that people should feel excited about, " he said.
China's development is also good to the U.S. in many senses, Nguyen said. "We (Americans) are able to have a lot of choices when it comes to shopping. The consumers benefit from it (China's development)."
More and more Chinese people, who are much well-off today thanks to the country's economic development, are visiting and traveling to other countries, Nguyen said. Chinese tourists come to the U.S., spending money and purchasing products, he said.
Nguyen said he once accepted a Chinese delegation of 50 delegates to Houston. "They (the delegates) spent money like crazy. That is only a small group. What I see is that the whole population of China will prosper and will have that purchasing power too. Isn't that great?" he said.
The state of Texas enjoys close trade relations with China. As Texas' third largest trading partner, China bought more than 10.9 billion U.S. dollars worth of Texas goods in 2011, Texas Governor Rick Perry said in a letter to a recent U.S.-China cooperation forum in Houston.
Nguyen also stressed the importance of the trade ties. " Without the cooperation between China and the U.S., I think a lot of companies in the U.S. will close doors," he said.
Nguyen expressed the hope that his visit to Foshan and the signing of a MOU between Foshan and Fort Bend "will really lead to economic development" on both sides.
"The MOU encourages trade development. Foshan is very well known for porcelain, electronics and furniture. Fort Bend is a fastest-growing county. We invite them to set up manufacturing facilities, a distribution center and outlets here. The local government is very aggressive in providing incentives. We also encourage U.S. companies to come to Foshan to purchase some supplies," Nguyen said.
The Chinese companies' arrival will bring vast benefits to the local economy, Nguyen said.
"You see a piece of vacant land, it would turn into a building. When a vacant land transforms into a building, it creates commercial tax base, jobs, and you provide services to the local county, " he said.
Nguyen said he has seen an increasing number of delegations to the U.S. from China in the past two years, and he expects that trend to continue.
"I would like to see more (Chinese delegations) in the future, " he said.