HOUSTON, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Consulate General here hosted a grand reception Sunday to greet the Chinese Lunar New Year and Lantern Festival in the United States' fourth largest city.
Consul General Xu Erwen expressed good wishes to overseas Chinese and Sino-U.S. relations in the new year. She also expressed gratitude to those who had contributed to China's development and Sino-U.S. relations.
"The year 2012 witnessed tour de force achievements scored in China's development and modernization drive," Xu said.
China's GDP hit 51.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2012, a year-on-year increase of 7.8 percent, Xu said, noting progress was also made in making China a nation of laws, and in cultural undertakings, social welfare and insurance for the Chinese people.
"The year 2012 witnessed stable and sound development of Sino-U.S. relations," Xu said, adding the two countries were currently each other's second largest trading partner.
Bilateral trade between China and the United States in 2012 hit 484.68 billion dollars, a 180-fold increase since Sino-U.S. diplomatic ties were established in 1971, she said.
Investment in China from the United States amounted to 170 billion dollars. Meanwhile, "more and more Chinese companies are coming to the United States, generating thousands of jobs for the locals," Xu said.
Xu expressed confidence in China's development and Sino-U.S. relations in the new year. "The year 2013 will be the very first year to implement the goals set by the 18th Party Congress and the 12th Five-year Plan. It will also be a very important year for Sino-U.S. relations," she said.
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