“Through my brother’s eyes, I saw factory after factory closed, unemployment grew, Dayton (a city in Ohio) became hollowed out,” according to Stephen A. Orlins, but great changes have taken place due to investment from China.
Orlins, president of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, was quite emotional when recalling the grand opening of the newest U.S. facility of Fuyao Glass, a Chinese company leading the world’s automotive glass manufacturing, in early October in his hometown.
“That morning two months ago, I watched the rebirth of a community because Fuyao Glass, a Chinese company, took over the closed General Motors factory, and created 2,500 American jobs,” said Orlins at the organization’s 50th anniversary gala on Thursday.
Upon completion, Fuyao Glass America, a nearly 470,000-square-meter facility housed in General Motors’ former assembly plant, will be the largest glass fabrication plant in the world.
This represents 450 million U.S. dollars in total investment by Fuyao, the largest Chinese investment in Ohio history and the eighth largest direct foreign investment in the United States over the last decade.
“(The moment) I know I have glimpsed the promised land of a constructive U.S.-China relations and I know we’ll get there,” Orlins said, citing a famous phrase by Dr. Martin Luther King in 1966.
Orlins was not alone in having a glimpse of sound relations between the world’s largest developed country and the largest developing country.
“China is enormously important to our success as a company and as a major U.S. exporter,” said Raymond L. Conner, vice chairman of Boeing Co., the largest U.S. exporter, in his speech at the event.
More than 50 percent of the commercial jetliners operating in China are Boeing airplanes, he said.
Boeing has forecast that in the next 20 years, China will demand 6,810 new aircraft with a total value of about 1 trillion dollars. This demand will make China the biggest customer of Boeing commercial airplanes.