LOS ANGELES: US involvement in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative may start with the US state of California, China's top diplomat in Los Angeles said on Friday.
"California maintains a close economic and trade tie and people-to-people exchange with China," China Daily quoted Zhang Ping, Chinese Consul General in Los Angeles, as saying in his keynote speech to the Belt and Road Forum.
"Cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative may start with California," Zhang said.
The initiative is a visionary blueprint that seeks to enhance global economic development, and reinvigorate the seamless flow of capital, goods and service by promoting international connectivity and forging new ties with among the communities.
Washington and Beijing are at odds over tariffs and both countries have imposed levies on goods imported.
California, a pioneering state in fighting climate change in the United States, has an aggressive agenda in cutting greenhouse gases and developing renewable energy.
To achieve that goal, California Governor Jerry Brown has said that California needs "a very close partnership with China."
"The Belt and Road Initiative provides important opportunities for all countries and regions, including the United States," Zhang added.
The forum aims to provide updated ideas, insights and development projects of the initiative, among others, said Danton K. Mak, president of Hong Kong Association of Southern California.