In his reply dated Sept. 12, Xi said he hopes that the spirit of Flying Tigers will be carried on from generation to generation among Chinese and American peoples.
"I was heartened by the great enthusiasm of the Sino-American Aviation Heritage Foundation and the veterans of Flying Tigers in letting more Chinese and Americans know about the stories of the Flying Tigers over the years. Inspired by this, more and more young Americans have joined the Flying Tigers Friendship Schools and Youth Leadership Program, and nearly 500 Flying Tigers veterans and several hundred of their family members have visited China. I wish to pay tribute to you for all this," Xi said.
"In the past, our two peoples fought the Japanese fascists together, and forged a deep friendship that withstood the test of blood and fire," Xi said. "In the future, the two major countries shoulder even more important responsibility for world peace, stability and development."
"We therefore should, and we must, respect each other, coexist in peace and pursue win-win cooperation," he said.
Noting that "in growing China-U.S. relations, the hope lies in the people, the foundation lies among the people, and the future lies with the youth," Xi said that "a sound and steady development of the relationship in the new era requires the input and support of a new generation of Flying Tigers."
Founded in 1998, the Sino-American Aviation Heritage Foundation is an American civil friendship group aimed at promoting the study and commemoration of China-U.S. historical aviation events.
Recently, Greene, Moyer and McMullen jointly wrote a letter to Xi, in which they introduced the efforts of the foundation and Flying Tigers veterans in helping promote China-U.S. friendly exchanges, and expressed their willingness to inherit and carry forward the precious spirit of China-U.S. cooperation.