Friday October 18, 2019

USPCF AND CHINESE EMBASSY HOLD LUNCHEON FOR U.S. COMPANIES

November 1, 2012



 

On November 1, 2012, the U.S.-China Policy Foundation held a luncheon for representatives of major U.S. companies. The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China graciously agreed to host the luncheon in celebration of the role American businesses have played in supporting both the U.S.-China Policy Foundation and the U.S.-China relationship overall. His Excellency Zhang Yesui, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the United States, hosted the luncheon and gave opening remarks. The luncheon was attended by representatives from Alcoa Inc., Amgen, The Babcock & Wilcox Company, The Boeing Company, Caterpillar Inc., Citi, FedEx Express, Nike Inc., and Pfizer Inc. The luncheon was also attended by other senior-level Embassy staff members as well as USCPF board members Ambassador J. Stapleton Roy and Ambassador James Keith.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador Zhang gave a brief overview of the current state of U.S.-China relations. He first pointed out how incredibly close America and China have grown since the 1970s. Ambassador Zhang used one telling statistic as evidence of this fact: In the early 1970s, 10,000 people traveled between America and China in a year. Today, the same number of people travel between the two nations every day. Ambassador Zhang pointed out how intertwined the U.S. and China have become, especially in the economic and business spheres. Ambassador Zhang also noted how beneficial this cooperation is, noting that American jobs are created not only by American exports to China but also by American imports from China, contrary to what many people might have expected.

Ambassador Zhang expressed his belief that U.S.-China relations are progressing smoothly, in part because of the joint decision by President Barack Obama and President Hu Jintao to forge a cooperative relationship between America and China that is built on mutual respect and mutual benefit. Ambassador Zhang also pointed to the many high-level dialogues between America and China as important tools in furthering the relationship. While he noted that there are disagreements between the two countries, Ambassador Zhang said that this is only natural in any bilateral relationship, and he expressed his full confidence that America and China will avoid the historical trap of conflict between an established power and a rising power. Ambassador Zhang then invited USCPF President Dr. Chi Wang to say some words about the important role the U.S.-China Policy Foundation plays in helping improve U.S.-China relations.

Dr. Wang gave a brief overview of the history of the U.S.-China Policy Foundation, starting from its founding in 1995 by Dr. Wang, Ambassador Arthur Hummel, Jr., and Ambassador John H. Holdridge. The USCPF was founded because these three men recognized the need for an organization that would promote mutual trust and understanding between America and China. It was particularly important to have such an organization based in the D.C. area. Dr. Wang highlighted the USCPF’s role in advancing U.S.-China business relations before inviting USCPF Board Member Ambassador J. Stapleton Roy to expand on the function of the USCPF.

Ambassador Roy mentioned two key elements that hinder the successful development of U.S.-China relations: divided public opinion, because many Americans view China as a threat, and U.S. government officials and policymakers who are uninformed about China or have unrealistic expectations towards China. Ambassador Roy praised the USCPF’s role in helping to alleviate both these problems through its educational programs and its work in organizing trips to China for U.S. policymakers. Ambassador James Keith, also a USCPF board member, added that the USCPF plays a key role in fostering and maintaining personal relationships between American and Chinese decision makers. These relationships and personal experiences are crucial in expanding mutual trust, understanding, and respect between the two countries.

After the formal remarks, conversation at the luncheon touched on topics as varied as the upcoming U.S. election and the best Chinese restaurants in the D.C. area. Much of the discussion centered on what to expect from the incoming Chinese leadership. Many of the guests agreed that the top priority for China’s leaders will be economic reforms and continued economic growth.

Since economic and business relations are likely to continue to be at the forefront of U.S.-China relations, the USCPF was happy to host a luncheon bringing together Chinese Embassy personnel and representatives of key American companies. The USCPF extends its heartfelt thanks to the Chinese Embassy and Ambassador Zhang for hosting such an informative event.