Vice-Premier praises win-win ties
Updated: 2013-11-20 12:07
By Chen Weihua in Washington (China Daily USA)
Visiting Chinese Vice-Premier Liu Yandong assured Americans that the comprehensive reform mapped out by the just-concluded Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China will bring more happiness to the Chinese people, create a win-win situation for China and the United States and also bring more opportunities to the world.
She said that it will be especially true against the backdrop of China and the US building a new type of major country relationship, a concept stressed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama at their summit in Sunnylands, California, in early June, when they vowed to defy the historical rivalry between a rising power and existing power.
Liu made the comment on Tuesday evening at a reception at the Chinese embassy in Washington attended by former US government officials, business and civic leaders, including former National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and former US Trade Representative Carla Hills.
Chinese Vice-Premier Liu Yandong (center), former US National Security Advisor Tom Donilon (right) and former US Labor Secretary Elaine Chao attend a dinner banquet at the Chinese Embassy in Washington on Tuesday. Sun Chenbei / China Daily
Liu described the wide-ranging reform measures for the next eight years leading to 2020 charted by the Third Plenum as "unprecedented in scale".
Liu said the purpose of her visit was to jointly host the fourth China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE) with US Secretary of State John Kerry. "[It] is to further implement the consensus reached by the heads of the two nations, to strengthen high-level communications and people-to-people exchange in order to enrich the new type of major country relationship," said Liu, the highest Chinese official to visit the US after the Third Plenum.
The fourth CPE that Liu and Kerry will host on Thursday is expected to produce an outcome report to further enhance the people-to-people exchanges in the areas of education, culture, science and technology, sports, youth and women issues.
Liu said she has felt the passion of the American people in China-US relations during her visit to Chicago over the last two days.
"It makes me more confident about the future of China-US relations," she said. She asked the guests to make suggestions to further strengthen the people-to-people ties.
Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai said Liu has brought an important message about China's plan to deepen comprehensive reforms.
He compared the Third Plenum held a week ago to the Third Plenum of the 11th CPC Central Committee in 1978, when Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping launched China's reform and opening-up policy. Deng shortly thereafter made a trip to the US in 1979, which Cui described as contributing to the normalization of China-US relations and benefiting the welfare of the two peoples.
"It also changed the world," he said. "China is deepening its reform and China and the US are building a new type of major country relationship. I believe the interaction this time will have profound significance."
Elaine Chao, the first Chinese American to become a cabinet secretary, called herself a "tremendous advocate for people-to-people exchange".
"Because I believe that before people can do business, and can do exchanges in information, science and literature, they have to understand one another, so it's very important that the two very different cultures understand each other's history, philosophy and traditions," Chao said.
Wall Street mogul Stephen Schwarzman, founder of the Blackstone Group, was also at the reception. He announced in April an effort to raise $300 million, including $100 million of his own money, to start a program at Tsinghua University in Beijing similar to the Rhodes Scholarships program. On Oct 24, a residential and teaching building for the program broke ground in Beijing.
When operational in 2016, the program will bring 200 students a year to China - 45 percent from the US, 20 percent from China and 35 percent from the rest of the world.
He believed that people from the scholarship program will be able to interpret China better back in their own countries. "That's one very important way to defuse tensions," he said.
Robert Daly, director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Wilson Center, said that while both countries are talking about building a new type of major country relationship and both countries should not become enemies, there are still worrying signs in the Western Pacific which are not that optimistic.
But he added that people-to-people exchanges will become an important force that stabilizes that new type of major country relationship.
(China Daily USA 11/20/2013 page1)