Stable reform expands US-China relations

Updated: 2014-06-24 11:07

By May Zhou and Victor Jimenez in Houston (China Daily USA)

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Calling Chinese President Xi Jinping's reforms the most comprehensive since former leader Deng Xiaoping's in the 1980s, a China scholar offered a perspective on what the future holds for US-China relations.

A more stable economic reform program created by Xi that is sure to expand US-China relations was the central point of a lecture by Christopher Johnson, a senior adviser and chair of China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, on Monday at the Asia Society Texas Center in Houston.

Community and business leaders as well as diplomats gathered at the event to hear what Johnson had to say about the prospects for a more stable relationship between the US and China.

Johnson first gave a picture of Xi's governance since he came to power, saying that Xi has been able to move very quickly to have a smooth transition as evidenced by his recent successful crackdown on corruption.

"I have met him a few times and he's a very capable individual," said Johnson.

In Johnson's view, Xi's new approach is "the most comprehensive reform package since the 1980s", when Deng Xiaoping initiated the opening-up and reform policies.

Johnson said that China is not only dealing with internal issues but also has a better foreign policy and infrastructure. The recent tension in both the East China Sea and South China Sea is an indication that Xi is very forceful about preserving China's sovereignty, he said.

"Xi represents a new generation of Chinese leadership, they are much more confident, they are much more aware of their position in the world," he said.

Johnson pointed out that relations between China and the US are changing over time. Despite the ups and downs between the two nations, despite some friction in the relationship, Johnson said: "The US and China have become economically interdependent. This prevents us from reverting back to Cold War relations."

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 Stable reform expands US-China relations

Charles Foster (left), chairman of the Asia Society Texas Center in Houston, talks to Christopher Johnson (center) on Monday at the center. On the right is Cao Derong, consul and director of commerce of the Chinese Consulate General in Houston. Victor Jimenez / for China Daily

(China Daily USA 06/24/2014 page2)