Bush foresees improvement in US-China ties

Updated: 2011-08-10 21:18


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BEIJING - Former US President George W. Bush wrote in his memoir that he is optimistic about the US-China relationship, calling for it to improve in the future.

"When I first came to Beijing thirty-six years ago, it was almost impossible to imagine the vibrant Chinese society that exists today or the cooperative relationship that our nations now enjoy. My hope is that our relationship will improve even more over the next thirty-six years," Bush said in the introduction to Chinese edition of his book "Decision Points."

The Chinese edition of Bush's first memoir was released on Wednesday by China Citic Press, a leading Chinese publisher, in collaboration with the the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC).

The 446-page memoir is broken into 14 chapters, covering major events throughout Bush's eight-year presidency such as the September 11 terrorist attacks, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Hurricane Katrina and the financial crisis of 2008.

In the introduction to the Chinese edition, Bush recalled his visits to China since 1975 when his father George Bush served as the chief of the Liaison Office in Beijing, after former US President Richard Nixon's historic trip that reopened relations in 1972.

"I was struck by the rich history, fascinating culture, and extraordinary potential of the country. I was captivated, and I knew that one day I would come back," Bush said.

A quarter century passed before Bush made that return trip. During his presidency, he came to China four times, including during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Bush said some of his most consequential decisions as president focused on America's relationship with China, which is now considered by many observers to be the most pivotal bilateral relationship in the world.

"I enjoyed the opportunity to work closely with two Chinese leaders, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, to improve our diplomatic ties and promote the mutual interests of our nations," Bush said.

Bush called on the United States and China to share a legacy of friendship, prosperity, and peace.

"I think the book is readable, as Bush describes his presidency and personal life in a sincere and candid way," said Li Xiaolin, vice chairperson of the CPAFFC, a non-governmental friendship body. "The chapter about quitting drinking is particularly moving."

The book devoted many pages to China-related issues, which reflects the importance Bush gave to US-China relations, Li added.

Bush's account of his presidency offered a window on the definitive events that occurred in the first eight years of this century, thus the book is worth reading, said Jin Canrong, an international relations scholar with Renmin University of China.


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