Town Hall highlights why ties crucial

By Zhao Huanxin and Chen Weihua in Washington and Zhang Ruinan in New York | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-10-25 11:10

Cooperation between the two most important powers in the world is integral to confronting transnational challenges ranging from trade to security, the president of the National Committee on US-China Relations said at the annual China Town Hall meetings on Tuesday.

The 11th annual event took place in 84 venues throughout the US and two venues in China, and for the first time included the United States Military Academy at West Point, which had 130 cadets in the audience, said Stephen A. Orlins, president of New York-based NCUSCR.

Orlins said the Town Hall couldn't be timelier, as it coincided with the conclusion of the twice-in-a-decade 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and took place some two weeks before US President Donald Trump's first state visit to China.

"As we enter this important period, the United States and China must set the course for constructive engagement to solve critical transnational issues, including nonproliferation, climate change, public health, trade, investment, terrorism and global peace and stability," he said.

Bill Armbruster, a former journalist from New Jersey who attended the Town Hall in New York, said: "I'd love to see maybe President Xi Jinping could talk to him (Trump) about the importance of climate change."

Robert Blohm, an investment banker, said he was concerned about Trump's upcoming visit to China, too.

"What Trump's policy agenda will be is not quite clear, but he is probably going to push China in terms of market access, so US tech companies are going to push back, and on the military issue, Trump might want to make a deal on North Korea problems."

At the Georgetown University venue in Washington, Dennis Wilder, senior fellow and professor at the Initiative for US-China Dialogue on Global Issues at Georgetown University, said the Korean issue will dominate Trump's visit to East Asia.

"I think this (US-China relations) can be a very positive relationship. I think President Trump is pleased with some of what President Xi has done since Mar-a-Lago (meeting in April), particularly on the Korea (Peninsula) problem," Wilder said. "I also think they are working through some of the trade issues. I think the Comprehensive Economic Dialogue is off to a reasonable start."

Susan E. Rice, former national security advisor and US ambassador to the UN, was the national webcast speaker.

Town Hall highlights why ties crucial

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