US-China at 40: Seeking A New Framework to Manage Bilateral Relations
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ATLANTA — Forty years after U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping ended three decades of estrangement between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, The Carter Center will convene a three-day symposium on Sino-American relations.
The symposium, which takes place Jan. 17-19, will include talks and panel discussions featuring several dozen leading scholars, think-tank experts, and veterans of statecraft. Much of the event, including keynote remarks on the morning of Jan. 18 by President Carter and Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai, will be open to the press.
The symposium comes at a critical time for U.S.-China relations, which in recent months have been marked by increasing tension and an acrimonious trade war.
“As President Carter himself recently noted, the benefits that both our countries have reaped from four decades of increasing cooperation are now in jeopardy because of a deterioration of trust and respect in both capitals,” said Carter Center CEO Ambassador (ret.) Mary Ann Peters. “Ensuring that the United States and China can continue to navigate toward collaboration on bilateral and global issues is one of the vital challenges of our time.”
Background: On Dec. 15, 1978, Carter and Deng announced that they would “normalize” diplomatic ties between the two nations on Jan. 1, 1979, laying the foundation for the rapid growth of bilateral relations. Today, the American and Chinese economies are the world’s two largest, and Sino-American economic, political, and military relations weigh heavily on the global future. President Carter’s breakthrough with China stands as one of the major foreign-policy accomplishments of his presidency.