Paul Haenle spoke on the 7th Annual China Town Hall at AmCham Beijing

(Paul Haenle, Director of the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing, speaks at the American Chamber of Commerce on the Sino-American relationship on Oct 29, 2013. His comments came in response to an address by Secretary Madeleine Albright.)

The National Committee on US-China Relations hosted the 7th annual China Town Hall entitled “Local Connection, National Reflections.” This day of programming featured a live webcast with Madeleine Albright, the 64th United States Secretary of State. AmCham China played a recording of the webcast followed by a panel discussion led by Timothy Stratford, partner at Covington & Burlington LLP, Paul Haenle, Director of the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, Shi Han, Resident Scholar of the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, and Huang Ping, Director General of the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The panel was moderated by Financial Times Beijing Bureau Chief Jamil Anderlini.

Key Points

  • Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called for a “positive and complementary” relationship between the US and China based on “not emotion but reason, not myth but fact”.
  • The panelists agreed that there is much room for cooperation between the two countries especially in less politicized areas. Both countries benefit from expanded economic relations; it is no longer a zero sum game.
  • The panelists emphasized that American policymakers must be open to their Chinese counterparts. Collaboration and heightened dialogue are crucial.


Former Secretary of State Albright called trust between Chinese and US leaders a “valuable bedrock for enhancing engagement,” referring to her own interactions with Chinese state officials in the past. During panelist remarks, Paul Haenle mentioned that cooperation between China and the US is imperative despite different political systems and histories. Politically acceptable areas, such as energy issues or global health, can be used as a common ground to progress China-US relations. Shi Han pointed out that one common core value of both China and the US is market-based capitalism. He expects this will grow even clearer with the upcoming Third Plenum reforms and with the launch of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. Tim Stratford underlined that US policymakers must be more open in listening to Chinese suggestions. Huang Ping also noted that this collaborative, dynamic relationship is no longer zero-sum but a win-win situation.

Source: Oct 31, 2013, Amcham China News