SHANGHAI, March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- The Honorable Gary Locke, U.S. Ambassador to the People's Republic of China, delivered the 2012 Barnett-Oksenberg Lecture on Sino-American Relations on March 19 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Shanghai.
"From where I stand, I believe our bilateral relationship is entering a new phase," said Locke. "I believe we need to turn our focus toward strengthening bilateral collaboration – at all levels – to produce tangible benefits for the people in both our countries – jobs, prosperity and security."
The annual lecture, presented by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and the Shanghai Association of American Studies and supported by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (AmCham Shanghai), has become an unofficial "state of U.S.-China Relations" address.
In an address to an audience of more than 450 U.S. business leaders, Chinese academics, students and members of the Chinese and international media, Locke emphasized that the United States welcomes China's economic ascent and that the China market is critical to creating jobs in America. But he also stressed that an economic partnership between the two countries requires fairness in both policy and practice. "By fairness, I mean guaranteeing a level playing field for healthy competition between U.S and Chinese firms. Fairness also means ending discrimination against U.S. companies; ending unfair trade preferences for domestic firms…" said Locke.
The ambassador ended his remarks by calling on both countries to resist "political winds in either country to push the relationship off course" and urged attendees to work towards a lasting bilateral relationship.
Following Ambassador Locke's speech, Professor Yang Jiemian, president of the Shanghai Institute for the International Studies made remarks as well.
Referring to the collaboration between the U.S. and China, Professor Yang commented, "It is also very clear that both of the leaderships are working on the institution building, organization building, meeting of minds, and there are more than 60 mechanisms between our two countries at the central and federal level for regular and in-depth discussions."
The professors remarks were followed by a question and answer discussion between Ambassador Locke and members of the audience, both Chinese and foreign.
The lecture is named in honor of the late A. Doak Barnett and the late Michel Oksenberg, both American scholars and policymakers of distinction, whose writing and actions had a major impact on the bilateral relationship dating back to the 1960s.
The Barnett-Oksenberg lecture is the first and only ongoing lecture series in China on Sino-American relations. Past lectures have been given by leading American statesmen, such as former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. and Robert Zoellick, President of The World Bank and former U.S. Trade Representative and Deputy Secretary of State.
This year's lecture celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Shanghai Communiqué, the historic agreement signed by President Nixon and Premier Zhou Enlai at the Jin Jiang Hotel in 1972.
The Shanghai Association of American Studies is a non-profit and non-government network of scholars and leaders who are convinced of the pivotal importance of effective Chinese foreign policies, in particular U.S. policy, and of a stable Sino-American relationship. The Association promotes American studies in Shanghai for better understanding of and constructive engagement with the United States so as to serve China's modernization program and its foreign policy, and to serve Shanghai in building an economic, financial and cultural international city.
The National Committee on United States-China Relations is the leading national, non-partisan public affairs organization devoted exclusively to building constructive and durable relationships between the United States and China. The Committee creates opportunities for informed discussion and reasoned debate about issues of common interest and concern to the United States, the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong SAR and Taiwan.
The event is coordinated by The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. Known as the "Voice of American Business" in China, AmCham Shanghai is the largest and fastest growing American Chamber in the Asia Pacific region. Founded in 1915, AmCham Shanghai was the third American Chamber established outside the United States. As a non-profit, non-partisan business organization, AmCham Shanghai is committed to the principals of free trade, open markets, private enterprise and the unrestricted flow of information.
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SOURCE American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai