I learned a lot from my grandfather and heard many stories about China from him. He always thought a lot about China. China was “something very important to him” and a major accomplishment for his administration was opening the doors to China. He would talk lot about it and how it was important to do it as a fit to the US strategy: more importantly it was the right thing to do. He really enjoyed his meetings, specifically those with the Chinese leaders – he had a great and constructive relationship with Deng Xiaoping and Zhou Enlai and appreciated the friendship with them.
My father took me to China in 1997 when I was 18 years old and just out of high school. It was the first time I visited a foreign country outside of the Caribbean. Together with my father, we met with Wang Daohan (the then President of Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits) in Shanghai and I was very impressed with how much wisdom he had about Chinese foreign policy, the relationships with the surrounding territories. He was a very astute thinker about the world.
My dad remarked on the fact that, when he was in Shanghai, Pudong was essentially a cow pasture. 5-7 years later, here is this big new city that builds up in Pudong. Even at that age, I was aware of China’s rapid growth and to see it continue today isn’t surprising because I have been to Beijing for over 50 times and there is something very different every time. China is always changing, always developing. When I go back to Beijing now, many of the Beijing city government offices have been moved to the suburbs and a new airport will be built. So maybe the next time I visit, I think it will be (I will be using) the new airport.
I have many Chinese friends … and I really enjoy being around them. My Chinese friends are always hospitable. China has a great culture of being welcoming and treating guest very well. With everyone I have met in China, they all have been very friendly. Whether I am received at a government meeting, or at someone’s personal home or business, all Chinese people have been very welcoming. Hospitality is all the same (throughout the years). There is a real optimism among the Chinese people. Another major change is that there is now a focus on environmental quality. I feel that there is this interest on the quality of life, leisure time and environment.
We would like to increase assets under management we have in China… we want to do more in China. We think there are a lot of opportunities in the financial sector. We are ready to grow our business there, especially after the policies favoring/attracting foreign investments. We have seen that the Chinese government continues to open up the financial sector, which will benefit us and the world. We have had great conversations with the Chinese regulatory authorities; they are very welcoming and encourage us to come to participate in the Chinese markets.
With regards to the US-China relations, I take the long-term point of view. I think the two countries both need each other. There are some commonalities between China and the United States, whether it’s the large amount of trade, an interest in a clean environment, an interest in combatting terrorism. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of Chinese come into the US and many US citizens go to China. I believe in the US and China relationship. I would like to see it grow and prosper and work out well for both countries. If there is anything I can do to help promote bilateral relationship, I would do it. I think it is important that China continues to grow in a peaceful way which is good for the US and the world. US should have a policy that promotes stability within China.
I think that the two countries must go a cooperative way. China should be congratulated for being able to achieve this growth and have a climate of political stability at the same time. I think it’s a remarkable achievement.
The key ingredients to China’s success are: the Chinese people, its long culture and wise political leadership. The Chinese people are very entrepreneurial and hard working. They have a real desire to succeed. The long culture is also very important: the founding of China goes back for millennia, which makes Chinese people feel very secure about themselves. In addition, wise political leadership should also be credited for China’s remarkable accomplishments. Deng Xiaoping’s view about how China should grow peacefully and economically was a very wise policy, which was continued by leaders for many decades afterwards. China has been blessed with having very wise leaders who took the long-term view and who, most importantly, are truly concerned with the welfare of the people.
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