Clinton has called China-U.S. interaction, “the most important relationship of the 21st century,” and last night at a dinner hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, she unequivocally maintained that conviction. Clinton stressed that the nations contain two of the world’s three largest economies, two of its largest populations, two of its largest militaries, and are also the world’s largest consumers of energy and producers of carbon emissions. Clinton insisted that since Chinese and American policies have such a staggering impact, the nations must shoulder the responsibility of not just their respective populations—but of the world at large.
The dinner was held in honor of His Excellency Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the People’s Republic of China. It has been over twenty years since a NPC Chairperson—essentially China’s chief lawmaker—has visited the United States. Clinton noted that it had been the largest gathering of top leaders from the two countries since their diplomatic beginnings some thirty years ago.
Both parties expressed that the interaction had afforded great progress in negotiating how to jointly-approach issues such as climate change, nuclear proliferation, pandemic, and the financial crisis. This past week of dialogue is one of many new initiatives spearheaded by the Obama administration to improve China-U.S. rapport. As Clinton eloquently expressed, “President Obama and I believe we are entering a new era in China-U.S. relations. Building a strong relationship with China is a central goal of the Obama administration and a personal priority of mine.”