Chinese President Hu's upcoming U.S. visit to bring better understanding, mutual trust

16:56, January 10, 2011      

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Chinese President Hu Jintao's upcoming visit to the United States will lead to better understanding and less mistrust between the two nations, a senior expert on U.S.-China relations said.

"It is very important that President Hu comes to the United States, to have meetings with President (Barack) Obama, leaders on Capitol Hill, business people and to address directly to American people. All of those will lead to better understanding and less mistrust," Stephen Orlins, president of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

When announcing President Hu's visit to the United States, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said the visit would be a major event in the China-U.S. relationship in the new era.

According to Orlins, bilateral ties are overall quite good and strong, though there seem to be some misperceptions from both sides. He believed that President Hu's coming visit would cultivate a better understanding and mutual trust between the two countries in a variety of fields.

"It will work virtually in all fields," said Orlins. "President Hu's visit will lead to signing contracts to boost China's investment in the U.S., which will not only create jobs, but also a better atmosphere on the economic side and a better understanding of what each (side's) trade policies are."

He added that Hu's visit would also provide a platform for direct talks between two countries at the highest level on environment, global warming and security issues. In fact, there is much more consensus between Washington and Beijing on these issues than it is generally perceived.

"China will become more integrated into the U.S. strategy in a positive way. The threat to the U.S. and to China is really fundamentally the same, such as terrorism, economic crises, global warming, etc. Both countries should be working on institutions and rules to protect both of us against a threat," he said.

"The areas where we have disagreements are predominantly tactical, not strategic. There are many areas that both countries could cooperate, which will lead to the reductions of strategic mistrust," said Orlins in his Manhattan office.

From 1976 to 1979, Orlins was a member of the legal team that helped establish diplomatic relations between the United States and China. Since 2005, he has been president of the committee which works at the forefront of the dynamic and expanding Sino-U.S. relationship.

According to Orlins, Hu's visit will be a good opportunity for him to let Americans understand that Chinese investment in the United States is positive, given the existing misperceptions in this regard.

"Americans will understand better that Chinese investment in the States does good things. It is a benefit, not a detriment, nor a threat," he said.

Orlins expected no immediate breakthrough but incremental progress after meetings between Hu and Obama, as there are many other specific areas that require further efforts from both sides to achieve progress.

"It is necessary we have a positive meeting between President Hu and President Obama, but that is not sufficient for positive relations. Both countries need to adopt policies to maintain the positive direction of reaching agreement," he said.

Orlins also hailed the frequent meetings between the two presidents since Obama took office office. "I hope they agree to meet again in 2012 ... I think they should meet as often as they possibly can," he added.

Orlins also recalled some important moments in the development of bilateral ties, including the historic meeting between Richard Nixon and Mao Zedong in 1972 and the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1979.

"The last 40 years was a time of greatness. Our leaders are great. I hope President Hu and President Obama will follow the footsteps of those great leaders," he said. "I hope 2011 would be a year when we come together more closely and strategically than we did in 2010."

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