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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

Trust vital for strong relations

By Ariel Tung (China Daily)

08:42, February 14, 2012

Stephen Orlins is president of the US National Committee on US-China Relations. (Photo from China Daily)

Better understanding will improve Sino-US ties, business cooperation

NEW YORK - Forty years after it hosted the visit of a Chinese ping-pong team in the United States, the National Committee on US-China Relations is still opening doors to communication.

"Better understanding between the US and China will strengthen bilateral ties further and make the world a better place," says Stephen Orlins, president of the committee.

"The single greatest impediment to constructive relations is the mistrust between China and the US," he says.

"If I had a magic wand and could wave it, I want more trust from China to America, and from America to China. I wish they could trust each other more."

Set up in 1966, the National Committee on US-China Relations has evolved over the years.

It first briefed US government officials on China at a time when there were no diplomatic relationships between the two nations.

In 1972, after former secretary of state Henry Kissinger's visit to China, the committee hosted the Chinese ping-pong team in the US. It was the foundation of a people-to-people relationship that has blossomed in the last four decades.

On Feb 15, the committee will co-host a luncheon for Vice-President Xi Jinping during his visit to Washington.

"Because of our nearly 45-year-old association with China, we have been able to hold discussions on many sensitive topics that even the American government could not," said Orlins, who worked for the US State Department, and was part of the legal team that helped establish diplomatic relations with China.

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