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U.S.- China relations evolve with the times: U.S. expert


14:31, February 28, 2012

CHICAGO, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Forty years after then U.S. President Richard Nixon's historic visit to China, the U.S.- China relationship has evolved with the times from professional politics to more multifaceted relations, a U.S. professor told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

Yang Dali, a Chinese American professor of political science at the University of Chicago and director of the University's Confucius Institute, said that Nixon's 1972 visit to China was truly a "sea change" in international relations, which ultimately led to the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

However, Yang also noted that the current global environment is an "extremely different world from then," and that U.S.- China relations had consequently grown to become more "multifaceted" and much deeper than Nixon and Chairman Mao had perhaps ever envisioned.

Yang said considerations such as Cold War strategy and geopolitical concerns prompted the United States to reengage China in the 1970s. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the international system has been heavily based on multilateralism, rather than the bipolar power politics of the Cold War era.

Such a change in the world power structure has thus led the United States and China to a very different bilateral relationship than that of the 1970s, a relationship that is arguably more complex but also much deeper and more significant, Yang added.

Through trade, investment, educational exchanges and other outlets, the United States and China have dramatically increased their ties to one another in this new globalized world.

Many experts such as Yang believe these cross-cultural exchanges can foster mutual understanding between the two peoples in a way that is as effective as or sometimes even more effective than professional politics.

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