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Understanding key to Sino-US relations

By ZHANG YUWEI in New York and ZHOU WA in Beijing  (China Daily)

08:36, October 29, 2012

Resolving major international issues requires 'close cooperation'

Understanding the Sino-US relationship is essential to Washington's interests, said Stephen Orlins, president of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, which will conduct the sixth annual China Town Hall at 60 sites around the country on Monday.

The committee, which advocates strong Sino-US ties, will present a live webcast from Beijing by US Ambassador to China Gary Locke, including a question-and-answer session moderated by Orlins. Each local site will follow up with a live panel discussion on China-US issues.

"Understanding the Sino-American relationship is essential to developing and maintaining a sound US policy that serves our country's interests," Orlins said.

"The major transnational issues of today and tomorrow, such as climate change, energy security, financial system stability, public health, weapons proliferation, piracy, terrorism and world peace, as well as bilateral issues including trade and job creation, require close cooperation with China if they are to be resolved successfully," he said.

Relations with China have been a hot topic during the US presidential race, and on Monday — just eight days before Election Day — the live, town hall-style presentation will highlight issues affecting the world's top two economic superpowers.

The China Town Hall is a program designed to provide people across the US and beyond the opportunity to discuss issues on China-US relations with leading experts.

The on-site panels that follow the webcast from Beijing will focus on a range of topics, including the impact of this summer's Midwest drought on agricultural trade and food prices in China and lessons from the fall of the last imperial Chinese dynasty 100 years later. The experts and scholars at each town hall site will also discuss the upcoming US presidential election and China's upcoming Party congress.

Issues discussed by each panel and during the webcast will be very specific and closely follow the situation in Chinese society, said Da Wei, a researcher on American studies at China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

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