From tensions in the South China Sea, to international copyright law to tariffs, relations between the U.S. and China, former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice presented her assessment of the past and present state of relations between the two countries.
As part of a national live teleconference, about 60 people attended China Town Hall at the Webster University Downtown St. Louis campus Oct. 9. The event was presented by the National Conference on U.S. China Relations, the Confucius Institute of Webster University, the World Affairs Council of St. Louis and Webster University. A second event was hosted locally at UM-St. Louis.
Dr. Rice, who lived for a year in China as a student, said the goal of leaders must be to ensure ongoing dialogue. She noted the ability to talk through incidents and areas of mutual interest is very important. “It’s in everyone’s best interest to have a strong and stable China,” she noted. Discussing current trade disputes, she asserted the current state is not a trade “war” but a set of economic barriers that can hurt both sides. She also said China’s expressed desire to overtake the U.S. in technologies such as AI and quantum computing was not a constructive attitude.
Speaking as a college professor, she said restrictions on travel by students of the two countries was a mistake. She believes that attracting the best and brightest students around the world and allowing them to apply their talents freely is the best way to spur innovation and growth.
At the Webster presentation, Dr. Joan Kaufman of the international master’s program in Global Affairs at Tsinghua University in China, discussed the current state of public health in the country, including air quality, smoking prevalence and the impacts of the now-rescinded one-child policy.