U.S. & China Ambassadors, Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, and International Leaders Offer Insights and Solutions for Improving the Bilateral Relationship; CUSEF Young Leaders Scholarship Launched
(November 9, 2023) HONG KONG—Esteemed global dignitaries convened for a series of discussions and dialogues on the U.S.-China relationship during the opening day of the “Hong Kong Forum on U.S.-China Relations.” The landmark annual meeting of the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF), titled Change and Progress
and co-organized with the China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE), opened with rare joint remarks from the Ambassadors of both countries.
“The theme of the Forum this year is highly relevant in the context of the current international situation and China-U.S. relations. It reflects the vision and courage to foster new opportunities amid crises and open up new horizons on a shifting landscape.” said Xie Feng
, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the United States of America, in his opening address.
“As the world is emerging from the pandemic, China-U.S. relations also need to come out of the woods,” added Xie Feng
His counterpart, Nicholas Burns
, Ambassador of the United States of America to the People's Republic of China, said, “I can report to you this afternoon, that the U.S.-China relationship is more stable, and there is certainly better communication between our governments. That wasn’t even the case just six months ago. That does not mean that the relationship is not competitive, because it still is. It does not mean we don't have major differences, because we still do across the board. But it does mean that we're better connected and better able to manage these differences between Washington and Beijing responsibly. In my world of diplomacy, that's progress.”
President of Timor-Leste José Ramos-Horta
challenged China and the United States to work together in addressing global challenges like disease and poverty. “I hope that the United States and China normalize relations, engage in patient dialogue, set up mechanisms of regular consultation. This is what global powers need to do — show responsibility, lessen tensions that negatively impact all of us,” said the Nobel Peace Prize laureate in his opening remarks. John Zhao,
CUSEF Chairman, in his welcome remarks, renewed the organization's commitment to building trust and facilitating exchange, saying, “Today, amidst global uncertainty and an increasingly complex China-U.S. relationship, our work is more important now than ever before. Only through continued communication can our two countries co-exist peacefully and work together to overcome the many challenges facing our world. This year marks CUSEF’s 15th anniversary. We are excited to build and expand on the important work started by our Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Tung Chee Hwa.” Bi Jingquan
, Executive Vice Chairman, China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE), highlighted the vital economic and trade ties binding the two countries. “The fundamental nature of China-U.S. economic and trade ties is mutual benefit and win-win cooperation,” he said.
The opening day also featured High Level Plenary sessions with a range of current and former global leaders from countries across the world, including the U.S., China, Germany, India, Thailand, Malaysia, and Denmark, reflecting the consequential global impact of the bilateral relationship. They discussed the recent shifts in the bilateral relationship, and offered insights and suggestions for building on the momentum of new optimism to drive positive outcomes and progress.
As part of CUSEF’s 15th anniversary celebrations, the Forum also included the launch of the “CUSEF Young Leaders Scholarship” in partnership with One Young World, the global forum for young leaders. The new scholarship will award eight outstanding young leaders from around the world with the opportunity to explore how the U.S. and China can collaborate on solving shared challenges, accelerate progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and foster global peace and prosperity.
Day 2 of the Forum will include five panel sessions where experts will discuss topics including trade and economy, science and technology, people-to-people exchanges, global challenges, and international finance, as well as two roundtables that will address international security and the future of Hong Kong.
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- END -Note to Editors: About China-United States Exchange Foundation
The China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) is an independent, non-profit organization founded by The Hon. Tung Chee-hwa, First Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR, with a mission to build trust, facilitate exchange, and advance understanding between the two largest economies. For details, please visit www.cusef.org.hk