By Zhang Xin
The confirmation of Jon Huntsman as United States ambassador to China will hopefully lead to better understanding between the two countries, said former US labor secretary Elaine Lan Chao.
"You cannot have correct initiatives without understanding how each country works," Chao said in an exclusive interview with China Daily in New York City.
The role of ambassador will give republican Huntsman the task of nurturing a sometimes shaky relationship that US President Barack Obama sees as crucial to solving many of the world's most difficult crises.
Huntsman will travel to China at a time of rising cooperation between the two huge economies. Last month, the countries held two days of high-level talks in Washington. Officials vowed to work together to deal on the global economic turmoil, climate change and nuclear standoffs with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Iran.
Trade and protectionism are emerging as central issues on the agenda for US-China relations this year, she explained.
"Facing the many issues such as currency, environment and particularly protectionism, continuing dialogue between the two sides is very important," Chao said.
Chao said the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (SAED) in Washington at the end of last month was a new initiative for mutual understanding and cooperation on a wide spectrum of issues.
"China is making its own mark in the Western world and the new US President, Barack Obama, in his administration has noticeably updated the Sino-US relationship to 'positive, constructive and comprehensive'," she said, noting the evolution of US-China relations from Bush administration's "candid, constructive and cooperative bilateral relationship".
(China Daily August 10, 2009)