China will be the last stop for US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, currently on her Asian tour. And US policies towards China have emerged as a focal point. Many people believe Sino-US relations will continue to improve, as more problems in the world today require the cooperation of the two nations.
John Holden was President of the National Committee on US-China Relations from 1998 to 2005. He says his task at the Committee was to promote dialogue and create opportunities for people to understand issues in both countries. Based on his experience, he says good Sino-US relations benefit both sides.
John Holden, former president of National Committee on US-China Relations, said, "My main focus was to build on the trust that has developed over the years, to expand the range and depth, of dialogue. This relationship has evolved as enormous benefit to both countries, it was so at the beginning of 1971/72, and even more so today."
As a key person in the US China ties, who has also witnessed the ups and downs of the US China relations over the past years, John Holden sees a continuity in America policy towards China. China's growing economy and its unique role in regional and international issues, have given it weight in strategic dialogue with the United States. John Holden says he believes the new Obama administration understands the importance of such relationships. Even if there are disagreements, collaboration is good for both sides.
John Holden said, "My major suggestion would be to deepen the existing dialogues and to bridge the SCD with the ongoing state department foreign ministry dialogue, connect the economic and the political at the very high level."
It's believed that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's China visit aims to ensure that relations under the new administration get off a positive start.
Today, John Holden manages an international consulting company, linking Chinese and foreign businesses.
John Holden said, "China as a second home, and I am very optimistic about the future of China. And you have to be optimistic when you see the long term vision of the government and people and the hardwork and energy and talent here. There are problems always, but I see China is heading the right direction."
Before her journey to Asia, Secretary Clinton said Washington sees good relations with China as essential. Experts like John Holden say Hillary Clinton is likely to work on issues of common interest, such as the global economy, trade, investment and climate change. But at the same time, she will also raise some sensitive issues of US concern like human rights and Tibet. The key message is to broaden the dialogue with a goal of intensifying cooperation between the two sides.
(CCTV February 20, 2009)