Wednesday, January 11, 2006

China, The Most Important Relationship

Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg spoke this evening at The Nixon Center on his article, "On Leadership", which appears in the current issue of The National Interest.

The U.S.-China relationship, in his opinion, is the most important one for us, and we cannot allow bickering and demogoguery to derail ties between the two countries. Of course, the United States needs to recognize that China, as well as all other countries, are going to pursue their own national interests--but we need to "engage China and encourage its integration into the larger global community--to make China a stakeholder in the existing American-led international system that facilitates trade, economic development and regional security."

He remains concerned that U.S. policymakers believe that they can "compartmentalize" the relationship with China--that we can criticize China and ignore its interests and then expect cooperation on a wide variety of issues from currency revaluation to North Korea and Iran and the war on terror--not to mention Chinese pruchases of our government bonds which have helped to keep our inflation and interest rates low.

The U.S. still needs to be prepared to exercise leadership in dealing with a number of global problems, including environmental issues and energy security, and pursuing a cooperative relationship with China can help to enhance that leadership.

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