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June 22 "U.S.-China Relations" with Thomas Robinson, President, American Asian Research Enterprise.

Dr. Robinson discussed the determinants of China’s domestic and foreign policy as well as the direction of Sino-U.S. relations during the past half-century. He explained how domestic priorities have shifted from a political and ideological orientation under Mao Zedong’s leadership towards a pragmatic focus on economic development and stability under Deng Xiaoping’s leadership. Under these leaders, China’s interests and power projection in the international realm have evolved from focus on military affairs, to economic development, and then to both military affairs and economic development. Characterizing Sino-U.S. relations, Robinson explained that both countries?interests in the other have been based on a mutual pursuit of economic, security, and ideological goals. He went on to cover a series of trends and issues driving bilateral relations in recent years, many of which are responsible for causing a deterioration of ties: increase of Chinese power (political, economic, and military) and nationalism; the end of the Cold War and America’s sole superpower status; tension over the Taiwan issue; the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident; WTO and trade; human rights; Tibet; and China’s 2008 Olympic bid. Robinson predicts that China will be increasingly bold in pursuit of its interests as it gains domestic and international power. If the U.S. government and policymakers maintain constant efforts in bettering bilateral understanding in these areas, they will be able to successfully promote U.S. interests and goals.
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