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USCPF Hosts Ambassador Qiu Shengyun, Vice President of the Chinese People's Institute for Foreign Affairs - April 28, 2004

On April 28, the US-China Policy Foundation co-hosted a luncheon in honor of Ambassador Qiu Shengyun in the Shotwell Room of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The luncheon was attended by several members of the USCPF, including Dr. Chi Wang and Ms. Nancy Patton, several members of CEIP, including Dr. Michael Swaine and Dr. Minxin Pei, as well as Ambassador Qiu and his delegation.

Dr. Wang introduced Ambassador Qiu, and delivered a brief biography of him, including his educational and professional achievements. Next, Dr. Pei welcomed Ambassador Qiu on behalf CEIP, and delivered the best wishes of Dr. Jessica Matthews, President of CEIP.

Ambassador Qiu described it as a great honor to be involved in a meeting with two such distinguished organizations as the USCPF and CEIP. Ambassador Qiu then described his two-decade long relationship with Dr. Wang, and thanked him for the USCPF's efforts on the Policymakers Seminar and Trip to China. The trip was important, he said, in furthering the understanding of China by Congressional staffers.

Ambassador Qiu described the US-China dialogue, as well as the cross-strait dialogue as becoming increasingly important as China begins to fill the role of a modern global power. Chen Shui-bian has become a troublemaker, he said, by declaring his intentions for an independent Taiwan. Qiu further explained how an independent Taiwan was counter to both American and Chinese interests. It is the Ambassador's impression that there is a common consensus among American and Chinese officials for better and stronger US-China relations.

Attendees of the lunch brought up several concerns about trade issues, which have been the focus of members of Congress. In addition to regular trade issues, there is concern about China's respect for international intellectual property rights and their compliance with WTO guidelines. Things are looking up however, and there is a generally good feeling about the agreements recently signed by Vice Premier Wu Yi. Ambassador Qiu emphasized that it was the goal of the Chinese government to strengthen enforcement of the law in order to cut down on the overall number of violations. Qiu stressed that work on these issues is underway, and that the world should expect to see steady, if slow, progress.

When asked if he felt China would be a serious topic of debate in the upcoming US elections, Qiu believed it would not be. He feels that both Bush's and Kerry's views of China are quite reasonable, and fairly similar. When pressed on Kerry's vocal distaste on exporting American jobs to China, Qiu dismissed this as simply election year rhetoric. It is the Ambassador's firm view that a Kerry presidency would not significantly shift US policy towards the PRC.

In the midst of the burgeoning relationship between the US and China, Ambassador Qiu cautioned that there is still a danger of conflict over the issue of Taiwanese independence. The US sends mixed signals, he said, in that Washington vocally decries an independent Taiwan, while at the same time helping to fortify the island against the Chinese. Dr. Swaine countered that the US simply supports democracy as a political system, but not specifically independence for Taiwan.

Dr. Wang thanked the Ambassador for his time and his comments, and the luncheon concluded.
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