From September 26 to 30, EWI coordinated a visit by a group of senior U.S. Democrats and Republicans to Beijing and Sichuan, China, as part of EWI’s third U.S.–China High-Level Political Party Leaders Dialogue with representatives from the Communist Party of China (CPC). This visit marked the first time the dialogue process expanded beyond Beijing to include meetings in other regions of China, in an effort to promote a broader understanding between the two countries’ political elites.
The U.S. delegation comprised the following members (listed in alphabetical order):
- The Honorable Madeleine K. Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State
- Mr. Lorne Craner, President of the International Republican Institute
- The Honorable Thomas A. Daschle, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader
- The Honorable Howard Dean, former Governor of Vermont; and former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee
- Mr. Mike Duncan, former Chairman of the Republican National Committee
- Mr. Geoffrey Garin, President, Peter D. Hart Research Associates
- Mr. John Mroz, President and CEO of the EastWest Institute
- Mr. Neil Newhouse, Partner and Co-founder, Public Opinion Strategies
- Mr. H. Ross Perot, Jr., Co-Chairman of the EastWest Institute
- The Honorable Vin Weber, former U.S. Congressman (Minnesota-02)
- The Honorable Richard S. Williamson, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
- Mr. Kenneth Wollack, President of the National Democratic Institute
The CPC delegation was led by Mr. Wang Jiarui, Minister of the CPC Central Committee's International Department (IDCPC). Other members of the Chinese delegation included:
- Mr. Liu Jieyi, Vice Minister of the IDCPC
- Ms. Qiu Yuanping, Vice Minister of the Central Foreign Affairs Office
- Mr. Chen Xiqing, Deputy Minister of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee
- Mr. Fang Li, Deputy Minister of the Policy Research Office of the CPC Central Committee
- Mr. Chen Jin, Deputy Minister of the Literature Research Centre of the CPC Central Committee
- Mr. Huang Huaguang, Director-General (Research Office) of the IDCPC
- Ms. Shen Bali, Director-General (North America, Oceania and Nordic Countries) of the IDCPC
- Mr. Yuan Zhibing, Deputy Director-General (General Office) of the IDCPC
- Mr. Zhao Shitong, Deputy Director-General (Northeast Asia and Indochina) of the IDCPC
- Mr. Chao Weidong, Deputy Director-General (West Asia and North Africa) of the IDCPC
- Mr. Li Mingxiang, Deputy Director-General (North America, Oceania and Nordic Countries) of the IDCPC
- Mr. Shi Guohui, Assistant Director-General (North America, Oceania and Nordic Countries) of the IDCPC
While in Beijing, the delegations engaged in a day-long dialogue on domestic governance challenges and foreign policy issues. Topics discussed included the CPC’s role in China’s ongoing economic, social and political reforms. The U.S. delegates addressed perceptions of the U.S. political process in dealing with the most pressing issues of concern to Americans, including debt reduction, economic growth, and U.S. engagement in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
On the foreign policy front, delegates compared and contrasted the foreign policymaking, processes in China and the United States. They also explored the roles of both countries in addressing regional and global challenges including Pakistan, West Asia and the global economy. Both sides agreed on the need to focus on their growing common interests and to foster mutual understanding in an honest and open manner. The U.S. delegation also met with CPC Politburo member Li Yuanchao, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun, and Vice Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission Zhang Xiaoqiang.
The meetings in Beijing were followed by a two-day visit to Sichuan, where the U.S. delegates met with provincial and local leaders. They also visited Beichuan, the site of the devastating earthquake in 2008; discussed village election processes with a village committee; and toured a local school, a residential development, the Chengdu Hi-Tech Zone, and the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.
The fourth U.S.–China High-Level Political Party Leaders Dialogue will be held in December in the United States.