A high-level delegation of leaders from the Communist Party of China (CPC) met with key U.S. officials and leaders of the Democratic and Republican Parties Dec. 4–10 in Texas, Missouri, and Washington.
At a time when the United States is preparing for a presidential election and China is preparing for a leadership transition in 2012, the dialogue was designed to increase mutual understanding in a time of change.
Led by Minister Wang Jiarui of the International Department of the Central Committee of the CPC (IDCPC), the delegation’s visit was coordinated by the EastWest Institute (EWI) in cooperation with the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI).
"I believe this dialogue mechanism, with our concerted efforts, will surely contribute even more positively to the building of a cooperative partnership between China and the United States based on mutual respect and mutual benefits through the deepening of mutual understanding and enhancement of strategic trust," said IDCPC Vice Minister Liu Jieyi.
The delegation met with the governor of Missouri, members of Congress, the chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), and numerous leaders from government, business and civil society. The group’s visit to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas represented the highest-level visit to a U.S. Federal Reserve bank by a Chinese official.
"The EastWest Institute is proud to see that these talks have developed into a thriving exchange between our two countries," EWI Co-Chairman Ross Perot, Jr., said. "We were particularly delighted to host the Chinese delegation in my home state of Texas."
The visit was the 4th U.S.–China High-Level Political Party Leaders Dialogue, and it followed the 3rd such dialogue, when a U.S. Democratic and Republican delegation visited Beijing and Sichuan, China, in September.
The five principal Chinese delegates were (in order of seniority):
- The Honorable Wang Jiarui, Minister of the IDCPC
- Mr. Liu Jieyi, Vice Minister of the IDCPC
- Mr. Fang Li, Deputy Minister of the Policy Research Office of the Central Committee of the CPC
- Mr. Liu Yongrui, Member of the Standing Committee and head of the United Front Work Department of the Hebei Provincial Committee of the CPC
- Mr. Fu Ziying, Vice Governor of Jiangsu Province
The nine U.S. delegates were (in alphabetical order):
- The Honorable Madeleine K. Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State
- Mr. Lorne Crander, President of IRI
- 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 (DNC)
- Mr. Mike Duncan, former RNC Chairman
- Mr. John Edwin Mroz, President and CEO of EWI
- Mr. H. Ross Perot, Jr., Co-Chairman of the EWI
- The Honorable Vin Weber, former U.S. Congressman (Minn.-02)
The Chinese delegation arrived in Texas, where they met with local leaders including Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Joe Straus, Dallas Mayor Michael S. Rawlings, visited Deloitte University, and attended a gathering organized by the World Affairs Council of Dallas.
In Missouri, the delegation met with Governor Jay Nixon, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan and former Missouri Governor Bob Holden. They also met with representatives of the University of Missouri.
The delegation then traveled to Washington, D.C., to begin discussions with the U.S. delegates. Both groups heard a presentation on U.S. political polling data that outlined the potential outcomes of the 2012 U.S. presidential election from the perspectives of both major parties. On Dec. 8, formal dialogue began.
Topics of discussion included the Chinese political, social and economic landscape, decision making practices of both governments, and areas of common interest between the United States and China in the Asia Pacific region.
The Chinese delegates then met with Senators Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Bernard Sanders, I-Vt. They also met with Representatives Charles Boustany, R-La., and Rick Larsen, D-Wash., co-chairmen of the House U.S.–China Working Group.
In addition to meetings with legislators, the delegation met with Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. After the dialogue and before leaving the United States via New York, the delegates met with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.