From December 5-12, the EastWest Institute (EWI) coordinated a series of meetings between high-level officials from the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) and senior Democrats and Republicans as well as American private sector leaders. The meetings, conducted on an off-the-record basis, took place in Utah, Colorado, and Washington, D.C. This is the 5th U.S.–China High-Level Political Party Leaders Dialogue organized by EWI. Previous rounds of this dialogue have alternated between China and the United States.
Minister Wang Jiarui, who heads the International Department of the CPC’s Central Committee (IDCPC), led the Chinese delegation.
The other principal Chinese delegates included (in order of seniority):
• Mr. Liu Jieyi, Vice Minister, IDCPC
• Mr. Wang Xiaohui, Vice Minister, Publicity Department, Central Committee of the CPC
• Mr. Pan Shengzhou; Vice Minister, Policy Research Office, Central Committee of the CPC
• Mr. Duojie Redan, Permanent Member, Secretary for Discipline Inspection and Head, United Front Work Department, CPC Qinghai Provincial Committee
The nine principal U.S. delegates were (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. John Edwin Mroz, President and CEO of EWI
• The Honorable Vin Weber, former U.S. Congressman (Minn.-02)
• The Honorable Richard S. Williamson, former U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan
• Mr. Kenneth Wollack, President of the National Democratic Institute
This is the first installment of this dialogue series to take place after the U.S. presidential election and China’s recent leadership transition. These conversations yielded a number of new relationships and fascinating insights among the parties involved.
"This round of the dialogue allowed political elites from both countries to obtain valuable insights into mutual expectations of U.S.-China relations following the important political developments in their respective countries this year,” said David Firestein, EWI’s Vice President for Strategic Trust-Building and Track 2 Diplomacy.
Dialogue participants in Washington, D.C. Photo credits: Kaveh Sardari
The CPC delegation’s visit began in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the delegation met with Governor Gary Herbert. Their meeting addressed, among other issues, how to expand trade ties between China and the United States, particularly at the provincial and state levels. The Salt Lake Chamber hosted the delegation to lunch with federal and state legislators and local business, education, and community leaders. The World Trade Center Utah and the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development—EWI’s hosting partners for the Salt Lake City visit—hosted a dinner with sponsors and local officials as well.
The trip continued to Colorado, where the participants met with United States Senators Mark Udall (D-CO) and Michael Bennet (D-CO), Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, and a number of local private-sector leaders.
The delegation also visited the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, the first such CPC delegation to do so.
The central, formal dialogue sessions between CPC officials and distinguished Democrats and Republicans occurred on December 10 in Washington, D.C. The first session focused on recent trends in politics, the economy and domestic governance in China and the United States. Session two focused on the development of U.S.-China relations in the coming years.
Expanding on themes arising from previous sessions, participants brought up a number of topics critical to U.S.-China relations, including: key outcomes from the 18th National Congress of the CPC in November 2012; the post-election political and economic landscape in the United States; U.S.-China policy priorities under the second Obama administration and the new Chinese leadership; the process of selecting the new Chinese government in March 2013; the U.S. rebalancing in the Asia-Pacific; and security challenges relating to Syria, Iran and Afghanistan.
Between these sessions, Republican pollster Neil Newhouse and Democratic pollster Geoff Garin presented a number of key findings on political trends in the United States drawn from their internal polling data.
The following day, Minister Wang delivered a keynote speech at a luncheon event attended by think tank and academic experts, business leaders, as well as Democratic and Republican VIPs. The lunch was co-hosted by the World Affairs Council-Washington, D.C. and EWI.
While in Washington, EWI also arranged for the CPC delegation to meet with Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough and Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Benjamin Cardin (D-MD).
Following the conclusion of the 5th U.S.–China High-Level Political Party Leaders Dialogue in Washington, the CPC delegation visited New York City, where it held a private meeting with Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
The sixth round of talks is scheduled to take place in China in 2013.
The 5th U.S.-China High-Level Political Party Leaders Dialogue was made possible by the following U.S. partners and sponsors:
• International Republican Institute
• National Democratic Institute
• World Trade Center Utah
• Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development
• Larry H. Miller Group of Companies
• Nu Skin Enterprises
• Rio Tinto
• Salt Lake Chamber
• Wells Fargo
• World Affairs Council – Washington, D.C.
• Zions First National Bank
• Dr. Kathryn Davis
• Mr. John Hurley
• Mr. William J. Hybl
• Mr. Gregory B. Maffei
• Admiral (ret.) William A. Owens
• Ms. Sandra Petruzzelli
• Mr. Kevin M. Taweel
*Unable to attend