As part of the ongoing U.S.-China High-Level Political Party Leaders Dialogue, organized by the EastWest Institute (EWI) in partnership with the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC), a delegation of U.S. Democratic and Republican Party leaders met with CPC senior officials in Beijing and Nanjing, China from November 18 to 21, 2013.
The delegation, participating in the sixth U.S.-China High-Level Political Party Leaders Dialogue, was headed by Howard Berman, former U.S. Representative (D-CA) and Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Anthony Parker, treasurer of the Republican National Committee. Other Republican and Democratic delegates included Andrew Tobias, treasurer of the Democratic National Committee; Timothy Stratford, former Assistant U.S. Trade Representative; Joel Cowan, EWI board member and former treasurer of the Georgia State Democratic Party; and Christopher Nixon Cox, managing partner of OC Global Partners LLC and grandson of President Richard Nixon. In a breakthrough for the U.S.-China High-Level Political Party Leaders Dialogue process, this delegation was the first to include sitting party officers as well as staff from both U.S. parties
The CPC delegation was led by Wang Jiarui, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC). Other members of the delegation included Yu Hongjun, a vice minister at IDCPC; Gao Yongzhong, a vice minister at the Party History Research Center of the CPC Central Committee; Deng Hongbo, director general in the CPC’s Central Foreign Affairs Office; and Xiang Dong , an inspector with the Department of Information Research in the State Council Research Office.
This visit occurred a week after the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China concluded its Third Plenum, at which a series of planned reforms were announced. Dialogue sessions placed special emphasis on the outcomes of the plenum and their implications for economic and political reform in China. The discussions also addressed the current political landscape in the United States, the 16-day U.S. government shutdown in October and the debt and deficit debate in Washington. In addition, delegates explored ways to build mutual trust between the United States and China as part of the concept of a “new type of major-power relationship” and relations between the two countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The U.S. delegation met with Vice President Li Yuanchao; leaders of the Central Party School leadership; officials from the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council and the Jiangsu Provincial Party Committee; and private sector leaders and students in Nanjing.
The U.S.-China High-Level Political Party Leaders Dialogue seeks to build understanding and trust between political elites from the United States and China through an exchange of views on governance and foreign policy issues. Five previous rounds of dialogue have been held since its launch in 2010, and EWI expects to host the next round in the U.S. in 2014.