The United States and China “have a special obligation” to ensure global peace and stability, former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger said at the US-China Business Council’s 40th Anniversary Gala.
“The great opportunity for China and the United States,” he said, “is not to settle the immediate issues… but to put them into context in a greater international order.”
Kissinger joined nearly 500 guests to celebrate USCBC’s 40 years of promoting US-China commercial relations in Washington, DC on December 4. Other attendees included Dupont CEO and USCBC board Chair Ellen Kullman, Minister Lu Kang and Assistant Minister of Commerce Zhang Xiangchen of the Chinese Embassy, Congressmen Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Charles Boustany (R-LA), and three former USCBC presidents. Nearly 50 USCBC member companies sponsored tables at the event.
The event honored Kissinger’s role in shaping US-China relations, including his trip to China to negotiate the Shanghai Communiqué—the 1972 document that officially established commercial relations between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.
At the event, Kullman presented Kissinger with a copy of a letter he sent to USCBC prior to its first trade mission in 1973—one year after US President Richard Nixon’s historic trip to China. At the time, USCBC was known as the National Council for US-China Trade. The trade mission represented the first American business delegation to China since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Before presenting the letter, Kullman said that Kissinger’s unwavering support has allowed US-China commercial relations to transform into “the most dynamic in the world.”
In a recorded address, US Ambassador to China Gary Locke recognized USCBC’s accomplishments and noted Kissinger’s years of leadership on China.
“Like those who pioneered the US-China relationship 40 years ago, it’s difficult for us to imagine what the future holds for our two countries,” Locke said. “Yet it is encouraging to think that the work we all do today will continue to enhance the lives of the people, not just in the United States and China, but indeed the entire world.”
Minister Lu of the Chinese Embassy also presented a statement of congratulations on behalf of Chinese State Councilor and former Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. In his letter, Yang expressed appreciation for USCBC’s active role in promoting bilateral relations and emphasized the positive momentum both countries have maintained for steady economic growth.
Note: The US-China Business Council is the publisher of the China Business Review.