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Editor's note: From September 13 to 21, 2015, just a few days before Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to the United States, Wang Wen, executive director of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China, was invited to visit New York City and Washington D.C. In an interview with Guancha.com, Wang shared his deep analysis on topics related to his stay there, including American think tanks' perspectives on China, points of contention between the two superpowers, and avenues to improve the bilateral relationship.
What was your deepest impression from this American trip?
Wang Wen: My schedule was pretty tight during my 10-day stay in the U.S. I met with over 100 people from all walks of life including 10 political VIPs, attended some 20 seminars and private sessions, and communicated face-to-face with heads of more than 30 think tanks. Such a heavy contact in such a short period of time reflects how a Chinese think tank delegation was welcomed and valued, through which the U.S. hopes to communicate their latest attitudes about China.
Generally speaking, both China and the United States are in bad need of cooperation and are dependent on each other. Nevertheless, American think tanks are apprehensive about the rise of China—unprecedentedly concerned, yet unable to do anything about it. Despite the fact that the partial recovery of American economy has helped people regain confidence, they still cling to the divergences separating the two countries, hoping China will yield, but they don't dare push too hard. Americans are all tangled up. So I was deeply impressed.
Talking with American scholars from the think tanks, the array of topics, as it were, was both "wide" and "narrow." By "wide," the topics ranged from international order to Sino-U.S. economic and trade relations, China's economic reform, climate change, cyber security, capital market access and fluctuation, bilateral investment treaty, and topics on the South China Sea. By "narrow," almost all think tanks talked about subjects within this array. It proves the dialectical thinking of the Sino-U.S. relations, complicated yet simple: It appears that there are many issues to address, which are actually relatively concentrated. Unlike difficult miscellaneous diseases, these issues can be solved but need a joint, long-term effort.