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2021 Hong Kong Forum on U.S.-China Relations: THE WAY FORWARD

January , 2021


After a challenging year in which the world was tested by the impacts of COVID-19, global leaders and experts recognized the unprecedented changes facing the United States-China relationship and urged the two countries to work together to usher stability and security back into the international community. Following the inauguration of President Joe Biden in the United States, distinguished experts gathered virtually over three days, Jan. 26 to 28, 2021, to assess the future of bilateral relations. They examined key issues and areas of cooperation in the CUSEF’s second international forum themed “The Way Forward,” co-hosted by the China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE).

Last year was a year of unprecedented turmoil in which the pandemic sent humanity a message: The world is fundamentally changing, and the U.S.-China relationship remains crucial. The “Hong Kong Forum on U.S.-China Relations” featured more than 40 past and current major stakeholders and influencers, including former prime minister of Japan Yasuo Fukuda, CCIEE Chairman and former vice premier of the People’s Republic of China Zeng Peiyan, former prime minister of Italy and former president of the European Commission Romano Prodi, former Prime Minister of Canada Jean Chretien, former U.S. secretary of commerce Carlos Gutierrez, current government officials, senior business leaders and renowned scholars from the United States, China and other Asia-Pacific countries. They came together to address the current challenges facing bilateral relations. The discussion focused on how China and the U.S. should move forward in light of the new U.S. administration and used the opportunity to identify areas of cooperation between the two countries to tackle global challenges, including climate change, the environment, food security, cybersecurity and COVID-19.


  • First of all, I want to thank all the speakers who joined us in this event. Do you know that our speakers were actually spread out in nine different time zones? Our European friends dialed in at 2 am in the morning. My great appreciation to all, for your sacrifice and your contributions.
    Second, I want to thank all the participants for watching or listening in. I hope the discussions in the past few days have been helpful to you — in understanding the challenges and what should be done to put the China-U.S. relationship back on the road to progress.
    Indeed, our many speakers and panelists have pointed out what should be done. If I were to summarize the thoughts expressed in these three days, I’d say: Return to the dialogue table. Restore respect and trust. Allow competition and cooperation to coexist. Think about the developing countries and low-income people that need help. Know that all mankind lives on this same planet and all share a common destiny. ACT now!
    The road is not easy, but together we’ll find a way. One discussion is never sufficient. Changes of circumstances will require us to revisit the issues and rethink. When the pandemic and travel restrictions are over, I’d be happy to host this forum again. We can then meet, face to face, in this wonderful city of Hong Kong.

    Tung Chee-hwa

    Chairman of the China-United States Exchange Foundation;
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