Neil Bush, Founder and Chairman of the George H.W. Bush Foundation For U.S.-China Relations.
Thank you for that kind introduction.
As chairman of the George H.W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations, it is my purpose today to introduce our CEO, who is far more qualified than I to speak on this topic. But before I do, just a few comments.
I know my father would argue that person-to-person engagement is a powerful dynamic for gaining better understanding and developing mutual respect — cornerstones to building closer, more constructive bilateral ties.
Throughout his professional life — to get deals done in business, passing legislation or in shaping bilateral relations — my father was determined to put himself in the other guy's shoes. He knew that to create a win-win outcome, it was critical to understand the other side, their culture, their struggles and their true intentions.
My father's core beliefs about the U.S.-China relationship, which are reflected in the work of our foundation, were established from his firsthand experience living in China in 1975, from his frequent meetings with Chinese and in consultation with people who had their own working knowledge of China. In other words, it was the frequency of his own person-to-person communications that led him to understand that China is not our enemy, and in fact the U.S.-China relationship is the most important bilateral relationship in the world. By the way, one of George Bush's most trusted sources was our host, C.H. Tung.
C.H., thanks for bringing us together for this people-to-people exchange, where we can openly share ideas on the critical topic of U.S.-China Relations.
And now it is my pleasure to introduce a real China expert whose thinking and approach so beautifully reflects the ethos of our founder, the CEO of the George H.W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations — Mr. David Firestein.