Fueling positive relations between US and China


The talk titled “China Town Hall = China’s investment in U.S. and Africa,” Monday, October 5 in CUE, Room 203.

In a town hall style presentation yesterday, Washington State’s Asian studies program aired a live webcast panel of U.S. and China relations experts that was broadcast to 75 U.S. venues and four locations in China.

The panel discussed Chinese investment in the United States, answering questions posted on twitter during the event. 

“It’s a boom time for a different class, a different breed of Chinese firms; they have to find a way to be closer to the American consumer,” said Daniel Rosen, founding partner of the Rhodium Group and adjunct associate professor at Columbia University. “Fifteen years ago, China was not ready to go global. They have matured economically, in language and now are a competitor.”

The panelists discussed China’s changing economy and its growing expansion into other national economies.

“Many other countries have been invested in the U.S. for hundreds of years, China has quickly been investing more,” said Robert E. Rubin, former secretary of the Robert E. Rubin treasury and economics expert.

Rubin stated that many of the complaints the U.S. has against China could be addressed in their policy. Many Chinese complaints against the U.S. could be addressed in policy as well.

“People are afraid that American resources will be transferred back to China,” Rosen said. “The reason why Chinese companies are coming here is because there are assets here that are more profitable than in the People’s Republic.”

Panel member Sheldon A. Day, mayor of Thomasville, Alabama, shared his experience working with a Chinese company titled Golden Dragon Copper as it started its first U.S. factory.  Thomasville is a former high textile production area hit hard by the recession.

 “The effect has been unbelievable and it’s brought good jobs to the community,” Day said.

Day stated that since Golden Dragon began operations in Thomasville, roughly 300 new jobs have opened in the community and that number is anticipated to rise to 500 in the future.

 “Now we have a Chinese product formerly made in China made by Alabamians,” Day said.

A student posed a question via twitter about the potential of military conflict and its effect on trade.

“There are serious tensions, but the probability of military conflict is very low,” Rubin said, referring to the recent events in the South China Sea and U.S. cyber security issues.  “The best hope for leadership is an effective relationship between China and the United States.”