by Winston Chua
PASADENA – The Committee of 100 hosted its 21st annual conference on April 19-20 at the Langham in Pasadena.
“I’m honored to be one of the co-chairs of this event,” said U.S. and world figure skating champion and U.S. public diplomacy envoy Michelle Kwan. “Under the leadership of Dominic Ng, who is our president, it’s been fascinating for me to be involved to touch on key issues in U.S.-China relations.”
The Committee of 100, a Chinese American leadership organization, themed its conference “Common Ground” in a gathering of business leaders, politicians and innovators from the United States and China to explore the interdependence and expanding cooperation involving business, environmental, social and political issues.
“The Committee of 100 does amazing work, with everything going on with China these days. I think it’s important they help build the bridge between U.S. and China relations and also help with the way people in American view China and vice versa,” said Kelly Hu, who starred in X2:X-Men United and The Scorpion King.
Experienced panelists discussed matters of political leadership, bilateral investment, philanthropy and entertainment.
On Thursday night a series of high-profile participants made their way to the hotel for a gala dinner and awards program. They included Supervisor Mike Antonovich, East West Bank Chairman Dominic Ng, former California Governor Grey Davis, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, figure-skating champion Michelle Kwan, actress and emcee Kelly Hu, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, USC President Max Nikias and many more.
Ng said, “With the U.S. presidential election and China’s leadership transition transpiring this year, both countries are standing at the crossroads of bilateral cooperation and competition. I am very pleased that this year’s Common Ground Conference underscores this pivotal juncture in U.S.-China relations and explores key areas for pragmatic engagement.”
Current trends indicate that the U.S. public is divided about whether the US-China relationship is improving or declining, whereas Chinese business leaders have grown more optimistic on relations since 2007. About half of the U.S. public who believe the relationship is worsening blame the American government, while more than half of American opinion leaders, business leaders and policy makers blame China’s government. About 66% of the general public in China believes the U.S. government is to blame for worsening relations.
In additional surveys, war and military are the first thoughts that come to mind for the Chinese public when they think of the U.S., sentiments consistent with their thinking in 2007. Of notable difference is that just 10.6% of opinion leaders said war and military in 2012, compared with 40% in 2007.
Here are some of their findings:
55% of the American public holds a favorable view of China while 59-percent of the Chinese public holds a similarly positive view of the US.
A majority of American public and business leaders believes the U.S. has a better international image than China. A majority of the Chinese public believes the opposite is true, but Chinese business leaders are divided on this perception.
The same categories of people agree China will have a leading influence in the Asia Pacific region 20 years from now. The same group of people believe the U.S. will remain the world’s leading superpower over the next 20 years.
Here are some additional findings: continuing with the pattern in 2007, the American public is generally not satisfied with the direction in which the U.S. is heading. Only 36% of the American public thinks that their country is on the right track. Minimal change from 2007.
Approximately 58% believes the country is on the wrong track, essentially the same as 59% in 2007. U.S. opinion and business leaders tend to be more optimistic now with about half thinking the country is on the right track, slightly higher than figures in 2007.
What is the domestic concern? Jobs and economy remains the top concerns for the American public and business leaders.
Here’s something interesting: generally speaking, when it comes to economic or military issues between U.S. and China, 67% of the American public believes Chinese Americans will support the U.S. American business leaders sharing the view exceed 77%. However, 25% of the American public believes Chinese Americans will support China with 7% not sure about Chinese Americans’ position.
More to come in our print edition.
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