Advice for Hil­lary (if she wins): As­sign Bill to China

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By PAUL WELITZKIN in New York paulwelitzkin@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

If Hil­lary Clin­ton wins the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, a long­time China observer said that she should send a high­pro­file emis­sary to the main­land to chart a new course for Sino-Amer­i­can re­la­tions — her hus­band, Bill Clin­ton, the 42nd pres­i­dent of the United States.

“Hil­lary should send Bill to work on the re­la­tion­ship with the US,” said Orville Schell, the Arthur Ross Di­rec­tor of the Cen­ter on US-China Re­la­tions at the Asia So­ci­ety. “Bill has the stature to get China’s at­ten­tion, plus the Chi­nese would know that he has a di­rect line to Hil­lary. His ap­point­ment would sig­nal re­spect for the re­la­tion­ship.”

Schell made his com­ments on Sept 15 at the Asia So­ci­ety in New York dur­ing a panel dis­cus­sion on The US, China and 2016 Vote. Also on the panel was Win­ston Lord, a for­mer US am­bas­sador to China and an­other long­time China watcher, and au­thor Emily Parker, a fel­low at the New Amer­i­can Foun­da­tion, who served as mod­er­a­tor.

Nei­ther Lord nor Schell ex­pressed en­thu­si­asm for Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump. “No­body knows what our China pol­icy would be like un­der Trump in­clud­ing Trump him­self,” Lord said. “He is in­co­her­ent and un­in­formed. All he has talked about China has been tar­iffs and start­ing a trade war.”

Asked if he would serve as an ad­viser to Trump on China if the can­di­date re­quested it, Schell said, “I don’t like to as­so­ciate with such peo­ple.”

He said Trump “is so un­pre­dictable he could sur­prise. But un­pre­dictabil­ity can be a dan­ger in for­eign af­fairs”.

Parker, who wrote Now I Know Who My Com­rades Are: Voices from the In­ter­net Un­der­ground, said that the in­ter­net has had a “trans­for­ma­tive ef­fect on China”.

Parker said US brands of ed­u­ca­tion and health care are well re­spected in China. “Look at how many Chi­nese come here to study and also to re­ceive med­i­cal treat­ment,” she said.

Parker said that China is be­gin­ning to build brands that could pen­e­trate the global mar­ket like Amer­i­can com­pa­nies, and she sin­gled out mo­bile­phone maker Xiaomi and in­ter­net gi­ant Ten­cent as “strong brands in Asia”.

Lord said the grid­lock and po­lar­iza­tion in­fil­trat­ing the US po­lit­i­cal sys­tem is start­ing to seep into for­eign pol­icy. “If we can’t get to­gether it will hurt our pol­icy,” he said.

No­body knows what our China pol­icy would be like un­der Trump.” Orville Schell, the Asia So­ci­ety

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