Deng Xiaop­ing’s his­toric US trip res­onates

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By CHEN WEIHUA in Wash­ing­ton chen­wei­hua@chi­nadai­

Chi­nese Am­bas­sador to the United States Cui Tiankai was a grad­u­ate stu­dent in Shang­hai when China and the US for­mally es­tab­lished diplo­matic ties on Jan 1, 1979.

Just a few weeks af­ter the es­tab­lish­ment of full diplo­matic re­la­tions, then Chi­nese leader Deng Xiaop­ing made a nine-day visit to the US, the first by a leader of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China.

The trip left many vivid im­ages, such as Deng don­ning a 10-gal­lon cow­boy hat at a rodeo in Texas.

The his­toric visit was chron­i­cled in a 90-minute doc­u­men­tary Mr. Deng Goes to Wash­ing­ton, which was shown on Wed­nes­day evening at the Merid­ian In­ter­na­tional Cen­ter in Wash­ing­ton.

Cui said be­fore the screen­ing that he did not re­al­ize at the time that visit would not only change China but also his per­sonal life. To Cui, it was a great time to re­view that part of history, given the US po­lit­i­cal elec­tion was just over.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping is ex­pected to meet US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama in Lima, Peru, this week on the side­lines of the Asia-Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion (APEC) lead­ers sum­mit. Xi and US Pres­i­den­t­elect Don­ald Trump talked on the phone last Sun­day, a chat that Cui de­scribed as “very good and friendly”. He said both hope to build a stronger and more sta­ble re­la­tion­ship.

The ca­reer diplo­mat de­scribed the pol­icy of sta­ble and strong China-US ties as a bi­par­ti­san con­sen­sus in the United States over the past four decades. He said the two coun­tries should build con­sen­sus and iden­tify com­mon ground.

He also hopes for con­ti­nu­ity, such as con­tin­u­ing the mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary ex­change, peo­ple-to-peo­ple ties and the more than 100 mech­a­nisms for di­a­logues and co­or­di­na­tion on bi­lat­eral and in­ter­na­tional is­sues.

He also called for cre­ativ­ity in the re­la­tion­ship, say­ing that many global chal­lenges call for joint ef­forts by China and the US. He be­lieves the two coun­tries should show the world that they will be able to over­come the trap of great power ri­valry.

“We should turn all these chal­lenges into op­por­tu­ni­ties,” Cui said.

For­mer US Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­vi­sor Zbig­niew Brzezin­ski fondly re­called the dinner he and his wife hosted for Deng dur­ing the visit, prais­ing Deng as a man of great wis­dom.

Brzezin­ski said China and the US have ma­jor re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to con­sult on ma­jor global chal­lenges.


Chi­nese leader Deng Xiaop­ing waves his fa­mous 10-gal­lon cow­boy hat dur­ing his visit to the US in 1979.

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