We spent most of today discussing the United States’ relations with
China. During the presidential election, China was often discussed with a negative connotation. Today, our panel of experts on the U.S./China relations: Embassador J. Stapleton Roy, Director Robert Daly (of the Kissinger Institute) and Professor Andrew Wedeman (Georgia State University) dove into more serious issues including the domestic problems faced by the Chinese. Embassador Roy described our relations with China as pure “chaos”. He then explained the strain caused by the One China Policy. This policy has governed relations between China and Taiwan for almost half a century. While Taiwan is considered a province by China, we still keep unofficial relations with them. China has made it clear that this policy is non-negotiable and they are willing to go to war if Taiwan tries to become an independent country.
While President Elect Trump has talked about the Chinese as being job-stealers and China as a whole being a threat, Director Robert Daly changed the perspective for a minute. He told us to not think about China as China, but instead as one-fifth of humankind. 1.3 billion people that we see as a threat due to their numbers; however, they see themselves as 1.3 billion people divided by their lack of resources. China and the United States coexist with each other. We survive and thrive through the existence of the other, so if one-fifth of humankind goes into an economic disaster, this would have extremely negative effects on the U.S. and other countries.
After our panel discussion, we were able to walk around D.C. near the White House. The streets are absolutely packed with people flowing into the city for the inauguration along with hundreds upon hundreds of security and secret service members. We had dinner at the rooftop restaurant at Hotel Washington, which was absolutely beautiful. There are inaugural balls going on this entire week, and many were dressed for the occasion having dinner at the restaurant. It has a beautiful view of the city, especially the White House. Many businesses and hotels have their American flags and “Welcome Mr. President” banners up for Friday. It was a great way to end the day! Tomorrow, we are looking forward to attending the inaugural concert at Lincoln Memorial. Stay tuned for pictures and updates as the week progresses!