At the Times Center in New York a couple of weeks ago my company organized a conference. The subject matter was broad, ranging from immigration to business. But at the heart of our day of talks and panel discussions was the U.S. relationship with China.
That's because it is my firm conviction that, more than ever before, China and the U.S. need to work in partnership. It is not, in fact, a choice. They are the two world superpowers, the largest economies, and I believe that over the next five years China and the U.S. must together save Europe.
Each nation has its own internal stresses, but one of the things that emerged during discussions at our New York Forum event was a willingness to collaborate and compromise. Shi Wang, who is chairman of the China Vanke Group, likened the Sino-U.S. connection to a marriage. "Even though we sleep in the same bed we have different dreams. But if you are husband and wife you have to be together."
Other similar comments were made throughout the day, revealing a strong sense of fellowship between representatives of both nations. The Consul General of China in New York, Guoxiang Sun, said that despite their evident differences, the economies of the two countries are complementary. "China and the U.S. share vast common interests in maintaining the momentum of the world economic recovery, safeguarding global financial stability and coping with global issues," he said.
That is surely true -- food security, financial stability and climate change can be solved only if nations work together. All of us (and our children) have a stake in these issues.
Both countries have a lot to learn from each other, too. America remains the world's innovation hub, with venture capitalists willing to fund only the best ideas, while in China innovation is often stifled by government policy. China, meanwhile, has a startlingly effective infrastructure: America might benefit from having some of those high-speed trains.
It's an inarguable fact that we need a stronger economic world. In this context, I believe that the world's two biggest economic powers should lead the global economy. A positive attitude is key, free of rumblings about distrust or politics. That is the only way to have a win-win partnership. The two giants, China and the U.S., must figure out how to dance together.