Diplomats Urge Cooperation

Nov 17 2017
Written by NYU Shanghai

On Monday, Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Lehman hosted a dialogue at the NYU School of Law between former Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs He Yafei and former United States Ambassador to China Clark T. Randt Jr., discussing the prospect of China-US relations amid political uncertainty.

Summing up the significance of the encounter, Jeff Lehman said, "It was fascinating to see such seasoned diplomats map out areas of agreement and disagreement in measured, thoughtful, respectful, but still forceful ways."

Over the course of the two-hour event, organized by NYU's Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Undergraduate Academic Affairs, the two diplomats reviewed their decades of services in foreign policy and commented on a series of pressing issues surrounding bilateral relations on the international stage.

Addressing more than 100 attendees, He said Beijing and Washington should seek “closer coordination and concerted actions in global governance,” as the two countries’ policies will inevitably have broad and strong “spillover” effects on other countries.

“Clear-headed strategic assessment of the most important bilateral relationship is warranted more than ever before,” said He, who served as minister counsellor from 1998 to 2001 at the Chinese Embassy in the United States and represented China during the Copenhagen Accords in 2009.

Following his opening remarks, He was joined by Clark T. Randt, who served as US Ambassador to China from 2001 to 2009, in a conversation moderated by Vice Chancellor Lehman before fielding questions from the audience. The two diplomats discussed what they both see as a positive direction of dialogues between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump, who concluded his first state visit to China last week.

Reinforcing his position on globalization, Randt said the US and China can unite on common interests, despite differences in politics, culture and history, lauding NYU and its global network as a model for the open exchange of ideas.

“NYU is a real model of  global education,” Randt said. “This is the future.”

*This article references Xinhua News Agency and a report by Washington Square News.