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Diplomats from the United States and China met this week on Tuesday September 24, as part of the 12th annual US-China Diplomatic Dialogue, which is co-hosted by Professor Peter Gries of the Manchester China Institute.
The Dialogue, which was also co-hosted by Wu Xinbo, who Directs both the Shanghai and Fudan University Institutes of American Studies, looked at topics including US-China Trade despites, security competition in the South China Seas, and the future of US-China relations.
The US-China Dialogue was first introduced by Professor Gries in 2007. Explaining the continued importance of the Dialogue, Professor Gries commented that "In my view, US-China relations today are at the lowest point they have been in the 30 years since Tiananmen. I was thrilled that while some of our formal discussions were tense, diplomats on both sides embraced the optimistic spirit of the Dialogue. I am also grateful to work at a University that values social responsibility and programs like our Dialogue that seek to make a difference in our rapidly changing world."
As well as being the Lee Kai Hung Chair and Director of the Manchester China Institute, Professor Gries has studied extensively in the USA, including work at the University of Oklahoma, where he founded and directed the Institute for US-China Issue.
As well as discussing key subjects relating to policy, the Dialogue, which took place in the town of Yuexi, China, saw the diplomats involved in informal activities such as hiking and touring local farms and factories. The idea being this retreat style Dialogue is to allow diplomats to get to know each other better, to further enhance their discussions on bilateral issues.
Among the American diplomats in attendance were personnel from the US Embassy in Beijing, as well as from the five US Consulates around China.
More details on the work of Professor Gries and the Manchester China Institute can be found via www.mci.manchester.ac.uk