The 20th Harvard China Forum (HCF) kicked off in Boston Friday, as international relations experts called for enhanced China-U.S. cooperation in the future.

Themed “Sharing the Road Ahead,” this year’s HCF is aimed at exploring ways for the United States and China, two major world economies, to better cooperate and forge a mutually beneficial relationship.

“Cooperation with one another among countries will make the world economy more balanced,” Zhang Meifang, deputy consul general of China’s Consulate General in New York, told a roomful of participants at the event’s welcoming ceremony.

Stephen Orlins, president of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, acknowledged that the number of exchange students between the United States and China is at an all-time high and he urged these exchange students to “work toward bringing the two countries together.”

“Trade and investment have become the two main driving forces in fortifying U.S.-China ties,” Orlins said, adding that the U.S. government under Donald Trump should do more to open up the Chinese market, instead of trying to close the U.S. market to China.

Mark Elliot, vice provost of international affairs at Harvard University and also a leading U.S. expert on Chinese history, referred to historical examples and said that the danger was not that the United States understood China too well, but that it understood China too little.

“Even today, too little is being understood about China, partly because of the incomplete and sometimes even inaccurate news reports about China that have led to many misunderstandings,” he said.

But with over 300,000 Chinese students currently studying in the United States, they would surely promote mutual understanding between the two countries, Elliot said.

The three-day event will run until Sunday, and will include panel discussions on a slate of issues, including investment, entrepreneurship and entertainment.

By Huang Mingrui

ECNS

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