The National Committee on United States-China Relations is a nonprofit educational organization that encourages understanding of China and the United States between citizens of both countries. The Committee's continuity of experience and depth of associations with senior officials and distinguished citizens of China and the United States make it a unique national resource. Established in 1966 by a broad coalition of scholars and civic, religious, and business leaders, the Committee was founded in the belief that vigorous debate of China policy among Americans was essential and that balanced public education could clarify U.S. interests and strengthen our foreign policy. Similarly, the founders believed that over time dialogue with Chinese citizens would enhance mutual understanding, a basic requirement for stable and productive relations.
The Committee's basic purposes have not changed, although programs have been developed in response to shifting needs and opportunities. In the early years, the need was to stimulate informed public discussion about China and U.S.-China relations; thus the focus was on public education and outreach programs. With its sponsorship of the historic table tennis visit in 1972, the National Committee became the principal organization conducting public policy exchanges between China and the United States. In the 1980s the Committee focused on the cultivation of sustained, thoughtful interchange between influential Chinese and Americans. The importance of maintaining these channels of communication is increasingly evident as global and local interests increasingly intersect.
The Committee focuses its exchange, educational, and policy programs on international relations, economic development and management, governance and legal affairs, environmental and other global concerns, mass communication, and education administration — addressing these issues with respect to mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The Committee's programs draw strength from its members, who now number more than 750 Americans from all parts of the country and nearly 100 corporations and professional firms. They represent many viewpoints, but share the belief that increased public knowledge of China and U.S.-China relations requires ongoing public education, face-to-face contact and forthright exchange of ideas.
The work of the National Committee is made possible by grants from the United States Department of State, the U.S. Department of Education, private foundations, corporate sponsors, and the Committee's members and other interested citizens. The Committee is classified by the IRS as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.