China's rapid development and Sino-American relations have a direct impact on the lives of just about everyone in the United States. CHINA Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections, is a national day of programming designed to provide Americans across the United States and beyond the opportunity to discuss issues in the relationship with leading experts.
It was as National Committee Gala keynote speaker in 2005 that Robert Zoellick, then Deputy Secretary of State, first publicly urged China to become a "responsible stakeholder." Zoellick's much-celebrated term caused great consternation among Chinese interpreters (who, interestingly, had significant difficulty coming up with a nuanced translation of "stakeholder"). Nonetheless it was quickly embraced by both the American and Chinese policy communities and continues to generate lively discussion about China's desired role in the international system.