Ever since President Nixon’s groundbreaking 1972 visit to China, constructive engagement has been the guiding principle of U.S. interaction with China. This policy, which helped foster an era of peace in Asia, robust Sino-American economic ties, and China’s unprecedented development, is threatened by forces on both sides of the Pacific, and the very notion of constructive engagement is being called into question.

At its Annual Members Program on May 22, 2018, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations focused on the recent controversy over constructive engagement. NCUSCR President Stephen Orlins led off with a speech on the issue and the role of the National Committee in this fraught time, and then moderated a panel of three specialists, each looking at constructive engagement through the lens of her/his own field.

The National Committee is grateful to its corporate member Edelman for providing the venue for this event.


Economics & Trade: Amy P. Celico, Principal, Albright Stonebridge Group
Soft Power & Rising Global Influence: Robert L. Daly, Director, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, Wilson Center
Strategic & Security: Evan S. Medeiros, Managing Director and Practice Head for Asia, Eurasia Group
Keynote & Moderator: Stephen A. Orlins, President, National Committee on U.S.-China Relations


Amy P. Celico is a principal of Albright Stonebridge Group, where she leads the firm’s China team and helps clients deepen relationships with key stakeholders, succeed with M&A transactions, resolve complex problems, and build and expand their business. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Celico served as senior director for China affairs at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, where she developed negotiating positions on issues related to China’s non-financial services sectors and intellectual property rights policies. Previously, Ms. Celico served as deputy director of the Office of the Chinese Economic Area at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where she monitored China’s compliance with its WTO commitments and developed U.S.-China trade policy to expand market access for U.S. companies in China. She also worked at the U.S. State Department, where she served as an intelligence analyst in the Bureau of Research and Intelligence, and as a vice consul for economic affairs at the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai.


Robert L. Daly, the director of the Wilson Center’s Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, has compiled an unusually diverse portfolio of high-level work: he has served as a U.S. diplomat in Beijing; as an interpreter for Chinese and U.S. leaders, including President Carter and Secretary of State Kissinger; as head of China programs at Johns Hopkins, Syracuse, and the University of Maryland; and as a producer of Chinese-language versions of Sesame Street. Recognized East and West as a leading authority on Sino-American relations, he has testified before Congress, lectured widely in both countries, and regularly offers analysis for top media outlets.


Dr. Evan S. Medeiros is the managing director and practice head for Asia at the Eurasia Group. Until June 2015, Dr. Medeiros served as special assistant to President Barack Obama and senior director for Asian affairs at the White House National Security Council, responsible for coordinating U.S. policy toward the Asia-Pacific across the areas of diplomacy, defense, economics, and intelligence affairs. He joined the National Security Council staff in summer 2009 as director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolian affairs and was actively involved in U.S.-China relations throughout his NSC tenure, including by developing the initial proposal for the Sunnyland's Summit, planning the president's 2014 summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and managing numerous other high-level U.S.-China interactions.


Stephen A. Orlins has been president of the National Committee since 2005. Prior to that, he was the managing director of Carlyle Asia and chairman of the board of Taiwan Broadband Communications, one of Taiwan's largest cable television and high speed internet providers. Prior to joining Carlyle, Mr. Orlins was a senior advisor to AEA Investors Inc., a New York-based leveraged buyout firm, with responsibility for AEA's business activities throughout Asia. From 1983 to 1991, Mr. Orlins was with the investment banking firm of Lehman Brothers where he was a managing director from 1985 to 1991. From 1987 to 1990, he served as president of Lehman Brothers Asia. From 1976 to 1979, Mr. Orlins served in the Office of the Legal Advisor of the United States Department of State, first in the Office of the Assistant Legal Advisor for Political-Military Affairs and then for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. While in the latter, he was a member of the legal team that helped establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. Mr. Orlins is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and earned his law degree at Harvard Law School. He speaks Mandarin Chinese and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT

Amy P. Celico
Robert L. Daly
Evan S. Medeiros
Stephen A. Orlins

New York, NY



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