Friday, November 8, 2013 | 1:30 PM EST - 1:30 PM EST

, New York, NY

The National Committee welcomed Ambassador Jin Yongjian, head of the China Society for People’s Friendship Studies, for a roundtable discussion on topics ranging from educational exchanges to the upcoming midterm elections in the United States.

Ambassador Jin opened the meeting by sharing his optimism about the current level of people-to-people exchanges between the United States and China, saying that substantive exchanges between students, academics, and government officials are crucial to strengthening U.S.-China relations. After brief remarks, the ambassador asked the Americans their views on the outlook for U.S.-China relations in the medium to long range, and how to avoid potential problems.

Participants stressed that open communication is essential to a good bilateral relationship, even during times when contentious issues dominate the media and domestic politics. In the run up to the midterm elections, China has emerged as a scapegoat for America’s economic problems. This requires both countries to work to dispel misinformation and mutual distrust. Specific suggestions for ways in which the temperature of the relationship might be lowered were discussed, and everyone agreed that care should be taken in both countries not to allow minor disturbances to interrupt the positive trajectory of U.S.-China relations.

Jin Yongjian served as under-secretary-general for General Assembly affairs and conference services at the United Nations in New York from 1997 to 2001; prior to that appointment, he was under-secretary-general for development support and management services. From 1992 to 1996 he was permanent representative and ambassador to the United Nations Office in Geneva. Ambassador Jin held multiple positions at the Permanent Mission to the UN for the People’s Republic of China and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was joined by Ambassador Gu Pine, former Ambassador to St. Lucia, and other colleagues from the Foreign Ministry and the Society for People’s Friendship Studies.