Asia Foundation President David D. Arnold Attends President Xi Jinping Welcome Dinner

September 24, 2015 — The Asia Foundation’s President David D. Arnold attended a welcome dinner in Seattle earlier this week for China’s President Xi Jinping. President Xi spoke to an audience of about 750 leaders from the private and public sectors, including Dr. Henry Kissinger, Chairwoman Carla Hills of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, and Chairman Mark Fields of the U.S.-China Business Council, among others. This marked President Xi’s first stop during a week-long visit to the United States.

In a wide-ranging speech aimed at strengthening relations between the U.S. and China, President Xi sought to give reassurances that two sides can achieve “win-win cooperation.” In his remarks, President Xi addressed the work of international non-governmental organizations in China, saying that the government “recognizes the positive role” played by foreign non-profit organizations.

“So long as their activities are beneficial to the Chinese people, we will not restrict or prohibit their operations, but will protect their operations through legislation and protect their legitimate rights and interests,” he said. However, NGOs still “need to obey Chinese law and carry out activities in accordance with law.”

Xi also emphasized the importance of continuing people-to-people exchange as an essential element in building and maintaining friendly relations between China and the U.S.

In keeping with the President’s remarks about foreign NGOs and exchanges, for more than 30 years The Asia Foundation has been supporting programs to improve China-U.S relations through numerous and varied bilateral exchanges and dialogues. The Foundation also is organizing activities to foster China-U.S. cooperation for the benefit of other countries in the Asia Pacific region.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our programs address critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century—governance and law, economic development, women’s empowerment, environment, and regional cooperation.

Read more about the Foundation’s work in China.

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