Asia Foundation Trustees Participate in World Peace Forum in Beijing
Beijing, July 20, 2016 — For a fifth year, the World Peace Forum (WPF) in Beijing gathered leading policy thinkers to consider key issues on international security and regional cooperation. Organized by Tsinghua University in cooperation with the China People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs, the WPF was held July 16 to 17 and brought together hundreds of participants to connect with five former heads of state, dozens of Ambassadors, and experts from leading think-tanks and universities across 20 countries. The experience and expertise of the Foundation was highlighted with the participation of seven current and former members of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
A panel discussion exploring “China-U.S. Relations and the U.S. Election” was co-sponsored by The Asia Foundation’s China office on the first day of the WPF. It was led by Trustees Howard L. Berman, former Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and William L. Ball, III, former Secretary of the Navy who also served as the Chairman of the Foundation’s Board from 2002 to 2008. Joining them was Lt. Gen. Chen Xiaogong of the Foreign Affairs Committee of China’s National People’s Congress and Dr. Yuan Peng of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations. The session was moderated by David M. Lampton, Chairman of the Board of The Asia Foundation.
The exchange of ideas assessed the main issues of the U.S. election campaign and how they might shape the China-U.S. relationship. The audience of diplomats, professors, students, and journalists waded in with questions about trade, maritime cooperation, and security challenges. The conversation concluded with an acknowledgement of the importance of open and ongoing diplomacy to ensure stable relations.
Also featured in WPF panel discussions were Douglas H. Paal of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Elizabeth Economy of the Council on Foreign Relations, who both currently serve as trustees for the Foundation. Surin Pitsuwan, a former trustee and former Foreign Minister of Thailand, was part of a plenary session on Asian Security while Ambassador J. Stapleton Roy, Trustee Emeritus, contributed his views to the timely topic of counter-terrorism cooperation.
The WPF, founded in 2012, is China’s first high-level non-governmental conference focusing on international security. This year, it approached the topic of “The Order of Common Security: Cooperation, Inclusiveness, and Open-Access.” The keynote speech was delivered by China’s Vice Premier, Madame Liu Yandong, and addressed the need for an increasingly interconnected world to work together to confront common challenges. Madame Liu also highlighted China’s growing global engagement including its role in international rescue and disaster relief efforts, an area of development where The Asia Foundation in China continues to make notable progress with its Chinese partners.
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