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China seeks more cooperation on trade, energy, panelists say

October 22, 2013

Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong

Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong, former Ambassador from China to the United States, and Xu Erwen (right), Consul General at the Chinese Consulate General in Houston, were among senior Chinese officials discussing trade and energy at a panel co-sponsored by Tulane Law School’s Payson Center for International Development.

China wants to partner with the United States on more trade, not compete or interfere in the operation of private businesses, senior Chinese officials said during a lively discussion about trade and energy Oct. 17 at Tulane University.

Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong, Secretary General of the Boao Forum for Asia and former Ambassador from China to the United States, said the two countries could accomplish a lot working jointly on energy. But, he said, business transactions should not be politicized.

“China is more open to investment than the United States is,” he said. “I hope many in the United States government and Congress will do away with their zero-sum-game mentality.”

The Chinese delegation was hosted by Tulane Law School’s Payson Center for International Development; the Tulane Entergy Energy Institute; the Freeman School of Business; and the Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research.

The panel attracted an audience of business executives, faculty and students and included former Ambassador Donald Ensenat (L ’73), an attorney with Patton Boggs and formerly U.S. Chief of Protocol at the White House and the U.S. State Department.

Panelist Jin Liqun, Chairman of China International Capital Corporation Ltd. and former Deputy Minister of Finance, said that “We still have a lot to do to promote the well-being of our two peoples, but now we understand some of the issues."

China’s relationship with the United States “is not the same as the former USSR and the United States from the Cold War days,” he said. “We want to work together.”

Panelist Professor Zhou Dadi said China is improving energy efficiency to avoid unnecessary consumption and at the same time develop cleaner energy options – including looking to the U.S. for technology to explore shale gas sources.

Tulane has a longstanding relationship with China, specifically through the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs, or CPIFA, which organized the Chinese panelists. New partnerships are being developed, with CPIFA’s support and the Chinese Consulate General in Houston, through Tulane Law School and its Payson Center. Those include a summer program for Tulane students in Beijing and Shanghai and joint law degree programs for Chinese students.

This visit was organized by Research Professor S.T. Hsieh, Founding Director of the US/China Energy and Environmental Technology Center (EETC) at the Payson Center. He’s scheduled to visit China in late October to continue work on EETC projects with the U.S. Department of Energy and in November to represent the Tulane Center of Bioenvironmental Research at the annual meeting at the East China Normal University in Shanghai of the US-China EcoPartnership on wetlands. He will meet with the Chinese panelists and CPIFA for follow-up actions, including featured missions to China.


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