Carter will be featured for China Town Hall

By Jason Cruz
Northwest Asian Weekly

Former President Jimmy Carter

Former United States President Jimmy Carter will be a featured guest of the eighth annual China Town Hall meeting on October 16, 2014.  The goal of the Town Hall is to facilitate the exchange of ideas through educational exchanges and public education.  President Carter’s remarks will be web cast for free nationwide by the National Committee on United States-China Relations.

The program featuring the former president will address China’s rapid development and Sino-American relations and how it affects the United States.  Entitled, “CHINA Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections,” it is a national day of programming designed to provide Americans across the United States the opportunity to discuss these issues with leading experts according to the NCUCR press release.  The program is a form of public outreach for those interested in continuing Sino-American issues.  The event is underwritten by the Starr Foundation which provides grants in the areas of education, medicine and healthcare, human needs, public policy, culture and the environment per its organization web site.

President Carter appears as part of the Conversations at The Carter Center speaker series.  President Carter will talk about the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and China when he was president.  He will also speak to present diplomacy between the two nations.  After President Carter’s presentation, he will respond to question from audience members throughout the country viewing the webcast.  In addition, President Carter’s speech will be preceded by local presentations from on-site China specialists addressing topics of particular interest to the community including economics, governance & civil society, politics and security and transnational issues.

The National Committee on United States-China Relations is sponsoring the event.  Founded in 1966, the organization remains at the “forefront of the dynamic Sino-American relationship by encouraging constructive dialogue, fostering face-to-face interaction and the forthright exchange of ideas and educating Americans and Chinese about the realities of each other’s countries,” according to its web site.  The organization had a hand in what is known as the “Ping Pong Diplomacy” in 1972.  The committee assisted in bringing over the Chinese Table Tennis Team to the United States as part of a quasi-diplomatic exchange.  The ping pong exhibitions between the Chinese team and the American team brought good will between the two countries and it facilitated further sports and educational exchanges between the countries.

Last year, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright served as the featured guest for the town hall.

President Carter was the 39th president of the United States serving from 1976 until 1980.  During President Carter’s administration, the most notable event in Sino-American relations occurred when on December 15, 1978, the United States and the People’s Republic of China announced that they would recognize one another and established official diplomatic relations.  The announcement was the culmination of months of secret negotiations between the two countries.  As a result, the United States recognized the People’s Republic as the sole legal government of China and withdrew diplomatic recognition from Taiwan.  Prior to this, there were no formal diplomatic relations between the United States and the People’s Republic. (end)

For more information on the event, visit

Jason Cruz can be reached at

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