The chair of the American Society of Quality (ASQ) said Monday that he is still optimistic about long-term cooperation on innovation between China and the United States, despite some temporary difficulties between the two in trade.
On the sidelines of the first China-U.S. Quality Summit on Monday in the city of Seattle, Elmer Corbin told Xinhua that he doesn't believe that U.S.-China cooperation on quality innovation will be adversely affected in the long run.
"I think that this is just a temporary clip in the relationship ... The U.S. has a long standing relationship with China and I don't think the current politics (will harm that), because it's really a political situation," said the ASQ chair.
China and the United States have been locked in a trade dispute over the past few weeks after the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally threatened to slap punitive tariffs on Chinese exports worth billions of dollars for what it called huge trade deficits on the U.S. side against China.
The Chinese government responded by announcing the same amount of tariffs on U.S. exports to Chinese consumers.
Corbin said the U.S.-China trade frictions have nothing do with the sharing of knowledge and the the collaboration that the ASQ has maintained for many many decades now with China.
"I don't think that this is going to be a long-term disagreement in our relationship," he said.
The ASQ chair challenged the allegation by some U.S. politicians about "China's unfair acquisition of U.S. technology and intellectual property (IP) rights," saying he is not worried about the sharing of knowledge with China.
"I work for IBM (International Business Machines), and as a matter fact we have several very big development labs in China. So we are creating IP in those labs. I don't think that that's a major issue, if you have the right safeguards in place," he noted.
Corbin said the summit is an opportunity to "create new innovation if we have the right experts from different geographies and from different points of views working together."
Corbin said China-U.S. summits inspire collaboration, "so that we can create greater Innovation that's going to solve some of the big problems in the world."
He listed air pollution and a lack of clean water in some parts of the world as areas directly related to quality and where China and the U.S. can work together.
"These are quality issues. How do we solve those issues as a world community? The more of these types of events that we have, my vision is that we will start to break down those silos and bring together the greatest expertise in the world to solve some of these big problems," he said.
As part of the Global Summit on Quality hosted by the ASQ, the China-U.S. Summit was held as a platform for the exchange of information between senior U.S. and Chinese executives, government officials and quality experts.
The event attracted about 20 CEOs and senior business leaders from major Chinese companies such as Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company Limited, Haier Group Corporation, and XiamenAir, a carrier mainly owned by China Southern Airlines, and 50 entrepreneurs from about 30 U.S. companies, including Boeing Co., Google, IBM and Microsoft.
The summit was held in concurrence with the 2018 ASQ World Conference on Quality and Improvement that opened Monday through Wednesday. The annual ASQ conference is the largest and most influential global meeting on quality and attracts about 2,000 to 3,000 participants per year from more than 50 countries and regions.