The United States needs to collaborate with China on various issues despite the current trade rifts, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Tuesday.
"We need to in a sense take the venom out of the word competitor...Let's cooperate where we can. Let's compete where we must. Let's have our differences where we must. But let's try to do it in a way that makes the world safer and more prosperous," Rice said in an interactive webcast themed on U.S.-China relations, sponsored by the New York-headquartered National Committee on U.S.-China Relations (NCUSCR).
Calling herself "a free trader," Rice said imposing tariffs was not a wise tool to address trade issues. "It doesn't serve anybody. I believe that the international economy is better when it's trading freely and more openly."
Under the "America First" protectionist policies, the Trump administration has imposed high tariffs on a variety of imported products worth hundreds of billions of dollars, provoking strong opposition from domestic business communities and retaliatory measures from U.S. trading partners.
"China is a major factor in the international economy. No one can really imagine international growth that is sustained without Chinese economic growth," said Rice.
During the discussion, Rice spoke highly of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. "We need infrastructure around the world ...this could be a place for (U.S.-China) cooperation," she suggested.
When talking about the reported cap or ban of Chinese student visas to the United States, the professor and veteran diplomat said that she "would be completely opposed to doing so."
"The United States has to show a certain confidence in our system, and our system is one that believes in openness and innovation," said Rice, adding that student exchange is vital to promote mutual understanding.
This webcast was part of the 12th NCUSCR-sponsored annual event China Town Hall, which took place at more than 100 venues across the United States and China.
The NCUSCR is a leading non-partisan and non-profit public affairs organization dedicated to building constructive and durable relationships between the United States and China.