Tuesday, August 4, 2009

157. Presidents Obama, Clinton and Reagan on China and the United States

President Barack Obama stated, "Americans know the richness of China's history because it helped to shape the world and it helped to shape America. We know the talent of the Chinese people because they have helped to create this great country." His remarks at U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue on July 27, 2009 is available through this link.

President Bill Clinton pointed in 1997 that China has played an important role in our history. "In 1784, shortly after America's independence, the first American merchant ship landed in China. The Chinese officials knew we were not European, so they simply called us the 'new people.' And though we were unfamiliar, the Chinese allowed us to trade freely with them. So one of the oldest societies on Earth, China, extended the hand of friendship to the world's youngest nation." You can access his whole speech through this link.

Ronald Reagan pointed out in 1984 that "back in 1784, when the first American trading ship, the Empress of China, entered your waters, my country was unknown to you. We were a new republic, eager to win a place in international commerce." His whole speech is available throught this link.

Do I need to say anything? The above remarks from the three great presidents of the United States tell us two things at least. The first is that American people never forget the great help from China and the influence of Chinese culture on the development of the United States. In the meantime, they also demonstrate United States leaders inherit and carry down the great tradition established by the founding fathers with open mind to learn from other cultures. I remain that to draw nourishment from other cultures is one of the main reasons responsible for making the United States a great power in the world in such short period of time.

Welcome to further explore this weblog, in which you will find out how Chinese culture helped to shape the United States from its inception. I hope that you can give us your input on Dr. Wang's examination of the impact of the traditional Chinese culture on the United States.

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