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Marshall Goldsmith
Executive Coach/Author

Marshall Goldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith is an executive educator, speaker, coach and best-selling author. His most recent book is Mojo.

What the US and China share

Question: Americans now view China as the biggest threat to U.S. economic and military interests. What leadership advice would you give to President Hu for creating a more positive political climate for U.S.-China relations?

To begin with, I am not sure that all Americans view China as the biggest threat to U.S. economic and military interests. I don't.

Given that, I would encourage President Hu Jintao to focus on the areas of mutual interest to the U.S. and China--and there are many. For example, an expanding U.S. economy is ultimately good for business in China, and U.S. support for Chinese initiatives can be good for Chinese status in the world. While the U.S. and China have clear differences, we have many areas of potential mutual agreement. We live in a very connected world. By recognizing and building on this point, we can both win.

By Marshall Goldsmith

 |  January 17, 2011; 11:12 PM ET
Category:  Accomplishing Goals Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Managing anger and fear | Next: China and the art of communication


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Marty - Assuming that all you say is true. We still have to deal with China and they still have to deal with us. My advice would be the same as before.
M. Lindsay - I agree!
Corebanks - This has been tried in the past - and has never worked yet.
Toribennette - Well said! Better than my original post.
Sam - As you note, both countries have much more to gain than to lose by helping each other.

Posted by: MarshallGoldsmith | January 23, 2011 2:06 PM
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Having ignored endless entreaties from US Presidents, treasury secretaries and secretaries of State from Clinton presidency to Obama’s until now, President Hu is NOT going to heed any advice from any American on US-China relations.

China has continued its mercantilist trade policies with ever increasing trade surpluses and forex reserves ignoring all such entreaties. And US businesses are as much at fault as Chinese policies for such one way trade because they are hooked to huge profits that cheap Chinese products generate for them.

China has continued to prop up North Korean regime despite all the US entreaties against it.

China has continued to trade with Iran despite all the US entreaties against it.

US is whistling in the wind if it can advise China to bend on such issues when China has its own priorities about them. Bent on replacing US as super power, China could care less about such advice.

To use old Rooseveltian adage, Chinese President ‘spoke softly but carried a big stick’ during his US visit.

China’s rise to super power status to challenge US is a fitting monument to the much-celebrated foresight of Nixon-Kissinger to embrace China to counter Soviet Union in 1972 just as 9/11 attacks is a fitting monument to Reagan embrace of Islamic fundamentalists to counter Soviet Union in 1980s Afghanistan.

Posted by: martymartel3 | January 22, 2011 10:15 AM
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The stance that President Hu should take with respect to the United States is indeed to focus on the mutual interests. Cautionary measures should be taken; however, due to the tension caused by Chinese violation of trade laws, as well as its growing economic and militaristic power. Nevertheless, until the United states weighs these negative aspects as greater than the positive mutual interest, focusing on mutual gain will be the best strategy. Pro-active measures may have to be taken eventually to re-establish greater measures of trust as trading partners globally.

Posted by: M_Lindsay_10 | January 21, 2011 2:51 PM
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"The fact is we should be taxing Chinese products, a 25 percent tax. We owe them money, we'll pay them back very quickly out of this tax," Trump tells CNBC.

Posted by: corebanks1940 | January 20, 2011 9:33 AM
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I agree that it may not be an accurate assumption to state that Americans view China as the biggest threat to U.S. economic and military interests. While some Americans may feel this way, others may not. With that being said, I think that in order for a more positive politcal climate for U.S.-China relations to occur, efforts need to be made on both sides (that is by both President Obama and President Hu). It is not merely Presidents Hu's responsibility to create a more positive political climate. In order to best create a more positive political environment, I believe that D. Michael Lindsay stated it best when he said that it is going to be essential that both leaders envoke direct and cordial communication with one another. Communication is going to be the key in establishing trust and a positive environment. Both President Obama and Hu need to make clear their interests, objectives, and desires for the future (with respect to their individual countries and U.S.-China relations) so that each man can both know where the other stands and can do his best to accomodate the other and compromise. Make no mistake that it will indeed take compromise on both the U.S. and China's part to bring about a more positive political climate between the two countries and foster better relations between the U.S. and China.

Posted by: toribennette | January 19, 2011 5:17 PM
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In the world of competition, we prefer the both powerfull countries be competitave to each other without harming each other.china is a country that has shown in last years that her economic has sharply grown , on the other side the US economic has sharply declained.while china has a growth of $B (may be T) surpluss, US according to the record has $14 trillion deficit.now in 2011, the bothe countries has a deligation by visiting Hu to Washington to discuss about co-operation and make a plan how they have a close ties economis and political ties between two countries.the best way at this critical time is respect each other,respect the rights of each other in an international community.US can not invade china, and china can not instruct US .on the other hand US should see china in this position in current years, economic and military strong, and china should not look at US with this hardship finicial situation.in overall there are so many ways beyond the indivisuals thinking that by co-operation many on international serious matters such as climate change, food shortage, terrosist,space programs etc can be done. the benificaries of these co=operations are the world,s population.

Posted by: sam1321 | January 19, 2011 7:05 AM
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