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The U.S. and China: Mutual Public Perceptions, Day 2

Mutual perceptions between the United States and China are notoriously varied and changeable, and tend to the negative. This is worrisome because general perceptions can and often do have a powerful impact on official policy. The Kissinger Institute hosted a conference that examined this broad topic through several lenses from distinguished guests from both China and the United States. Watch day one of the conference here!

Date & Time

Jul. 20, 2010
9:00am – 12:00pm

The U.S. and China: Mutual Public Perceptions, Day 2

Chinese and American images of each other are notoriously volatile.  Many factors are at work.  Widely different histories, contrasting cultures, dissimilar development experiences, and competing values all complicate the task of forming accurate impressions of the other.  In recent times, the legacy of the Korean War and the infrequency of direct contact from 1949 to 1979 played a large role.  While channels of communication have multiplied since then, this has not necessarily enhanced the accuracy of mutual impressions.

This volatility matters because mutual perceptions affect the way the two peoples deal with each other both officially and informally. To probe these various images, the channels through which they travel to the other side, and the specific issues which give rise to problematic mutual perceptions, the Kissinger Institute convened seventeen scholars and public figures from China and America in July, 2010.  For each channel of communication -- the media, returned scholars and students, popular culture – and for each problematic issue – religion, law, individual vs. group interests – we paired one presenter from each country. The result was an insightful collection of papers that spurred interesting and enlightening discussion.  

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