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Closer Cooperation Expected Between China, US - 2002-01-18

A prominent American university official says Sino-U.S. relations are entering a new era of cooperation following the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. His comments came in Beijing at the launch of an American program to help train a new generation of Chinese civil servants.

Joseph Nye, dean of Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, says the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States deeply transformed world politics. Mr. Nye told a gathering of Chinese officials, business leaders and academics in Beijing Friday, that the realignment of world powers since September will likely result in much closer cooperation between China and the United States.

"September 11 not only realigned the great powers, it also proved to the United States, as well as other powers, that there was a new agenda in which nobody could go it alone," he said. "And that means that the United States and China have very strong cooperative interests."

Mr. Nye, a former assistant secretary of defense during the Clinton administration says that prior to September 11, many American politicians and academics considered China a great threat to the United States. He says Washington and Beijing will continue to differ on many issues, such as the status of Taiwan or U.S. missile defense. But he says these differences are no longer as important, now that the world must deal with the more serious threat posed by terrorists.

As a sign of the new Sino-American cooperation, Mr. Nye formally announced the start of a five-year program by Harvard's Kennedy School of Government to train Chinese government officials in public policy and management strategy. The program jointly run with a research arm of China's State Council - will recruit 60 Chinese provincial officials a year for training at Harvard and Beijing's Qinghua University.

Chen Qingtai, vice president of the State Council's Development Research Center, says he hopes the program will nurture a new generation of high-quality leaders, as they face the challenges of China's increased integration into the global economy.

Mr. Chen says at the Harvard ceremony that the program will help government officials understand new ways of policymaking, and raise overall standards of governance.

The program will rely heavily on case studies drawn from Harvard's School of Government, with American and Chinese faculty collaborating on topics such as strategic planning, leadership and public management.