Robert B. Zoellick
U.S. Trade Representative
U.S.-China Business Council [speech]
January 31, 2002
I am delighted to be here with the U.S.-China Business Council, just as President Bush is
planning his second trip to China.
The size and the quality of today’s audience is a reminder of the strong and enduring interest
of the American business community in China.
Twenty-three years ago this very month, right after the United States and China established
diplomatic relations, the State Department hosted an event for CEOs in the commodious
Dean Acheson Auditorium. Every seat in the large assembly hall was filled for the coming
out party, chaired by two eminent cabinet members, the late Cy Vance and Mike Blumenthal.
Indeed, David Rockefeller arrived late and found himself sitting uncomfortably but more or
less contentedly on the floor in an aisle. I do not see anyone on the floor today, but Mr.
Rockefeller reminded us then that you have got to be willing to accept hardships and
irritations to get in on the ground floor of the China market.
In the decades that followed, the U.S.-China Business Council has been at the forefront in the
development of U.S. relations with China...