The U.S.-China relationship is the world’s most important bilateral connection today. How this relationship develops will have enormous impact on the global economy and world peace in the 21st century. Mutual understanding between China and the United States will contribute to stable relations in the broadest sense, requiring education of the next generation of leaders through exposure to the underpinnings of each other’s history, culture, and contemporary thought.
While multitudes of cooperative agreements for academic and technical exchange exist, none have focused specifically on a deeper cultural understanding between the two nations. University centers offering Chinese cultural and language studies have developed rapidly in the United States, yet there have been no equivalent opportunities based in China to enhance the understanding of and appreciation for American culture and society.
With grants from the US government and partnerships with local Chinese universities, 19 different American cultural exchange centers have been opened around China.