Ex-US Prez Carter receives award for promoting US-China relations
June 16, 2019 | 4:33 PM
by Agencies
Former US President Jimmy Carter.

Washington: Former US President Jimmy Carter was recently recognised for promoting relations between the US-China while in office.

The George H. W. Bush Foundation for US-China Relations, also known as the Bush China Foundation, bestowed its inaugural George H. W. Bush Award for Statesmanship in US-China Relations on Carter, saying he made "profound contributions to the development of constructive and mutually beneficial relations" between the two countries.

Carter was president from 1977-1981 and formally established full diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1979.

At the award ceremony held at the Carter Center, speakers took the opportunity to look back at how Carter helped normalise what would be considered the most important bilateral relationship in the world, and reaffirm the importance of this bilateral relationship for the peoples of the two countries as well as the world 40 years on.

"President Carter displayed tremendous vision in normalising US-China relations," said Neil Bush, son of former US President George H.W. Bush, on behalf of the Bush China Foundation.

"President Carter took bold and politically courageous action to establish formal diplomatic relations between our nations. That decision not only transformed US-China relations, but indeed quite literally changed the world and for the better," Bush said, explaining why Carter was chosen as the first recipient of the award.

"Intuitively, President Carter understood that normalisation was about the long game," Bush said.

Carter, who suffered a fall and underwent subsequent surgery last month, was not present at the ceremony in person. His son Chip Carter received the award in his place.

Chip Carter recalled that normalising the relationship with China had been a priority for his father going into the presidency, and that an official delegation including Chip Carter was dispatched to China to meet with its top and local officials less than three months into Carter's presidency.

Ambassador Mary Ann Peters, CEO of the Carter Center, said there was great potential for the two countries to cooperate.

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