Spotlight: Jimmy Carter receives award for role in China-U.S. relations

June 13, 2019

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Jimmy Carter, the former U.S. president who helped set the China-U.S. diplomatic relationship in motion forty years ago, was recognized for his crucial role in an award ceremony this week.

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

At the award ceremony held at the Carter Center here on Wednesday, speakers took the opportunity to look back at how Carter helped normalize 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 forty years on.

“President Carter displayed tremendous vision in normalizing U.S.-China relations,” said Neil Bush, son of former U.S. 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 U.S.-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.