美东时间1月27日晚，中国人民争取和平与裁军协会和美国卡特中心合作举办了“中美接触42年：过去的成就，未来的调整”线上对话会。本次会议是拜登政府上台后，中美两国政界、商界、学界展开的一次对话，讨论拜登政府的政策走向。中国驻美大使崔天凯，原外交部副部长、驻美大使、博鳌亚洲论坛秘书长周文重，美国著名知华派学者大卫•兰普顿（David Lampton），美国前驻华大使马克斯•博卡斯（Max Baucus）等出席会议。与会的中美有识之士中不少与中美中心渊源深厚。
唐兴（Daniel B. Wright）中美中心1993-1994年证书班学员，曾任中美中心华盛顿办公室主任。唐兴现为绿点集团的创始人、总裁和首席执行官，他曾任奥尔布赖特石桥集团（Albright Stonebridge Group）高级副总裁兼中国业务主管。他还曾在美国财政部担任中国及美中战略与经济对话（SED）常任主管，为美国财政部长亨利·保尔森（Henry M. Paulson，Jr.）和美中战略与经济对话特使艾伦·霍尔默（Alan F. Holmer）提供战略顾问咨询，推动与中国政府经济交流。他还领导制定了《美中能源与环境十年合作框架》。
2020年3月，朱锋教授为中美中心师生做题为“Coronavirus Crisis Calls for China-US Cooperation: How Strategic Competition Could Embrace Bio-safety of Humanity”的全英文线上讲座。2020年11月，曹德旺先生访问中美中心，朱锋教授参与座谈。
蓝普顿David M. Lampton
G: How long have you been associated with HNC？
L: I started my association with the Hopkins-Nanjing Center when President Muller was president of Johns Hopkins University in the mid-1980s and he put together a group of China scholars and others to advise him on the feasibility of building a joint Center in China. He and Nanjing University President Kuang Yaming agreed on the framework that has now become the pattern of American and Chinese students living together: a one-year Certificate program anchored in understanding each other’s culture and operated at a graduate level in the students’ target language. I must confess that many of the advisers to President Muller initially thought that was impossible to do in China at that particular time. I guess that shows what experts know sometimes! We advised him that this would be very difficult. I remember what he said. He said, “I didn’t invite you here to comment on whether or not to undertake this task. I invited you here to help me implement the idea.” So this is really a very good example of what leadership is. Sometimes you have to have faith in what you’re doing and you cannot listen to all the experts. Experts often have a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t do something. They sometimes have fewer ideas about how to do something. So, I was involved in the Center early on, before it actually was physically on the ground in Nanjing. I’ve been involved more recently for the last seventeen years. I’ve headed the recruitment committee for all international faculty. And also when, from time to time, we need to appoint an American co-director, I’m usually the head of the search committee for that. And then, once we established a Joint Academic Committee, sometimes I’ve been a formal member of the committee and sometimes I’ve been a so-called adviser, but I’ve always been active in the activities of the Joint Academic Committee.
G: What were your first few months at HNC like?
K: Well, because I had studied Chinese for a long time and had worked for the National Committee on US-China Relations for a long time, when I got to Nanjing, I really thought I understood China. I thought that I could speak the language, that I understood the culture, and that it would be very easy for me to integrate into my life in Nanjing. I think one of the most surprising things for myself personally was finding out how very different it is to live in a country than it is to study about a country and visit a country. I actually went through a period of culture shock in the first year that I was at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center that was totally unexpected to me and really helped me grow as a person, to understand myself, what it really means to have mutual understanding. It helped me then, I think, to be able to help the students and faculty at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center go through the same experience.
G: Could you talk some more about promoting mutual understanding between Chinese and Americans at HNC?
K: I think one of the things that we think we can do easily is to achieve mutual understanding. We talk about it all the time. Both Americans and Chinese claim this is something we want to do, but I think it is really, really hard. Many people think mutual understanding means, if you understand me, then we are finished and now we have mutual understanding. But to truly, truly stand in somebody else’s shoes and really see the world through their eyes is very difficult. I think the one year of studying and living in Hopkins-Nanjing Center really, really makes the students have to do that. You have to stand in somebody else’s shoes and you have to see the world through their points of view. I think that is the unique and really important fundamental aspect of Hopkins-Nanjing Center that makes it different from any other experiences.
R: I wonder if you could start by telling us a little bit about what brought you to the Hopkins-Nanjing Center as a leader, and what it was like compared to being a student.
W: It’s very interesting any time we can see one issue from two different dimensions – in my case, being both a student, I guess you could call that the bottom-up view; and then the top-down view of being Executive Director here in the Washington Office, which was a real privilege. I think what those two perspectives really did for me was affirm what makes the Hopkins-Nanjing Center special. This is something I’ve thought a lot about over the years. I’ve been involved in China now for more than 30 years. It’s hard to believe for all of us who are getting older, but even living in an age of information abundance, at the same time we have a deficit of understanding – particularly for Westerners, as to how we relate to China. More and more, we have an abundance of information, but information does not equal understanding. That difference seems subtle, but it’s critical to being successful in the US-China relationship, whether we’re diplomats or business people or scholars. And so how do we move along the continuum from information towards understanding? At the most fundamental level, I think this is what the Hopkins-Nanjing Center does for its students. As an American, this was my experience both as a student and then having the privilege of being an administrator supporting many students. The Hopkins-Nanjing Center brings both the head and the heart, the knowledge and the relationships. It’s primarily the relationships that are the “X Factor” in accelerating the movement from information towards understanding. And I’ve really benefited from that, both as a student and then seeing that understanding happen with many students during my time as Executive Director.