On December 9th, 2019, the Institute for Global Cooperation and Understanding of Peking University invited Mr. Peter Walker, Senior Partner Emeritus of McKinsey & Company, to share his new work Powerful, Different, Equal: Overcoming the Misconceptions and Differences between China and the U.S. at the School of International Studies, Peking University. He offered a speech on how to understand current China-U.S. relations and promote people-to-people and cultural exchange between the two countries. More than 20 faculty members, students and reporters attended the event and held a heated discussion.
In Walker's view, the crux of the matter pertaining to current China-U.S. relations is the huge social and cultural differences between the two countries and misconceptions of U.S. towards China. Walker pointed out that the United States stands for individualism, while China values collective interests. In the U.S., the market has more influence than the government, while in China, the concept of working together to improve the well-being of all of society is profound. Walker believes that the two countries should work together to overcome global challenges and benefit the world by overcoming the "cognitive barriers". He said that China has the world's largest consumer group and is growing at a fairly rapid rate. The government is committed to improving the living standards of the people and achieving a win-win situation in collaboration with the world. "My advice for China is simple", he said. "Maintain the current path of development".