I am proud of the mission I undertook to Beijing in December 1992, at the request of President George H.W. Bush, which restarted the economic relationship and paved the way for the incoming Clinton Administration to have a smoother relationship with China. I believed at the time – as many on the US side did – that restoring ties with China would bring benefits to both countries and create a more peaceful and prosperous world.
Unfortunately, relations today between the two countries are the lowest in my lifetime. Despite the current concerns, it is essential for the US to manage skillfully this complex relationship and keep communication channels open.
After leaving office in 1993, Franklin continued to travel to China, both officially and unofficially. Her meetings with high-ranking Chinese leaders during each of these visits enable her to maintain the valuable relationships she forged during her Presidential mission. Through her company, Barbara Franklin Enterprises, she advises U.S. companies doing business in China and remains deeply engaged in working to build the economic and commercial relationship between the two countries.