The National Committee on United States-China Relations is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization that encourages understanding and cooperation between the United States and Greater China in the belief that sound and productive Sino-American relations serve vital American and world interests. With over four decades of experience developing innovative programs at the forefront of U.S.–China relations, the National Committee focuses its exchange, educational and policy activities on politics and security, education, governance and civil society, economic cooperation, media and transnational issues, addressing these with respect to mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Here's the Latest Episode from NCUSCR Events:
What do patterns of political contention look like? Over the course of the twentieth century, protests and social movements in Shanghai and Bombay changed with the commodification of urban land. In his new book, The Power of Place: Contentious Politics in Twentieth-Century Shanghai and Bombay, Mark Frazier examines changes in political geographies and patterns of popular protest in the two cities, analyzing debates over ideology, citizenship, and political representation, and comparing clashes over housing, jobs, policing, and public space.
On October 3, 2019, Dr. Mark Frazier presented his analysis, updating his findings with comparison to the recent protests in Hong Kong.
In his recent book, China’s New Red Guards: The Return of Radicalism and the Rebirth of Mao Zedong, Jude D. Blanchette argues that China’s growing authoritarianism draws directly from the Mao era.
Under President Xi Jinping, state control over the economy is increasing, civil society is shrinking, and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is expanding its reach in new ways. As Mr. Blanchette describes, nationalist intellectuals and activists have fed a populism that rejects Western notions of political pluralism, the rule of law, and a market economy. They draw on Mao’s writings and policies in support of a powerful CCP overseeing every aspect of Chinese society and politics.
On September 18, 2019, the National Committee hosted a conversation with Jude Blanchette about his new book and Mao’s influence on contemporary Chinese politics and society. Watch event video.
Jude D. Blanchette is the Freeman Chair of China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. He is also a senior advisor at Crumpton Group, a geo-political risk advisory in Arlington, VA. He serves as an adjunct fellow of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, and is a National Committee on U.S.-China Relations Public Intellectuals Program fellow. Read full bio.
Entrepreneurs, students, local politicians, and others in California and China are forging connections across a wide array of fields. Who are these people? What do their activities mean for the bilateral relationship and the world in the 21st century? Journalist Matt Sheehan tells the stories of some of the individuals tying our two countries together in his new book, The Transpacific Experiment: How China and California Collaborate and Compete for Our Future. Mr. Sheehan selects a few people in the real estate, film, AI, and electric vehicle industries to illustrate the relationship’s complexity.
On September 10, 2019, Matt Sheehan discussed his new book, and offered his analysis of how individuals on both sides of the Pacific compete as well as cooperate.
Matt Sheehan is a fellow at the Paulson Institute’s think tank, MacroPolo, where he leads the team’s work on U.S.-China technology issues, specializing in artificial intelligence. Based in Oakland, he was formerly the China correspondent for The WorldPost. From 2010 to 2016, Mr. Sheehan lived and worked in Xi’an and Beijing. He then moved back to the Bay Area to work as an analyst, consultant, and writer on topics connecting China and California. In 2018, he was selected as a finalist for the Young China Watcher of the Year award.
His work has been published in The Atlantic, Vice News, Foreign Policy, The WorldPost, The Huffington Post, MIT Technology Review, and elsewhere. He has been quoted or cited in numerous media outlets, including Reuters, The Financial Times, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Diplomat, Dagens Nyheter, and The South China Morning Post, among others.
Professor Ezra F. Vogel begins his new book on China and Japan in the sixth century when the Japanese adopted basic elements of Chinese civilization. Throughout the ensuing centuries, China generally took the leading role. Tables turned by the end of the 19th century, when Japan’s modernization efforts surpassed those of China, leading to Japanese victory in the 1895 Sino-Japanese war. Despite recent efforts to promote trade and even tourism, the bitter legacy of World War II has made cooperation difficult.
In China and Japan: Facing History, Dr. Vogel argues that the two nations must forge a new relationship as the world confronts transnational issues including climate change, disaster relief, global economic development, and scientific research. Without acknowledging and ultimately transcending the frictions of the past and present, tense relations between China and Japan jeopardize global stability.
On September 4, 2019, Dr. Ezra Vogel presented his findings on how the history of Sino-Japanese relations informs the present, and on the need for a reset for the future.
Professor Ezra F. Vogel is the Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus at Harvard University. He has had a long association with Harvard, receiving his Ph.D. in sociology there in 1958, and then teaching at the university from 1967 to 2000.
In 1973, Dr. Vogel succeeded John Fairbank to become the second director of Harvard’s East Asian Research Center. He also served as director of the U.S.-Japan Program, director of the Fairbank Center, and founding director of the Asia Center. He was also director of the undergraduate concentration in East Asian Studies from its inception in 1972 until 1991. He taught courses on Chinese society, Japanese society, and industrial East Asia.
From 1993 to 1995, Dr. Vogel took a two-year leave of absence from Harvard to serve as the National Intelligence Officer for East Asia at the national intelligence council in Washington. In 1996 he chaired the American Assembly on China and edited the resulting volume, Living With China. The following year, Dr. Vogel began serving on the board of directors of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. He rotated off in 2002 after serving two terms.
His book Japan As Number One (1979), in Japanese translation, became a bestseller in Japan, and his book Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China (2011), in Chinese translation, became a bestseller in China. Among his other works are Japan's New Middle Class (1963), Canton Under Communism (1969), Comeback (1988), One Step Ahead in China: Guangdong Under Reform (1989), and The Four Little Dragons: The Spread of Industrialization in East Asia (1991).
Professor Vogel has spent a total of more than five years in Asia conducting research. He lectures frequently in Asia, in both Chinese and Japanese as well as English. He directs a weekly speaker series for the Fairbank Center on “Critical Issues Confronting China.” He has received numerous honors, including eleven honorary degrees.
In the 1970s, President Richard Nixon’s national security advisor, Dr. Henry Kissinger, steered U.S. foreign policy through challenging times, reshaping the country’s policies on China, Vietnam, the Soviet Union, and the Middle East. Working by his side throughout was Ambassador Winston Lord, then special assistant to the national security advisor and director of the State Department’s policy planning staff. In a new collection of interviews, Kissinger on Kissinger: Reflections on Diplomacy, Grand Strategy, and Leadership, Ambassador Lord chronicles Dr. Kissinger’s diplomatic adventures. Understanding Dr. Kissinger’s thoughts on leadership and strategy provides a timely lens through which to view today’s challenging geopolitical landscape.
Winston Lord has had a long and varied career in and out of government, serving as special assistant to the national security advisor (1970-73) and director of the State Department policy planning staff under President Nixon (1973-77), ambassador to China for Presidents Reagan and the first President Bush (1985-89), and assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs under President Clinton (1993-97). Earlier in his career he held many positions in the State Department as a foreign service officer, and served on the policy planning staff of the Defense Department. Between government postings Ambassador Lord was a board member of many non-partisan, non-government organizations related to global issues. These include his service as president of the Council on Foreign Relations, co-chair of the International Rescue Committee, chair of the National Endowment for Democracy, and chair of the Carnegie Endowment National Commission on America and the New World. He is a member and former director of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.
Ambassador Lord earned a B.A. from Yale (magna cum laude) and an M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (first in his class). He has received several honorary degrees, the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award, and the Defense Department’s Outstanding Performance Award. Ambassador Lord has appeared on all major U.S. media networks, and his writings include articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, and Foreign Affairs.
In his keynote speech at the U.S. Foreign Policy Colloquium on May 30, 2019, Ambassador Thomas Pickering explains the shift towards multi-polarity in the current world order and highlights seven key issues, from growth and development to weapons of mass destruction, confronting U.S. foreign policy. He discusses how some of these issues can be potential areas for collaboration between the U.S. and China, including climate change and cyberspace.
The annual U.S. Foreign Policy Colloquium (FPC) is an exclusive four-day program designed to provide 75 Chinese graduate students from universities across the United States with a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the complex forces that shape American foreign policy and inform the U.S.-China relationship. The program is run annually by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and gives participants rare access into some of the capital's most important foreign policy-making institutions, such as the Department of State and the National Security Council, where they meet with individuals responsible for crafting and influencing policy.
Ambassador Thomas Pickering is vice chair of Hills and Company, an international consulting firm providing advice to U.S. businesses on investment, trade, and risk assessment issues abroad. Ambassador Pickering served as the U.S. ambassador and representative to the United Nations under President George H.W. Bush, where he led the U.S. effort to build a global coalition during and after the first Gulf War. He also served as the U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs under President Bill Clinton.
Susan A. Thornton delivered the 2019 Barnett-Oksenberg Lecture on Sino-American Relations in Shanghai on Wednesday, May 15. Now in its twelfth year, this annual lecture affords the opportunity for a frank and forthright discussion of current and potential issues between the two countries; it is the first and only ongoing lecture series on U.S.-China relations that takes place on the Mainland.
Susan A. Thornton is a retired senior U.S. diplomat with almost 30 years of experience with the U.S. State Department in Eurasia and East Asia. She is currently a senior fellow and research scholar at Yale Law School's Paul Tsai China Center.
Until July 2018, Thornton was acting assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State and led East Asia policy making amid crises with North Korea, escalating trade tensions with China, and a fast-changing international environment. In previous State Department roles, she worked on China and Korea policy and served in leadership positions at U.S. embassies in Central Asia, Russia, the Caucasus, and China. She speaks Russian and Mandarin Chinese.
View more information on the Barnett-Oksenberg Lecture here: https://ncuscr.news/barnett-oksenberg
The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations (NCUSCR) hosted a conversation with four former White House officials who have served under Republican and Democratic administrations as the senior director for Asian Affairs on the National Security Council (NSC) – Kenneth Lieberthal, Evan Medeiros, Douglas Paal, and Daniel Russel – and Susan Thornton, the former acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. NCUSCR Chair Carla Hills provided the introductions and President Stephen Orlins moderated. The discussion focused on how the two countries have moved from strategic cooperation to strategic competition, and what can be done to help ease bilateral tensions.
View speaker bios: https://www.ncuscr.org/event/2019-annual-members-program
As the twentieth century drew to a close, Hong Kong, recently transformed into a Special Administrative Region of the PRC, seemed a city totally unlike any of its neighbors. Many observers were surprised by how light a touch Beijing seemed to be exerting in the wake of the 1997 handover, and the striking contrast between what could be said, done, and published in Hong Kong, compared to mainland metropolitan cities such as Shanghai and Shenzhen. Since the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to Chinese rule in 2017, controls have tightened dramatically amid fears of tighter political censorship and enhanced self-censorship. However, with the anniversary of the June 4th Massacre approaching, Hong Kong is still the only place on PRC soil where it can be discussed and marked in public. In 2019, what was once a chasm between civic life in Hong Kong and cities such as Guangzhou and Beijing is rapidly closing.
What does the future hold for Hong Kong? Will it become just another Chinese city that makes up the Greater Bay Area? The speakers, who have been tracking issues relating to higher education, journalism, protest, and the arts, address Hong Kong's future under Chinese rule.
Denise Y. Ho is assistant professor of twentieth-century Chinese history at Yale University. She is an historian of modern China, with a particular focus on the social and cultural history of the Mao period (1949-1976). Her first book, Curating Revolution: Politics on Display in Mao’s China, appeared with Cambridge University Press in 2018. She is also co-editing a volume with Jennifer Altehenger of King’s College London on the material culture of the Mao period. Dr. Ho is currently at work on a new research project on Hong Kong and China, entitled Cross-Border Relations.
Louisa Lim is an award-winning journalist who grew up in Hong Kong and reported from China for a decade for NPR and the BBC. She is a senior lecturer in audiovisual journalism at the University of Melbourne, and is currently a visiting fellow at the University of Hong Kong. She also co-hosts The Little Red Podcast, a podcast about China beyond the Beijing beltway, which won the News & Current Affairs award at the 2018 Australian Podcast Awards. Her writing about Hong Kong has appeared in the anthology Hong Kong 20/20: Reflections from a Borrowed Place, as well as The New York Times and The New Yorker, and she is the author of The People’s Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited (Oxford University Press, 2014), which was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize and the Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism.
Jeffrey Wasserstrom is Chancellor’s Professor of History at UC Irvine. His most recent book is the third edition of China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford, 2018), which he coauthored with Maura Cunningham. In addition to contributing to academic venues, he has written many reviews and commentaries for newspapers, magazines, and journals of opinion, including pieces on Hong Kong that have appeared in The Atlantic, The Nation, the Los Angeles Times, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. He is on the editorial board of Dissent magazine, serves as an academic editor for the China Channel of the Los Angeles Review of Books, and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.
Recent policy changes and a deteriorating bilateral relationship have greatly impacted cross-border investment flows between the United States and China. Chinese FDI in the United States has dropped to the lowest level seen in seven years, and was even negative if divestitures are taken into account. American FDI in China has held up better, but recent Chinese liberalization has not yet sparked a big rush by U.S. companies. Two-way flows of venture capital, on the other hand, have reached new record levels in both directions.
At this release event for a new report detailing two-way investment flows between the United States and China, report authors Thilo Hanemann and Daniel Rosen, both of Rhodium Group, present their findings, followed by a discussion with Constance Hunter (KPMG), Stephen Orlins (NCUSCR), and Catherine Pan-Giordiano (Dorsey & Whitney LLP).
Learn more at https://ncuscr.news/inv19
Amid the ongoing trade tensions between the United States and China, David P. Willard, founder and CEO of 52 Capital Partners, explores the primary issues now affecting the U.S.-China economic relationship, including national security risks, heightened regulatory scrutiny, and legal barriers for cross-border mergers and acquisitions.
David P. Willard is the founder, chief executive officer & managing partner of 52 Capital Partners, LLC., responsible for all major aspects of the firm’s executive management, strategy, client development, investment process and thought leadership. Throughout his career, Mr. Willard has executed and participated in major M&A transactions and other corporate matters at firms in the United States, Europe, and Asia, including Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, closing 53 transactions totaling over $150 billion in aggregate value.
A recognized expert on China, Mr. Willard speaks regularly on U.S.-China mergers and acquisitions, as well as other investment topics. He received his B.A. in East Asian Studies from Princeton, and his J.D. from the New York University School of Law. Mr. Willard is a member of the National Committee on United States-China Relations.
In a new book, NCUSCR Vice Chair Nicholas R. Lardy of the Peterson Institute for International Economics draws upon new data to trace how Chinese President Xi Jinping's support of state-owned enterprises has begun to diminish the role of the market and private firms in China's economy. Dr. Lardy argues that China has the potential to match growth rates from previous decades, but only if it returns to a path of market-oriented reforms. At a National Committee corporate member luncheon on March 8, 2019, Dr. Lardy discussed the impact of revived state control over China's economy, and prospects for future growth.
Nicholas R. Lardy is the Anthony M. Solomon Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He joined the Institute in March 2003 from the Brookings Institution, where he was a senior fellow from 1995 until 2003. Before Brookings, he served at the University of Washington, where he was the director of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies from 1991 to 1995. From 1997 through the spring of 2000, he was also the Frederick Frank Adjunct Professor of International Trade and Finance at the Yale University School of Management. He is an expert on the Chinese economy.
Dr. Lardy's most recent books are The State Strikes Back: The End of Economic Reform in China? (2019), Markets over Mao: The Rise of Private Business in China (2014), Sustaining China's Economic Growth after the Global Financial Crisis (2012), The Future of China's Exchange Rate Policy (2009), and China's Rise: Challenges and Opportunities (2008). In 2006, he contributed chapters on China's domestic economy and China in the world economy to China: The Balance Sheet (Public Affairs, 2006). In 2004, he coauthored Prospects for a US-Taiwan Free Trade Agreement with NCUSCR director Daniel Rosen. His previous book, Integrating China into the Global Economy, published in January 2002, explores whether reforms of China's economy and its foreign trade and exchange rate systems following China's WTO entry will integrate it much more deeply into the world economy.
Dr. Lardy is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the editorial boards of Asia Policy and the China Review.
He received his BA from the University of Wisconsin and his PhD from the University of Michigan, both in economics.
As the chaos of the Cultural Revolution engulfed China, Weijian Shan, age 15, endured years of manual labor in the remote Gobi Desert. Passionate about his education, Shan lost a decade of schooling. Yet, as he describes in his remarkable new autobiography, Out of the Gobi: My Story of China and America, he never gave up on studying.
Having only completed elementary school, Dr. Shan attended prestigious academic institutions in the United States beginning in the early 1980’s. Dr. Shan shared his amazing story with the National Committee on January 28.
Dr. Weijian Shan is chairman and CEO of PAG, one of the largest private equity firms in Asia. Before joining PAG, he was a partner of TPG, a private equity firm based in San Francisco, and co-managing partner of TPG Asia (formerly known as Newbridge Capital). At TPG, Dr. Shan led a number of landmark transactions including the acquisitions of Korea First Bank and China’s Shenzhen Development Bank, both of which made his investors billions of dollars in profits and were made into case studies of Harvard Business School. Previously, Dr. Shan was a managing director of JP Morgan, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and laborer in Inner Mongolia.
Despite not attending secondary school, Dr. Shan received an M.A. and Ph.D., both in economics, from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. from the University of San Francisco. He studied English at the Beijing Institute of Foreign Trade (now the Beijing University of International Business and Economics), where he also taught.
The United States and China appear to be moving in opposite directions in their approaches to climate change with the United States withdrawing from the Paris Agreement while China vows to make itself a global leader in new, green technology. In a new book, Titans of the Climate: Explaining Policy Process in the United States and China, climate policy experts Kelly Sims Gallagher and Xiaowei Xuan examine the structural differences in how the two countries approach climate policy, and outline the political and economic challenges that prompt, or restrict, environmental cooperation.
On January 24, Kelly Sims Gallagher discussed her new book, and offered her analysis of the future of climate and environmental policy in the two largest carbon emitters.
Kelly Sims Gallagher is professor of energy and environmental policy at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy where she is also the director of the Climate Policy Lab and the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy. From June 2014 to September 2015, she served in the Obama Administration as a senior policy advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and as senior China advisor in the Special Envoy for Climate Change office at the U.S. State Department. Dr. Gallagher is a member of the board of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. She is also a faculty affiliate with the Harvard University Center for the Environment, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the executive committee of the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, and serves on the board of the Energy Foundation.
An expert panel discusses the shift in Chinese economic policy toward economic stabilization, as the Central Economic Work Conference pledged to develop a stronger home market to offset external uncertainties. Will China keep following the path of “reform and opening”? How will the Chinese leadership stabilize economic, finance, trade, investment, employment, and market expectations? Recorded at the annual Forecast of China’s Economy for 2019, hosted by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and Peking University’s China Center for Economic Research, at the Citigroup Center on January 10, 2019.
Daniel H. Rosen, Founding Partner and China Practice Leader, Rhodium Group
Huang Haizhou, Managing Director, China International Capital Corporation (CICC)
Huang Yiping, Professor and Deputy Dean, National School of Development, Peking University
Liang Hong, Chief Economist, CICC
Xu Gao, Chief Economist, China Everbright Investment and Assets Management Co., Ltd.
Moderator: Stephen A. Orlins, President, NCUSCR
Former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at the World Bank Justin Yifu Lin presents his view of the Chinese economy's future at the annual Forecast of China’s Economy for 2019, hosted by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and Peking University’s China Center for Economic Research, at the Citigroup Center on January 10, 2019.
Justin Yifu Lin, Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago, is director of Center for New Structural Economics, dean of Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development, and professor and honorary dean of the National School of Development at Peking University. He was the senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank, 2008-2012.
An expert panel discusses the impact of the U.S.-China trade war on China’s economy and financial markets, the effect of China’s structural economic reform on the global economy, and the recent slowdown and challenges in China’s economy and relevant economic policies. Recorded at the annual Forecast of China’s Economy for 2019, hosted by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and Peking University’s China Center for Economic Research, at the Citigroup Center on January 10, 2019.
Nicholas R. Lardy, Anthony M. Solomon Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
Catherine Mann, Chief Global Economist, Citi
Lu Feng, Professor, National School of Development (NSD), Peking University (PKU); Director, China Macroeconomic Research Center, PKU
Yao Yang, Dean, NSD, PKU Zha Daojiong, Professor, School of International Studies, PKU
Moderator: Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, Contributor, CNBC
Former Chairman of China Merchants Group and China Merchants Bank Qin Xiao presents his research on the new paradigm that the U.S.-China trade war represents and possible solutions to the conflict at the annual Forecast of China’s Economy for 2019, hosted by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and Peking University’s China Center for Economic Research, at the Citigroup Center on January 10, 2019.
Qin Xiao, who received his Ph.D. in economics from Cambridge University, is a council member of the FSDC (Financial Services Development Council, HK) and guest professor at Tsinghua University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He served as chairman of China Merchants Group and China Merchants Bank; president and vice chairman of China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC); and chairman of CITIC Industrial Bank. He was a deputy to the Ninth National People’s Congress, a member of the 10th and 11th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and an advisor on the Foreign Currency Policy of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange. He also served as chairman of APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) for 2001. His papers and books in economics, management, and social transformation have been published in China and abroad.
Following decades of enmity, on December 15, 1978, the United States and China announced the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries as of January 1, 1979. Diplomatic rapprochement offered hope that the countries would be able to look beyond their differences to cooperate on the global stage.
On December 18, the National Committee convened a panel representing the diverse fields of business, diplomacy, arts and culture, and academic exchange to reflect on where the bilateral relationship was 40 years ago, is today, and may be headed in the future.
Cathy Barbash is a specialist in cultural diplomacy and creative industry development and an independent producer, working primarily with the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Cuba. Barbash has spent over 35 years managing and consulting to organizations including The Philadelphia Orchestra, the United States Department of State, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, Arts Midwest, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Juilliard School, Nederlander Worldwide Entertainment, China Shanghai International Arts Festival, and the China National Centre for the Performing Arts. She was the lead architect of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s current China tour/residency project. Since normalization of United States-Cuba relations, she has worked with La Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba, Casa de las Américas, and the Festival Jazz Plaza Havana.
Chas W. Freeman, Jr. is a senior fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. He is the former assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs (1993–1994), ambassador to Saudi Arabia (1989–1992), principal deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs (1986–1989), and chargé d'affaires in Bangkok (1984–1986) and Beijing (1981–1984). He served as vice chair of the Atlantic Council (1996-2008), co-chair of the United States China Policy Foundation (1996–2009), and president of the Middle East Policy Council (1997–2009).
Mr. Maurice R. Greenberg is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Starr Insurance Companies. Mr. Greenberg retired as Chairman and CEO of American International Group (AIG) in March 2005. He formed the American International Group, Inc. (AIG) as a Starr subsidiary, and served as that company’s chairman and CEO until March 2005. Under his nearly 40 years of leadership, AIG grew from an initial market value of $300 million to $180 billion, becoming the largest insurance company in the world.
David M. Lampton is Hyman Professor and director of China Studies Emeritus at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where he currently is senior fellow at SAIS’ Foreign Policy Institute. He will be an Oksenberg-Rohlen fellow and research scholar at Stanford University’s Asia Pacific Research Center beginning in January 2019. Having started his academic career at the Ohio State University, Dr. Lampton is chairman of the Asia Foundation, former president of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, and former Dean of Faculty at SAIS. He now serves as a director of the National Committee. He is the author of Same Bed, Different Dreams: Managing U.S.-China Relations, 1989-2000 (2001); The Three Faces of Chinese Power: Might, Money, and Minds (2008); and, The Making of Chinese Foreign and Security Policy (editor, Stanford University Press, 2001).
Last Saturday, voters in Taiwan went to the polls in an election widely seen as a referendum on President Tsai Ing-wen. Her party, the Democratic Progressive Party, suffered numerous electoral defeats in crucial local races. The opposition party, the Kuomintang, capitalized on voter frustration with a stagnant economy, rocky relations with the Mainland, and a conservative base that was energized by a referendum on the legalization of same-sex marriage. The National Committee convened a teleconference call on November 30 with Taiwan experts Jacques deLisle and Margaret Lewis to discuss the ramifications of the election results for Taiwan, cross-Strait ties, and U.S.-Taiwan relations. Professor deLisle called in from Taipei, and Professor Lewis has recently returned from a year in Taiwan.Jacques deLisle is the Stephen A. Cozen Professor of Law, professor of political science, director of the Center for East Asian Studies, deputy director of the Center for the Study of Contemporary China, and co-director of the Center for Asian Law at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the director of the Asia Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. His writing focuses on China’s engagement with the international legal order, domestic legal reform in China, and Taiwan’s international status and cross-strait relations. He is the co-editor of China’s Global Engagement (2017), New Media, the Internet, and a Changing China (2016); China’s Challenges (2014); Political Changes in Taiwan under Ma Ying-jeou (2014); and China Under Hu Jintao (2005). His work has appeared in Orbis, theAmerican Journal of International Law, American Society of International Law Proceedings, Journal of Contemporary China, and many other law reviews, foreign affairs, and policy journals. He is a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. Margaret Lewis is a professor of law at Seton Hall University. Professor Lewis’s research focuses on law in mainland China and Taiwan with an emphasis on criminal justice. She has been a Fulbright senior scholar at National Taiwan University, a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Public Intellectuals Program fellow with the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, and a delegate to the U.S.-Japan Foundation's U.S.-Japan Leadership Program. She has participated in the State Department’s Legal Experts Dialogue with China, has testified before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and is a consultant to the Ford Foundation. Before joining Seton Hall, Professor Lewis served as a senior research fellow at NYU School of Law’s U.S.-Asia Law Institute. Following graduation from law school, she worked as an associate at the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen &; Hamilton in New York City. She then served as a law clerk for the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Diego.
During President Obama’s second term in office, the United States and China reached several agreements aimed at curbing each country’s greenhouse emissions, a major factor in climate change. Following years of stalemate, the partnership between the world’s two largest economies and emitters paved way for the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement. However, much of this progress remains in question following President Trump’s decision in 2017 to withdraw the United States from the multinational accord.
As the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide per capita, the full withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Agreement has cast doubt on the ability of the international community to combat climate change successfully, and was seen by many as a full retreat of American leadership. However, in a new book, Will China Save the Planet? author Barbara Finamore explains that under Xi Jinping, China has emerged as the leader in environmental governance, and has the potential to fill the void left by the United States.
On November 28, Ms. Finamore discussed her book, and explored how China overcame internal obstacles to transform itself into a pioneer in the clean energy revolution.
Barbara Finamore is a senior attorney and Asia director at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Ms. Finamore founded NRDC’s China Program, which promotes innovative policy development, capacity building and market transformation in China with a focus on climate, clean energy, environmental protection and urban solutions. Ms. Finamore has had 35 years of experience in environmental law and energy policy, focusing on China for over two decades. She has also worked in NRDC's nuclear nonproliferation program, at the U.S. Departments of Justice and the Interior, and as a consultant to the United Nations Development Programme and the Center for International Environmental Law.
The events of the Arab Spring in 2011 demonstrated the potential effect that social media can have when used as a catalyst for social change. In the wake of the uprisings, rumors spread across the Chinese internet of a so-called ‘Jasmine Revolution’ aimed at overthrowing the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), prompting a swift government crackdown across both the physical and digital worlds.
Since then, as Chinese social media outlets such as Weibo and Weixin have exploded in popularity, the Chinese government has relied upon an expansive censorship apparatus to monitor and suppress potential unrest of Chinese netizens.
In a new book, Contesting Cyberspace in China: Online Expression and Authoritarian Resilience, Professor Rongbin Han explores the restrictions imposed on Chinese netizens, and analyzes the activity of hired trolls, including the “fifty-cent army,” who flood Chinese social media platforms with nationalistic messages.
On November 26, as Professor Han discussed his book, and outlined how the state, along with individual netizens, curtail online expression and allow for the Chinese government to withstand internal pressures.
Rongbin Han is an assistant professor in the department of international affairs at the University of Georgia. He received MA and PhD degrees in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s degree in social sciences from the National University of Singapore, and a bachelor’s degree in international politics from Peking University.
Some of the central arguments of the 2016 presidential campaign emphasized growing American fear and distrust of globalization. Then-candidates Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump energized large portions of the electorate against existing free trade agreements, particularly the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the trade relationship between the United States and China was held up for particular attack. Since he was elected, President Donald Trump has lambasted Chinese trade policies, and has argued that the trade imbalance between the two largest economies was part of a Chinese effort to undermine the United States.
In a new book, Blaming China: It Might Feel Good but it Won’t Fix America’s Economy, author Benjamin Shobert explains how many of the issues raised during the campaign, and general U.S. anxiety about a rising China, is misplaced. According to Mr. Shobert, China has become an easy target for Americans to project their frustrations with the overall political dysfunction, economic difficulties, and foreign policy blunders since 9/11, much of which actually has nothing to do with China.
On November 1, Mr. Shobert offered an alternative view of China, and how Americans should approach the most important bilateral relationship of the 21st century.
Benjamin Shobert is senior associate for international health at NBR, where his work has emphasized market access issues and innovation policies specific to the life science sector in China. He is the director of Healthcare NExT Strategy and Business Development at the Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Research group and a lecturer in the Michael G. Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. He founded the Seattle-based Rubicon Strategy Group, a consulting firm that specialized in China and Southeast Asia's healthcare, life science, and senior care industries.
Since the gruesome terrorist attack in the Kunming train station in 2014 carried out by members of a Xinjiang separatist group, and a spate of attacks in Xinjiang since the Urumqi clashes in 2009, the Chinese authorities have grown increasingly concerned about domestic and international Islamist terrorism. The number of arrests in Xinjiang has skyrocketed recently, accounting for 13% of the total number of indictments in China in 2017, even though the population of Xinjiang makes up only 1.5% of the country’s total. The government has banned ‘extremist’ behavior in Xinjiang such as fasting during Ramadan, avoiding alcohol, and wearing veils and growing beards, all practices associated with Islam.
Events in Xinjiang took a disturbing turn earlier this year as allegations grew of the systematic detention of Uyghurs by Chinese authorities in camps throughout the autonomous region. A United Nations report alleged that as many as one million people, or roughly 7% of the Muslim population of Xinjiang, had been sent to these detention facilities. The Chinese government has insisted that the camps are for ‘re-education’ purposes, a claim rejected by the United States government and many others.
China has also been navigating a shifting international context, from concerns over Uyghur fighters in Syria, ISIS propaganda material targeting China, fears over safe havens in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the spillover implications of new trafficking routes for Uyghurs fleeing China through Southeast Asia.
The National Committee hosted a conversation with Andrew Small of the German Marshall Fund, an expert on Chinese counterterrorism policy, on October 25, to analyze the reports of the Chinese government’s treatment of Uyghurs in the context of international terrorism.
Andrew Small is a senior transatlantic fellow with the German Marshall Fund's (GMF) Asia Program, which he established in 2006. His research focuses on U.S.–China relations, Europe–China relations, Chinese policy in South Asia, and broader developments in China's foreign and economic policy.
In a recent Washington Post editorial, western China scholars were taken to task for engaging in self-censorship:
When it comes to China, Americans are victims of an insidious kind of censorship that stunts the debate they hear and read about in nearly invisible ways… The upshot [of fear of visa denials, concern that university administrators will be upset, and worry that Chinese colleagues will be harmed] is that America’s… leading experts on China often remain silent as its regime becomes ever more repressive. (Washington Post, September 23. 2018)
Where is the evidence? Professors Rory Truex and Sheena Greitens, fellows in the National Committee’s Public Intellectuals Program (PIP), conducted a study to assess the extent of repression in the China field. On October 22, Professor Truex presented their findings, and Columbia Law School Professor Benjamin Liebman, also a PIP fellow, served as commentator.
Rory Truex is an assistant professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University. He studies comparative politics, focusing on Chinese politics and non-democratic regimes. His book, Making Autocracy Work, explores the nature of policymaking and representation in China’s legislative system. His current research looks at the nature of repression and human rights abuses in contemporary China. He recently received the Stanley Kelley, Jr. Award for distinguished teaching.
Benjamin L. Liebman is the Robert L. Lieff Professor of Law and director of the Center for Chinese Legal Studies at Columbia Law School. He is also the director of the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law. His current research focuses on the use of computational tools to study Chinese court judgments, the roles of artificial intelligence and big data in the Chinese legal system, Chinese tort law amd criminal procedure, and the evolution of China’s courts. His recent publications include Regulating the Visible Hand: The Institutional Implications of Chinese State Capitalism (with Curtis J. Milhaupt), Oxford University Press, 2015, and “Leniency in Chinese Criminal Law: Everyday Justice in Henan,” Berkeley Journal of International Law, 2015.
With a GDP now rivaling that of the United States, a thriving middle class, and a large global economic network fueled by policies like the Belt and Road Initiative, it is difficult to overstate the extent to which the Chinese economy has changed since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
Since 1978, ideological shifts have allowed for the expansive economic reforms and liberalization that propelled the Chinese economy to the superpower status it enjoys today. However, politics has always been a factor in determining economic policy. As a result, the role that economists have played in the story of the “China miracle” has not always been clear. In a new book, Economic Policy Making in China (1949-2016): The Role of Economists, China economics scholar and former World Bank official Pieter Bottelier analyzes the contributions made by numerous Chinese economists, and outlines how they adapted to an often shifting political landscape.
Mr. Bottelier drew upon his research and years of experience in China to identify the contributions made by China’s economists in transforming China’s economy, and what the recent renewed emphasis on ideology may mean for China’s future economic direction.
Pieter Bottelier is a visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies where he previously served as a senior adjunct professor from 1999 to 2015. He has been a senior advisor to China to The Conference Board (2006-2010), a non-resident fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (2009-2012), an adjunct lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (2001-2003), and a consultant to the Freeman Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (1999).
In the 1990s, as the dotcom era began to unfold, artificial intelligence (AI) expert and developer Kai-Fu Lee was busy at Apple streamlining many of the company’s early R&D projects. Those initial days, or the era of development, as Dr. Lee has since come describe it, were dominated by American technological innovation. Corporations like Apple and Microsoft paved the way for Silicon Valley companies to become global leaders. However, as Dr. Lee details in a new book, AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order, we have moved to the era of AI implementation, and Silicon Valley is no longer the center of gravity it once was.
While American tech giants remain formidable players, the most prominent companies in areas of speech synthesis, computer vision, and machine translation are all Chinese. Moreover, Chinese consumers are significantly more comfortable than their American counterparts in embracing the growing role of AI in their daily lives. For instance, unlike in the United States, the overwhelming majority of Chinese transactions now occur on platforms such as Weibo, allowing companies to gather data at an unprecedented rate.
With the increasing industrial application of AI, the potential for huge numbers of American and Chinese jobs to be replaced by technology has enormous economic and political implications. On October 2, Dr. Kai-Fu Lee shared his views on the future of AI in both countries, as well as possible risks with the National Committee.
Dr. Kai-Fu Lee is the chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures and president of Sinovation Venture’s Artificial Intelligence Institute. Sinovation Ventures, is a leading technology investment firm focusing on developing the next generation of Chinese high-tech companies. Prior to founding Sinovation in 2009, Dr. Lee was the president of Google China. Previously, he held executive positions at Microsoft, SGI, and Apple. Dr. Lee received his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University both in computer science, as well as honorary doctorate degrees from both Carnegie Mellon and the City University of Hong Kong. He is also a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
With a trade war brewing between Washington and Beijing, mounting public scrutiny, and repeated warnings by U.S. officials that Chinese investment in certain industries constitutes a national security threat, Chinese investment and commercial activity in the United States face many challenges, which cast doubt on the trajectory of Chinese outward direct investment in the United States.
As these issues flare up, Chinese companies in the United States face another hurdle that has not garnered the same attention: U.S. corporate law and regulation. As Chinese firms expand around the United States, their presence in American courts grows. Chinese companies, including state owned enterprises, must adapt to adhere to American corporate governance standards and legal requirements that are not prevalent in China.
These Chinese companies face a steep learning curve as they navigate the legal and regulatory complexities of a market-based economy. In a new book, The Clash of Capitalisms? Chinese Companies in the United States, Rutgers University Law School Professor Ji Li analyzes the adaptation of these firms to U.S. tax, non-discrimination, and employment law, as well as CFIUS compliance.
Professor Li shared his research, and discussed the future of Chinese investment in the United States and other free market economies, on September 20, in New York City.
Dr. Ji Li is professor of law at Rutgers University and a member of the associate faculty of the division of global affairs. Professor Li received his Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University and J.D. from Yale Law School where he was an Olin Fellow in Law, Economics and Public Policy. Before joining the Rutgers faculty, he practiced corporate and tax law for several years in the New York office of Sullivan & Cromwell. Professor Li’s teaching and scholarship explore a broad range of topics including international business transactions, taxation, contracts, comparative law, Chinese law and politics, and empirical legal studies.
During the 2018-2019 academic year, Professor Li will be in residence at Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Study working on his second book, a unified theory of Chinese judicial behavior.
In the waning days of the Qing Dynasty, China, beset by political dysfunction and domestic tumult, struggled to defend against the imperialist intentions of Western powers. Following years of tensions, war between China and Great Britain eventually broke out, the result of which would propel China into the chaos of the so-called “Century of Humiliation.”
In a new book, Imperial Twilight: The Opium War and the End of China’s Last Golden Age, author Stephen R. Platt traces the complex origins of the conflict, and reveals how a once profitable and peaceful relationship descended into war.
Dr. Platt discussed his book with the National Committee on July 12th, 2018.
Stephen R. Platt is a professor of history at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and holds a PhD from Yale University, where his dissertation won the Theron Rockwell Field Prize. He was a member of the 2008-2010 cohort of the National Committee's Public Intellectuals Program. His previous book, a history of the Taiping Rebellion in global context, Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom (Knopf 2012), was a Washington Post notable book and won the Cundill History Prize.
Hong Kong is a vibrant financial and trade center, but it must confront a variety of issues ranging from skyrocketing real estate prices to questions about its status under the “One Country, Two Systems” framework. Kurt W. Tong, Consul General of the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong and Macau, discussed many of the pressing issues Hong Kong facing Hong Kong, and implications for U.S.-Hong Kong and U.S.-China relations with the National Committee on June 26, 2018.
Kurt W. Tong became the Consul General representing the United States to Hong Kong and Macau in August 2016. As chief of mission, Mr. Tong leads a large interagency team that cooperates with the governments of Hong Kong and Macau in a variety of areas including expansion of trade and bilateral investment; combatting transnational crime; protection of the environment; and educational and cultural exchanges.
Prior to his service in Hong Kong, Consul General Tong was the principal deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the Department of State, the most senior career diplomat handling economic affairs for the State Department. Before that, Mr. Tong served as the deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. Earlier, he was the U.S. ambassador for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), managing all aspects of U.S. participation in APEC, while concurrently serving as economic coordinator for the Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
Mr. Tong has been a diplomat since 1990, including service as director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council from 2006 to 2008 and as economic minister-counselor in Seoul from 2003 to 2006. Prior to that, he served as counselor for environment, science and health at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, deputy treasury attaché in Tokyo, and economic officer in Manila. Consul General Tong was a visiting scholar at the Tokyo University faculty of economics from 1995 to 1996. Before joining the Foreign Service, he was an associate with the Boston Consulting Group in Tokyo.
Consul General Tong holds a B.A. from Princeton University, and studied economics at the U.S. Foreign Service Institute. He has also studied at the Beijing Institute of Education, Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies in Taipei, Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Tokyo, and International Christian University in Tokyo.
Hailed as the “architect of victory” over the Axis Powers in the Second World War by Winston Churchill, and widely credited with devising the program to spur European recovery and limit Soviet expansion at the start of the Cold War, George Marshall’s impact on geopolitics was enormous, shaping U.S. foreign policy even today. Often missed, however, is another challenge he was asked to take on: to broker a peace deal between the Chinese Nationalists and Communists, build a democratic state in China, and prevent a communist victory.
In his new book, The China Mission: George Marshall’s Unfinished War, author Daniel Kurtz-Phelan describes in detail the complicated negotiations and colorful cast of characters Marshall encountered during his 13-month mission. Mr. Kurtz-Phelan discussed his book, and the impact Marshall’s experience in China would have on domestic U.S. politics and American foreign policy for decades to come, with the National Committee on June 21, 2018.
Daniel Kurtz-Phelan, who became executive editor of Foreign Affairs in October 2017, was previously a fellow with New America’s international security program. Before that, he was a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi and a senior advisor to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. From 2010 to 2012, Mr. Kurtz-Phelan advised Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a member of her policy planning staff. He was also a speechwriter for Secretary Clinton, and a foreign policy advisor during her 2008 presidential campaign. His writing has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The New Yorker. He is a graduate of Yale University.
According to the most recent Open Doors Report, published by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in late 2017, China remains the number one sending country of international students to the United States. Approximately 350,000 Chinese currently attend American colleges and universities at the undergraduate and graduate levels. There are also growing numbers of Chinese students at American high schools.
On June 4 the National Committee hosted a program to discuss the impact of Chinese students on American academic institutions (in February 2018 FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats suggested that Chinese students and scholars conduct espionage on American campuses), and what happens when (if?) the students return to China. The first topic was addressed by Ms. Peggy Blumenthal, senior counselor to the president of IIE; while Dr. David Zweig, professor of political science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, shared his research findings on returnees.
Peggy Blumenthal, Senior Counselor to the President, Institute of International Education (IIE). After 20 years of service at the Institute of International Education, Ms. Blumenthal became its chief operating officer in 2005, shifting to the role of senior counselor in 2011.
Selected publications include International Students and Global Mobility in Higher Education: National Trends and New Directions (Palgrave MacMillan, 2011), co-edited with Dr. Rajika Bhandari of IIE, and a recent article, “Welcoming the New Wave of Chinese Students on US Campuses: Changing Needs and Challenges”, in the summer 2017 edition of New Directions in Student Services, coauthored with Sonny Lim of Rice University.
David Zweig is Chair Professor, Division of Social Science, and Director, Center on China’s Transnational Relations (www.cctr.ust.hk), at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is an adjunct professor, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, National University of Defense Technology, Changsha, Hunan, and Vice-President of the Center on China’s Globalization (Beijing).
He is the author of four books, including Internationalizing China: Domestic Interests and Global Linkages (Cornell Univ. Press, 2002) and a new edited volume, Sino-U.S. Energy Triangles: Resource Diplomacy under Hegemony, with Hao Yufan (Routledge, 2016).
Washington D.C. had never seen anything quite like it: in January, 1919, three foreign diplomats, with no known enemies, assassinated in the city's Kalorama neighborhood. Without any leads or clear motive, the police were baffled until they zeroed in on a suspect, Ziang Sung Wan, a Chinese student living in New York. He was held incommunicado without formal arrest for more than a week until he was browbeaten into a confession.
In The Third Degree: The Triple Murder that Shook Washington and Changed American Criminal Justice, part murder mystery, part courtroom drama and part landmark legal case, author Scott D. Seligman tells the forgotten story of a young man’s abuse by the police and his arduous, seven-year journey through the legal system that drew in Warren G. Harding, William Howard Taft, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John W. Davis and even J. Edgar Hoover. It culminated in a landmark Supreme Court ruling written by Justice Louis Brandeis that set the stage for Miranda v. Arizona many years later. The National Committee will partner with the Museum of Chinese in America for the launch of Mr. Seligman’s new book on May 17 in New York City.
Scott D. Seligman is a writer, historian, genealogist, retired corporate executive and career "China hand." He holds an undergraduate degree in history from Princeton University with high honors in American civilization, and a master's degree from Harvard University. Fluent in Mandarin and conversant in Cantonese, he lived in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China for eight years and reads and writes Chinese. He has worked as a legislative assistant in Congress, a businessman in China, and a communications director of a Fortune 50 company.
He is the author of Tong Wars: The Untold Story of Vice, Money and Murder in New York's Chinatown (Viking Books, 2016), The First Chinese American: The Remarkable Life of Wong Chin Foo (Hong Kong University Press, 2013), Three Tough Chinamen (Earnshaw Books, 2012), the best-selling Chinese Business Etiquette (Hachette, 1999) and Dealing with the Chinese (Warner Books, 1989). He is also co-author of the best-selling Cultural Revolution Cookbook (Earnshaw, 2011) and Now You're Talking Mandarin Chinese (Barron's, 2006).
He has published articles in the Washington Post, the Seattle Times, the Asian Wall Street Journal, the China Business Review, Bucknell Magazine, Howard Magazine, the Jewish Daily Forward, China Heritage Quarterly, The Cleaver Quarterly, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center blog, the New York History blog, the Granite Studio blog and Traces, the Journal of the Indiana Historical Society. He has also created several websites on historical and genealogical topics. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Revolutionary activity in Mao’s China was a public affair: through mass meetings, trials, and self-criticism, China’s communist leaders made class struggle a public, participatory experience. The mass line, however, extended far beyond Red Guard units parading through Beijing. In a new book, Curating Revolution: Politics on Display in Mao’s China, Yale University professor and China historian Denise Y. Ho examines how museum curators in Shanghai sought to reinterpret China’s past through the artifacts they displayed in their exhibitions. Dr. Ho argues that the exhibits provided ‘object lessons’ in ideology and political activism, serving as the medium for both mass education and mass mobilization. Professor Ho joined us on May 8, 2018, for a discussion of her book, museum curation, and how the narrative legacy of China’s historical artifacts was reinvented in Maoist Shanghai.
Denise Y. Ho is an assistant professor of twentieth-century Chinese history at Yale University. Her research focuses on the social and cultural history of the Mao years; she is also interested in urban history, the study of information and propaganda, and the history of memory. Her scholarship has appeared in The China Quarterly, Frontiers of History in China, History Compass, and Modern China, and her writings on art, culture, and history in The Atlantic, ChinaFile, Dissent, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Nation among other publications. Prior to joining the history department at Yale, Professor Ho taught at the University of Kentucky and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Dr. Ho received her bachelor’s degree in history from Yale, and her master’s and doctoral degrees, also in history, from Harvard. She is a fellow in the Public Intellectuals Program of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.
In 2014, China announced the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), an ambitious multilateral project aimed at fostering economic development throughout Asia. The AIIB, to be led by China, raised concerns for policymakers in Washington: would AIIB undermine the existing global financial infrastructure and lead to a lowering of standards? Yet, in a dramatic setback for the United States, nearly 60 nations ultimately announced their intentions to join AIIB in 2015, including close allies such as the U.K., Germany, France, Korea, Australia and Israel.
In the two years following the bank’s official launch in January 2016, AIIB has emerged as a regional powerhouse, financing numerous diverse projects throughout Asia. AIIB now commands an impressive capital holding which rivals that of the Asian Development Bank, and a AAA credit rating on par with that of the World Bank.
Amid growing economic tensions between the United States and China, the AIIB has remained largely unknown to the American public. In a new book, A Comparative Guide to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, former AIIB General Counsel Natalie Lichtenstein draws upon her role as an architect of the AIIB charter to provide an in-depth analysis of the bank’s operations, and how the bank compares to other development banks. Ms. Lichtenstein discussed her book and the future of the AIIB with the National Committee on May 2nd in New York City.
Natalie Lichtenstein is a U.S. lawyer who has specialized in legal issues at international financial institutions, and legal development in China, since the 1970s. She was the inaugural general counsel of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the principal drafter of the AIIB Charter. Her work for AIIB drew on her 30-year legal career at the World Bank, where she advised on lending operations in China and other countries for 20 years. During her last decade there, she served in senior positions, specializing in institutional governance issues and reforms. As a young lawyer at the U.S. Treasury Department, she worked on international financial institution matters and normalization of U.S.-China relations.
Ms. Lichtenstein has taught Chinese law in the U.S. since the 1980s, and has consulted on Chinese legal development projects. She is an adjunct professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a member of the advisory board of the Duke-Kunshan University. In addition to her book on the AIIB, she is the author of numerous articles in professional journals. She received her AB summa cum laude in East Asian Studies and JD from Harvard University.
Gary Liu, CEO of the South China Morning Post since January 2017, discussed the challenges in leading what has been the foremost English-language publication in Hong Kong for over a century.
Gary Liu became CEO of the South China Morning Post in January 2017. Headquartered in Hong Kong, SCMP is Asia’s leading magazine publisher, with a portfolio of lifestyle and fashion titles including Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Esquire, Harper’s BAZAAR and The Peak, and is home to cpjobs.com. Mr. Liu was previously CEO of Digg, spearheading the New York startup’s transformation from aggregator to a data-driven news platform. Before that, Mr. Liu was head of Spotify Labs, where he led emerging technologies and business strategies for Spotify’s global markets.
Born in the United States, Mr. Liu grew up in Taiwan and New Zealand before returning to the American Northeast where he lived and worked for 20 years. Mr. Liu is an economics graduate of Harvard University. He currently lives in Hong Kong.
The recent proposal to remove presidential term limits in China has prompted questions about the country’s future development, and the historical legacy of China’s past authoritarian leaders seems relevant once again. How should we understand the current direction of China’s political culture? In a newly revised and updated book, modern China historians Jeffrey Wasserstrom and Maura Cunningham review the key historical trends that have shaped China’s development in the 21st century. From Confucian thought to U.S.-China relations under Trump and Xi, China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know, third edition, provides essential knowledge for understanding the world’s emerging superpower. Dr. Cunningham and Dr. Wasserstrom discussed their book and how to understand contemporary China in historical perspective with the National Committee on March 27, 2018.
Maura Elizabeth Cunningham is a writer and historian of modern China. She is a graduate of Saint Joseph’s University (B.A.), Yale University (M.A.), the Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies (graduate certificate), and the University of California, Irvine (Ph.D.), as well as of Chinese language programs in Beijing and Hangzhou. Dr. Cunningham’s dissertation was a social and cultural history of child welfare in 20th-century Shanghai; she is currently working on a book about children’s cartoonist Zhang Leping.
In 2016, she moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to become the digital media manager at the Association for Asian Studies. Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications.
Jeffrey Wasserstrom is Chancellor’s Professor of History at UC Irvine, where he edits the Journal of Asian Studies; he also holds courtesy affiliations in the Law School and the Literary Journalism Program. Dr. Wasserstrom holds a bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz, a master’s from Harvard, and a doctorate from Berkeley, and has written five books and edited or coedited several others. His most recent books as author and editor include, Eight Juxtapositions: China through Imperfect Analogies from Mark Twain to Manchukuoand the Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China. He was a co-founder of The China Beat blog (2008-2012) and is now an academic editor for the LARB’s China Channel.
With the Sunflower Movement of 2014, Taiwanese youth became a significant factor in Taiwan’s politics. In the aftermath of the protests, some assume that young Taiwanese uniformly believe that Taiwan should keep its distance from the Chinese mainland. In fact, however, many have moved to mainland metropolises seeking employment. What does Taiwan’s younger generation really think about China, democracy, and independence vs. unification? The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD) recently conducted a survey to assess attitudes towards these critical issues. On March 26, 2018, TFD President Szu-chien Hsu shared their findings and discussed how young Taiwanese are shaping the island’s political future.
Dr. Szu-chien Hsu is president of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD), as well as an associate research fellow at the Institute of Political Science of Academia Sinica in Taipei and director of the Center for Contemporary China at National Tsinghua University in Hsinchu, Taiwan.
For more information on the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations’ events, visit us at https://www.ncuscr.org/events.
Four decades of non-stop economic growth has encouraged the view that China’s ruling elite comprises men of supernatural technocratic ability who can successfully navigate any political, social, or economic challenge. However, according to Professor Carl Minzner, China’s glossy façade obscures mounting social pressures and the increasing brittleness of the regime’s power. In a new book, End of an Era: How China’s Authoritarian Revival is Undermining its Rise, Fordham University law professor and China expert Carl Minzner examines the historical origins and contemporary implications of Beijing’s turn to repression. From increasing debt to labor unrest, Professor Minzner details how today’s challenges to continued stability are rooted in a process of the slow jettisoning of reforms beginning in the 1990s. Professor Minzner joined us on March 14, 2018, for a discussion of his book and the future of reform in China.
Carl Minzner is an expert in Chinese law and governance. He has written extensively on these topics in both academic journals and the popular press, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Christian Science Monitor. Professor Minzner’s academic works include “China After the Reform Era” (Journal of Democracy, 2015), “The Rise and Fall of Chinese Legal Education” (Fordham International Law Journal, 2013), and “China’s Turn Against Law” (American Journal of Comparative Law, 2011).
Prior to joining Fordham in 2011, Professor Minzner was associate professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. He previously served as senior counsel for the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Yale-China Association legal education fellow at the Northwest Institute of Politics and Law in Xi’an. He also worked as an associate at McCutchen & Doyle (Palo Alto, CA) and clerked for Judge Raymond Clevenger of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
For more information on the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations’ events, visit us at www.ncuscr.org/events.
What is the size of China’s gender imbalance? Equal to the combined populations of New York State and Pennsylvania combined (approximately 34 million)! The one-child policy is widely seen as the cause of the skewed gender ratio; less studied than the men who are unable to find spouses are the millions of urban, educated women who may also go unwed. Gender roles and expectations have not kept pace with the country’s economic and social transformations of recent decades, and such women, who postpone or forgo marriage for the sake of their careers, are commonly referred to as “leftover women.” In a new book, Roseann Lake explores the challenges and pressures these women face, as well as the ways in which they are determining China’s future. Ms. Lake joined the National Committee on March 5, 2018 for a discussion of her book and the world of work, dating, and matrimony experienced by China’s only daughters.
Roseann Lake is now The Economist's Cuba correspondent. She was previously based in Beijing, where she spent five years working as a television and print reporter. Her China coverage has appeared in Foreign Policy, Time, The Atlantic, Salon and Vice, among other publications. She divides her time between New York City and Havana.
For more information on the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations’ events, visit us at https://www.ncuscr.org/events.
On Sunday, February 25, 2018, the world learned that the Chinese Constitution would be amended to allow the president and vice president to stay in office beyond two terms (ten years) – the limit established in the 1982 constitutional revision. On Thursday, March 1, President Trump announced that the United States would impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports. Although the tariffs apply to products from all over the world, many assume that they are aimed at China.
The National Committee invited the Honorable Jeffrey A. Bader to discuss the implications of these and other recent developments in China and the United States, in a teleconference moderated by NCUSCR President Steve Orlins on March 6, 2018.
Jeffrey Bader is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s John L. Thornton China Center and the first director of the Center (2005-2009). From 2009 until 2011, Ambassador Bader was special assistant to the president of the United States for national security affairs at the National Security Council. In that capacity, he was the principal advisor to President Obama on Asia.
During his 30-year career with the U.S. government, Amb. Bader focused primarily on U.S.-China relations at the State Department, the National Security Council, and the Office of the United States Trade Representative. In 2001, as assistant U.S. trade representative, he led the United States delegation in completing negotiations on the accession of China and Taiwan into the World Trade Organization. As a foreign service officer, he served in the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Namibia, Zambia, Congo, and the United States Mission to the United Nations. During the 1990s, he was deputy assistant secretary of state responsible for China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia; director of Asian affairs at the National Security Council; and director of the State Department’s Office of Chinese Affairs. He served as U.S. ambassador to Namibia from 1999 to 2001.
Amb. Bader is the author of Obama and China’s Rise: An Insider’s Account of America’s Asia Strategy, published in 2012 by Brookings Institution Press. He is president and sole proprietor of Jeffrey Bader LLC, which provides assistance to companies with interests in Asia, and a member of the National Committee’s board of directors. He received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University and his master’s and doctoral degrees in European history from Columbia University.
Much has been written about the dynamics that have traditionally defined U.S.-China relations. But as China adopts a more activist foreign policy and increasingly seeks investment opportunities around the world, new theatres of cooperation and contention are coming into play. In a series of three edited volumes, David Denoon explores the interests and policies of the United States and China in Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and South America respectively. In this trilogy, Professor Denoon examines points of both mutual and competing interests in the U.S. and China’s economic and security relations with each region.
On February 20, 2018, the National Committee held a discussion with Dr. Denoon that touched on all three volumes in the series, with Dr. Denoon comparing and contrasting the ways in which Sino-American strategic competition is unfolding in each region, as well as their implications for the broader U.S.-China relationship.
David Denoon is a professor of politics and economics at New York University and director of the NYU Center on U.S.-China Relations. He has served in the federal government in three positions: program economist for USAID in Jakarta, vice president of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, and deputy assistant secretary of defense.
Professor Denoon is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the U.S. Committee on Security Cooperation in Asia and the Pacific (USSCAP), the Asia Society, the Korea Society, the U.S.-Indonesia Society, and is chairman of the New York University Asia Policy Seminar. He is also chairman of the Editorial Advisory Board of Great Decisions.
He is the author and editor of ten books, including Real Reciprocity - Balancing U.S. Economic and Security Policy in the Pacific Basin, and The Economic and Strategic Rise of China and India.
Professor Denoon holds a B.A. from Harvard University, an M.P.A. from Princeton University, and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Between ballooning debt to GDP ratios, overinvestment in the property market, and industrial overcapacity, the uneven structure of China’s economic growth provides plenty of reasons for concern. Yet so far, China’s unique blend of state-led and laissez-faire capitalism has proved remarkably strong, defying numerous predictions of imminent economic catastrophe. In a new book, Will China’s Economy Collapse? New York University Adjunct Professor Ann Lee addresses key questions that China watchers and economists have been asking about the longevity of China’s unprecedented economic development and its future prospects.
In her book, Professor Lee examines why China’s economy might be more resilient than commonly presumed, and provides a careful analysis of its strengths and weaknesses. She also addresses the implications for other capitalist societies around the world and offers advice to policy makers about what changes must occur to ensure continued global stability and prosperity. Professor Lee discussed her book, China’s economic outlook, and the future of global capitalism in New York on February 7, 2018, with National Committee President Stephen Orlins.
Ann Lee is an internationally recognized authority on China’s economic relations and the CEO of Coterie, a new technology investment consortium. She is also a former visiting professor at Peking University and currently an adjunct professor at New York University where she teaches macroeconomics and financial derivatives. She consults with policymakers from Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the U.S. about U.S.-China relations, international finance and trade, and China’s political economy.
In addition to numerous television and radio appearances, Dr. Lee’s op-eds have appeared in major publications in the United States and Asia.
A former investment banker in high yield bonds and technology stocks, as well as a partner and credit derivatives trader in two multi-billion dollar hedge fund firms, she is also the author of the book What the U.S. Can Learn from China, an award winning international bestseller. She is an active member of the Authors Guild and the Pen America Society.
Dr. Lee attended U.C. Berkeley, Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs, and Harvard Business School.
On May 12, 2008, a massive earthquake rocked central Sichuan, killing 87,000 people and leaving five million homeless in the second worst natural disaster in China’s modern history (the first was the Tangshan earthquake of 1976). As news of the event spread, hundreds of thousands of volunteers poured into Sichuan from all over China to help wherever they were needed. Many cooked, cleaned, and cared for survivors, but the sudden explosion of civic engagement also led to more politically oriented activities, as the magnitude of the tragedy forced an emotional confrontation with the deeper causes of the destruction beyond the violence of the quake itself.
In a new book The Politics of Compassion: The Sichuan Earthquake and Civic Engagement in China, sociologist and China expert Bin Xu examines the ways in which civic engagement unfolded in the aftermath of the earthquake, and what these developments reveal about China’s evolving civil society.
Drawing on extensive interviews and documentary research, Dr. Xu challenges many of the popular narratives about the national outpouring of compassion, and illustrates the tension between volunteering and activism. Dr. Xu joined the National Committee on January 31, 2018, for a discussion of his book and China’s civil society with NCUSCR Vice President Jan Berris.
Bin Xu is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Emory University. His research interests lie at the intersection of politics and culture. He is currently writing a book on the collective memory of China’s “educated youth” (zhiqing) generation—the 17 million Chinese youth sent down to the countryside in the 1960s and 1970s. His research has appeared in leading sociology and China studies journals, including Theory & Society, Sociological Theory, Social Problems, Social Psychology Quarterly, China Quarterly, and The China Journal. Dr. Xu is a fellow in the National Committee’s Public Intellectuals Program.
After the United States and China established diplomatic relations in 1979, those who had left China around 1949 were able to visit family members who had remained in China. Three decades of separation gave rise to many unanswered questions on both sides. One such question inspired young journalist Jennifer Lin: “Do you have any idea what happened to us?” she was asked at a family reunion in Shanghai in 1979. She then embarked on a 30-year quest to uncover her family history. The daughter of a Chinese father and a Catholic, Italian-American mother, Ms. Lin explored her family’s Anglican past in Shanghai, and its experiences as Chinese Christians under communist rule. The resulting book, Shanghai Faithful: Betrayal and Forgiveness in a Chinese Christian Family, is an account of China’s chaotic modern history through the eyes of a single family whose western education, charismatic leadership, and Christian faith made it targets during the Cultural Revolution.
Ms. Lin joined the National Committee on January 24, 2018 in New York, for a discussion of her book, her family, and the recent history of Christianity in China with National Committee Senior Director for Education Programs Margot Landman.
Jennifer Lin is an award-winning journalist and former reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer; she served as the paper’s New York financial correspondent, Washington foreign affairs reporter, and Asia bureau chief in Beijing.
The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations is the leading nonprofit nonpartisan organization that encourages understanding of China and the United States among citizens of both countries.
China’s rapid economic growth that has accompanied its “Reform and Opening” over the last four decades is the subject of millions of pages of discussion and analysis. Yet it is rarely contextualized within the long arc of China’s quest for modernity stretching back at least to the mid-19th century. Long before Deng Xiaoping’s reforms, enterprising Chinese engaged the outside world through trade, education, and other mediums, laying the foundation for China’s modernization. From this perspective, the Mao era appears as an interlude rather than a new beginning. In his book, A Village with My Name: A Family History of China’s Opening to the World, journalist Scott Tong explores continuities in China’s development through an investigation of his own family history.
Beginning at the end of his stay in Shanghai for the radio program “Marketplace,” and over the next few years, Mr. Tong travelled around China to uncover his family’s past and reconnect with family members who stayed behind when some of his grandparents and his parents fled the mainland. The result is a long form journalistic account of his family’s story, China’s tumultuous modern history, and the roots of the country’s present ascendancy. Mr. Tong joined the National Committee on December 18, 2017 in New York for a discussion of his book as well as his three and a half year journey to discover China’s past along with his own. The conversation was moderated by Professor James Carter, Director of Asian Studies at Saint Joseph’s University.
Scott Tong has reported from more than a dozen countries as a correspondent for Marketplace, from refugee camps in east Africa to shoe factories in eastern China. Currently he serves on Marketplace’s sustainability desk, focusing on energy, the environment, natural resources and the global economy. Mr. Tong joined Marketplace in 2004, and opened its first bureau in Shanghai, as bureau chief, in 2006. Before joining Marketplace, he worked as a producer and off-air reporter for the PBS NewsHour, where he produced a series of mini-documentaries from Iraq following the U.S. invasion in 2003.
The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations is the leading nonprofit nonpartisan organization that encourages understanding of China and the United States among citizens of both countries.
Over the last three and a half decades, China’s rise has largely been underpinned by two great transitions: from socialism to capitalism, and from agriculture to industry. The workplace and the institutions that govern it have served as the critical link that enabled these transitions to take place. As these processes continue, the interests of the central government and Chinese workers have converged upon improved working conditions and formalization of employment. Workers have naturally sought greater security in their new urban homes, and China’s leaders have seen the long-term strategic utility of better labor laws as the country moves away from reliance on low cost, low-tech manufacturing. Even so, there remains a wide gap between what is promised by the central authorities, and what is delivered on the factory floor.
How the Chinese government confronts this complex policy landscape is the central question of political science professor and China expert Mary Gallagher’s new book: Authoritarian Legality in China: Law, Workers, and the State. In her book, Dr. Gallagher elucidates the aims and trajectory of Chinese labor law, as well as what the implications are for China’s workers. She joined the National Committee on December 12, 2017, for a discussion of her book and new developments in China’s labor laws and workplace relations. The conversation was moderated by Qin Gao, professor of social policy at the Columbia School of Social Work
Mary Gallagher is a professor of political science at the University of Michigan where she is also the director of the Kenneth G. Lieberthal and Richard H. Rogel Center for Chinese Studies. She is the author and editor of several books, including Contagious Capitalism: Globalization and the Politics of Labor in China (Princeton 2005); Chinese Justice: Civil Dispute Resolution in Contemporary China (Cambridge 2011); From Iron Rice Bowl to Informalization: Markets, Workers, and the State in a Changing China (Cornell 2011); and Contemporary Chinese Politics: New Sources, Methods, and Field Strategies (Cambridge 2010).
Qin Gao, PhD, is professor of social policy and social work at Columbia University School of Social Work and founding director of China Center for Social Policy. She is a faculty affiliate of the Columbia Population Research Center and Weatherhead East Asian Institute. She is also an academic board member of the China Institute for Income Distribution at Beijing Normal University, and a Public Intellectual Fellow of the National Committee on United States-China Relations.
The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations is the leading nonprofit nonpartisan organization that encourages understanding of China and the United States among citizens of both countries.
In his third book on China, acclaimed reporter and travel writer Michael Meyer provides an account of his 22 years of engagement with the country. Beginning with his arrival as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Sichuan in 1995, The Road to Sleeping Dragon: Learning China from the Ground Up recounts how he came to understand the country that looms so large on today’s global stage. By sharing his deeply personal journey over two decades, the book offers a unique perspective on China’s culture and society. Mr. Meyer joined National Committee Vice President Jan Berris for a conversation about his new book and experiences living in and writing about China, on November 16, 2017 in New York. Mr. Meyer is associate professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh and a fellow in the National Committee’s Public Intellectuals Program. The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations (www.ncuscr.org) is the leading nonprofit nonpartisan organization that encourages understanding of China and the United States among citizens of both countries.
For nearly 200 years, China has looked to the west as the source of the most modern and cutting-edge technologies. From the Self-Strengthening Movement in the 19th century to the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) and Made in China 2025, Chinese leaders have consistently sought to foster homegrown technologies and scientific discovery that can compete on a global stage. In 2015, Dr. Tu Youyou became China’s first Nobel Laureate in science after her breakthrough in malaria treatments that has saved millions of lives. Yet China still has numerous technological challenges; from the lackluster performance of its chipmakers to protecting air quality. How has China’s uneven emergence as a technological player shaped the Sino-American relationship? Nancy Liu and Lawrence Sullivan, the authors of the Historical Dictionary of Science and Technology in Modern China, addressed this question in a discussion with National Committee President Stephen Orlins on November 8, 2017, in New York.
Nancy Liu is the recipient of a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular pharmacology from Stony Brook State University. She is a cancer research scientist on the faculty of the College of Staten Island in the Department of Biology and the medical technology program. She previously worked at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the Zuckerman Research Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering.
With a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Michigan where he studied with Professors Richard Solomon, Michel Oksenberg, and Harriet Mills, Lawrence R. Sullivan is an emeritus professor, Adelphi University. He also taught at Wellesley College, Brown University, Miami University, Ohio, and the University of Michigan.
The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations (www.ncuscr.org) is the leading nonprofit nonpartisan organization that encourages understanding of China and the United States among citizens of both countries.
The Communist Party of China has long had an uneasy relationship with religion. Its antipathy reached a crescendo during the Cultural Revolution when religion was attacked as part of the “Four Olds” campaign; public worship and ceremony were banned, members of the clergy were imprisoned or sent to forced labor, and religious buildings and texts were destroyed. Since the death of Mao, and especially in recent years, religion has seen a resurgence, as people search for meaning in a rapidly changing political and social landscape. Many questions have emerged over questions of identity and how to lead an ethical life.
In his recent book, The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ian Johnson recounts a six-year odyssey travelling and observing contemporary Chinese religion. From underground Christian churches to rural Daoist priests, Mr. Johnson outlines various manifestations of the greatest spiritual revival of our time, and probes the myriad questions and doubts that motivate millions of Chinese to seek religious support. On October 26, 2017, Mr. Johnson joined National Committee Senior Director for Education Programs Margot Landman in New York to discuss his book, China’s epic religious renaissance, and what this means for the world’s newest superpower.
Ian Johnson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer focusing on society, religion, and history. He works out of Beijing, where he also teaches undergraduate classes. Mr. Johnson has spent over half of the past thirty years in the Greater China region, first as a student in Beijing from 1984 to 1985, and then in Taipei from 1986 to 1988. He later worked as a newspaper correspondent in China, from 1994 to 1996 with Baltimore's The Sun, and from 1997 to 2001 with The Wall Street Journal, where he covered macro-economics, China's WTO accession and social issues. In 2009, Johnson returned to China, where he writes features and essays for the New York Times, The New York Review of Books, as well as other publications, such as The New Yorker and National Geographic.
The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations (www.ncuscr.org) is the leading nonprofit nonpartisan organization that encourages understanding of China and the United States among citizens of both countries.
As tensions continue to grow between Washington and Pyongyang, understanding China’s role in enabling or constraining its neighbor is more important than ever. In the lead-up to President Trump’s first trip to China, Isaac Stone Fish provided an overview of China’s relationship with North Korea, examining its interests there and outlining what leverage Beijing has over Pyongyang, as well as examining how the Sino-North Korean relationship affects Sino-American relations. The discussion, conducted on October 24, 2017 in New York, was moderated by A. Robert Pietrzak, who is a partner at Sidley Austin, and a director of the National Committee.
Isaac Stone Fish is an international affairs journalist and a senior fellow at the Asia Society in New York City, on sabbatical from Foreign Policy Magazine. While at Foreign Policy, he was the publication’s Asia Editor, managing coverage of the region and writing about the politics, economics, and international affairs of China, Japan, and North Korea. Formerly a Beijing correspondent for Newsweek, Mr. Stone Fish spent seven years living in China prior to joining Foreign Policy.
The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations (www.ncuscr.org) is the leading nonprofit nonpartisan organization that encourages understanding of China and the United States among citizens of both countries.
In recent years, China has taken an increasingly active role in global affairs. From the managers of state owned enterprises to political and military leaders, Chinese have looked abroad, including to the resource rich Middle East. What does Chinese engagement mean for the region? What opportunities and challenges does the Belt and Road Initiative bring?
Dr. Pan Guang, professor at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Vice President of Chinese Association for Middle East Studies and director of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Belt and Road Studies Center, joined the National Committee in New York on October 20, 2017 for a conversation with National Committee Vice President Jan Berris that addresses these critical questions.
Over the past four decades, global cities have emerged in both the United States and China, including Hong Kong. In the process, they have absorbed their local environments and expanded their commercial networks around the world. As the urban landscapes and global reach of Chinese and American cities have grown, so have their environmental footprints. Challenging issues of air and water quality, water supply, transportation, land use, and food have accompanied rapid urban growth. In many cases, municipal leaders have developed innovative solutions that restructure patterns of resource consumption. In a new book, Robert Gottlieb, an urban and environmental policy expert, and sustainability expert Simon Ng assess the policy responses of different cities in the United States and China to rapid urbanization and its environmental impact.
In The Global Cities: Urban Environments in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and China, Mr. Gottlieb and Mr. Ng identify and analyze how urban environmental issues have been addressed in these localities and the reasons behind the policies. They also examine what lessons can be learned from those experiences to inform policy debates, as well as the role of social movements in influencing policy-making. On October 19, 2017, Mr. Gottlieb and Mr. Ng joined the National Committee for a discussion of their book, recent developments in municipal sustainability efforts, and opportunities for further policy innovation in city government.
Robert Gottlieb is emeritus professor of urban and environmental policy and the founder and former director of the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College.
Simon Ng is an independent consultant working on air quality, urban transportation, and sustainability issues. Trained as a geographer, Simon is known for his ground-breaking work on ship emissions inventory and control policy in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta, as well as his research on walkability.
Popular images of Chinese media generally cast it as an agent of state propaganda. This is hardly surprising given the history of Chinese official media, and the swift suppression of those who openly criticize the regime. Yet the dichotomy between media and the party, with the former perpetually dominated by the latter, is complicated by the emergence of what Maria Repnikova, in her new book, terms “critical journalism.”
In Media Politics in China: Improvising Power under Authoritarianism, Dr. Repnikova reveals a web of complex negotiations taking place between investigative journalists who have probed sensitive issues such as food safety and corruption, and party officials. Chinese critical journalists do not protest overtly, but their dynamic relationship with the party-state, characterized by what Dr. Repnikova calls “guarded improvisation,” leaves room for an important creative and political agency as they cautiously cover complicated, and sometimes controversial, topics. On November 2, 2017, Dr. Repnikova joined National Committee Senior Director for Education Margot Landman in New York for a discussion of her book, the role of Chinese media, and what it means to be a Chinese journalist in the Xi era.
In recent years, China has devoted massive resources to advancing its capacity for technological innovation. The resulting deluge of R&D activities has brought Chinese companies significant commercial success. However, the massive resources China has mobilized are not yet efficiently translating into successful outputs, resulting in a “low metabolism” of inputs into technology innovation.
Scott Kennedy, deputy director of China studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), has published a comparative analysis of China’s innovation push that uses quantitative measures to evaluate its effectiveness. On October 6, 2017, he discussed his findings with National Committee President Stephen Orlins in New York City.
In a globalized world where millions of people travel between east and west each year and formerly separate cultural zones now overlap, it has never been more important to understand the values and perspectives that inform cross-cultural relations. Two new works of cultural observation and commentary put the differences in education, identity, and politics in the United States and China in perspective:
Lenora Chu’s Little Soldiers: An American Boy, a Chinese School, and the Global Race to Achieve, examines the benefits and drawbacks of China’s famously rigorous education system through the lens of her son’s experience attending an elite public school in Shanghai. The book then expands to consider what Americans can learn from Chinese pedagogy, and, more broadly, what the purpose of education is.
Gish Jen’s The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap, is a wide-ranging investigation of how differing conceptions of the self in Asia and the western world can explain the incongruous expectations and assumptions that can produce awkward or confusing cross-cultural encounters. Gish Jen explores how emphasis on the individual or on context in western and eastern cultures respectively anchor very different understandings of the same events and behavior, which is ultimately reflected in distinctive educational, business, and governing institutions.
On September 18, 2017, both authors joined the National Committee for a conversation about their books, contemporary east-west exchange, and how people on both sides of the cultural divide can better understand and learn from one another, in a conversation moderated by NCUSCR Senior Director for Educational Programs Margot Landman.
A former TV correspondent with Thomson Reuters and a contributing writer with CNNMoney.com, Lenora Chu is an award-winning journalist. Her freelance work has appeared in The New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, APM’s Marketplace and PRI’s The World. She has lived in Shanghai since 2010. Ms. Chu holds degrees from Stanford University and Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, and she speaks Mandarin.
The author of six previous books, both fiction and non-fiction, renowned writer Gish Jen has published short pieces in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, and dozens of other periodicals and anthologies. Her work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories four times, including The Best American Short Stories of the Century, edited by John Updike.
Ms. Jen is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has been awarded the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, a Guggenheim fellowship, a Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study fellowship, and numerous other awards. An American Academy of Arts and Letters jury granted her a five-year Mildred and Harold Strauss Living award. Ms. Jen delivered the William E. Massey, Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization at Harvard University in 2012. She is a graduate of Harvard University and the Iowa Writers Workshop.
A call to action by President Xi Jinping has led to significant resources being devoted to the development and expansion of China’s think tanks. While some critics have derided them as “tanks without thinkers,” China’s think tanks play a growing part in the crafting of domestic and foreign policies. In addition, their connections to party leadership make them an invaluable window through which foreign scholars and officials can observe both the Chinese intellectual discourse and policymaking process.
In a pioneering new study, The Power of Ideas: The Rising Influence of Thinkers and Think Tanks in China, Dr. Cheng Li of the Brookings Institution examines the complicated relationship between the Chinese government and think tanks and the prospects for China’s efforts to promote new types of think tanks. On September 6, 2017, Dr. Li joined the National Committee for a discussion of his book with NCUSCR President Stephen Orlins.
Cheng Li is director and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s John L. Thornton China Center. Dr. Li is also a director of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, a member of the Academic Advisory Team of the Congressional U.S.-China Working Group, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a member of the Committee of 100. He is the author/editor of numerous books, including Rediscovering China: Dynamics and Dilemmas of Reform (1997), China’s Leaders: The New Generation (2001), Bridging Minds Across the Pacific: The Sino-US Educational Exchange (2005), China’s Changing Political Landscape: Prospects for Democracy (2008), China’s Emerging Middle Class: Beyond Economic Transformation (2010), The Road to Zhongnanhai: High-Level Leadership Groups on the Eve of the 18th Party Congress (2012, in Chinese), China’s Political Development: Chinese and American Perspectives (2014), Chinese Politics in the Xi Jinping Era: Reassessing Collective Leadership (2016) and The Power of Ideas: The Rising Influence of Thinkers and Think Tanks in China (2017). He is the principal editor of the Thornton Center Chinese Thinkers Series published by the Brookings Institution Press.
Dr. Li has advised a wide range of U.S. government, education, research, business and not-for-profit organizations on work in China, and is frequently called upon to share his perspectives and insights as an expert on China. He recently appeared on BBC, CCTV, CNN, C-SPAN, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, NPR Diane Rehm Show, and the PBS Charlie Rose Show. Dr. Li grew up in Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution. In 1985, he came to the United States where he later received an M.A. in Asian studies from the University of California and a Ph.D. in political science from Princeton University.
Creating Across Cultures is a collection of stories about visionary women in China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan who defied cultural and social expectations to become leaders in the arts. Working in the literary, visual and performing arts, these women journeyed outside their cultures, engaging with the international artistic community. Their personal histories open windows onto the larger, historical trajectory of China over three generations, while their artwork delves into social realities and challenges of the day. The stories, based on personal interviews and professional archives, were written by a team of arts specialists, journalists, and academics who have made these accounts available in English for the first time. In bringing these 16 women’s stories together in one book, editor Michelle Vosper illuminates the value of the exchange of arts and ideas across borders and cultures, while offering inspiring role models for women aspiring to careers in the arts. Ms. Vosper joined the National Committee on June 26, 2017, to discuss her book, the women whose stories it details, and her own experience fostering cross-cultural artistic exchanges, in a conversation moderated by National Committee Vice President Jan Berris. For more information about Creating Across Cultures and profiles of the artists: https://www.ncuscr.org/sites/default/.... Michelle Vosper served as the first director of the Asian Cultural Council’s (ACC) program in Hong Kong for twenty-five years (1986-2012), supporting and organizing exchanges of artists from the United States and Asia. Ms. Vosper’s career began in 1978 when she became the first assistant director of the Center for US-China Arts Exchange established at Columbia University. During the early period that followed normalization of diplomatic relations, she worked with prominent artists on programs such as Isaac Stern’s film From Mao to Mozart and Arthur Miller’s Chinese-language production of Death of a Salesman in Beijing. She also travelled frequently in China as interpreter and coordinator for cultural figures including Susan Sontag, Howard Gardner, Alwin Nikolais and Jacques d’Amboise. In 1980 Michelle co-translated Cao Yu’s play Peking Man for its New York premiere.
Strong cooperation between the United States and China has the potential to address the most pressing global issues of the 21st century. However, engagement between the two countries is influenced by a range of flash points and historic differences. The Honorable Wendy R. Sherman identified these key areas driving cooperation and addressed the current challenges facing the U.S.-China relationship in the keynote address of the 2017 U.S. Foreign Policy Colloquium in Washington, D.C., on June 1, 2017.
The annual U.S. Foreign Policy Colloquium (FPC) is an exclusive four-day program designed to provide 75 Chinese graduate students from universities across the United States with a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the complex forces that shape American foreign policy and inform the U.S.-China relationship. The program is run annually by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and gives participants rare access into some of the capital's most important foreign policy-making institutions, such as the Department of State and the National Security Council, where they meet with individuals responsible for crafting and influencing policy.
Wendy R. Sherman is Senior Counselor at Albright Stonebridge Group, where she brings decades of experience in business, government, international affairs, and politics to help ASG clients gain understanding of geopolitical developments, navigate international markets, and constructively address policy challenges around the world. Ambassador Sherman is also Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
Ambassador Sherman rejoined ASG after her distinguished service as Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. In this global role, she oversaw the bureaus for Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, the Near East, South and Central Asia, the Western Hemisphere, and International Organizations. She also led the U.S. negotiating team and was a central player in reaching a successful conclusion of the Iran nuclear agreement. In recognition of her diplomatic accomplishments, she was awarded the National Security Medal by President Barack Obama.
Prior to her most recent service at the State Department, Ambassador Sherman was Vice Chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group, having helped to found and grow the firm for a decade.
Last month China held a major international forum on its Belt and Road Initiative, the first of its kind since Beijing announced the project in 2013. Drawing official delegations, scholars, entrepreneurs, as well as representatives from financial institutions and media organizations from 130 nations, the forum was an important step in China’s drive to develop infrastructure and connectivity along the “Belt and Road Corridors” from China to Africa, Europe, South and Southeast Asia. Though many important details about the initiative remain unclear, foreign businesses are already vying for opportunities to join the initiative, and their excitement was primed by President’s Xi Jinping’s promise at the Forum to raise tens of billions of dollars in new financing. The event generated some concern about whether actual profits and benefits will match expectations. From the perspectives both of recipient countries and investors, the Belt and Road Initiative represents huge potential and significant risk. Amid the enthusiasm and apprehension surrounding the project, a robust dialogue and accurate information are critical. In support of this, the National Committee and the India China Institute of the New School hosted a delegation of financial and economic scholars led by the director general of the International Finance Department of the China Development Bank, Mr. Liang Huijiang, to discuss the May 2017 Belt and Road Forum on June 20, 2017 with moderator Mark Frazier, professor of politics and director of the New School’s India-China Institute.
Mr. Liang Huijiang is director general of the International Finance Department of the China Development Bank (CDB). He oversees strategy and policy making of the bank’s international business operations as well as cooperation with national and multilateral development banks. He also manages an overseas loan portfolio of over USD 300 billion, and is instrumental in expanding the bank’s global network.
From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Liang was deputy director general of the bank’s Treasury Department, playing a key role in building a professional team for the bank’s liquidity and investment portfolios as it reached several milestones in overseas bond offerings and underwritings. Between 1998 and 2003 Mr. Liang was special assistant to Mr. Chen Yuan, then president of the CDB. In that capacity, he was in charge of developing strategies as the CDB transformed itself from a semi-government agency into a market-oriented bank. Before joining CDB, Mr. Liang worked in the International Department of the People’s Bank of China, where he was involved in annual consultations between China and the IMF and reform of China’s exchange rate regime.
Mr. Liang holds a master’s degree in finance from the London Business School (2004), a master’s in economics from the PBC School of Finance, Tsinghua University (1996), and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Hangzhou University (1993).
Dr. Wang Wen is a professor and executive dean of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China. He also serves as a consultant fellow at the Counselors’ Office of the State Council of China, secretary general of the Green Finance Association of China, and standing director of World Socialism Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. As a leading think tank professional since 2013, Dr. Wang was named a “2014 Top Ten Figures of Chinese Think Tanks,” and a “2015 China Reform and Development Pioneer.”
Dr. Wang worked as chief op-ed editor and editorial writer at Global Times before 2012, and won a China News Awards in 2011. He has written and edited over 20 books including Think as a Tank; Anxiety of the U.S.; Visions of the Great Powers; 2016: G20 and China; Theories of World Governance: A Study in the History of Ideas; and The G20 and Global Governance.
Dr. Zha Daojiong is a professor of international political economy at the School of International Studies, Peking University, where he holds concurrent appointments in the University’s Institute of South-South Cooperation and International Development and Institute of Ocean Research. He specializes in studying non-traditional security issues in China’s foreign relations, including energy, food, public health, and transboundary water management. His recent research interests have expanded to political risk management for Chinese investments overseas.
Professor Zha has served as Arthur Ross Fellow at the Center on US-China Relations of the Asia Society in New York, as the inaugural Rio Tinto China Fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney, and as senior research fellow at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He is also a member of the China chapter of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific, and a senior advisor to the Chinese Association for International Understanding. He is an active participant in the National Committee’s longstanding track II economic dialogue.
Professor Zha has written and edited seven academic books, in addition to dozens of journal articles. He taught in Japan for six years and holds a doctoral degree in political science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the East-West Center.
Dr. Zhai Kun is a professor at the School of International Studies, Peking University, and director of the Center for Global Interconnectivity Studies, Peking University.
Dr. Zhai was formerly director of the Institute of World Political Studies (2011-2014) and director of South and Southeast Asian and Oceania Studies (2007-2011) at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR). He is a council member of China People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs, a China expert and eminent person of the ASEAN Regional Forum, and deputy president of the China Association of Southeast Asian Studies. Dr. Zhai has published extensively on China’s diplomacy and strategic thinking. He frequently writes for the People’s Daily, China Daily, World Knowledge, and Oriental Morning Post.
Dr. Zhai received his Ph.D. in international relations from CICIR, and his M.A. in international relations and B.A. in international journalism from the University of International Relations.
For nearly three decades Mao’s China closed itself to the influence of non-Marxist thought as it established a rigid command economy. When Mao died in 1976, China’s leaders embarked on a large-scale process of learning from abroad. The intellectual breadth of Chinese reformers in those early years was remarkably broad as they sought input from Nobel Prize winning economists, World Bank officials, free market fundamentalists, and an unlikely array of other partners. Many who participated in these exchanges recall it as a “golden age” of intellectual openness.
Even as China’s economic policy makers hastened to import ideas and expertise that could help them “cross the river by feeling for the stones,” the new openness did not go unchallenged. The Maoist legacy of suspicion towards the west remains powerful to this day, and the communist government is still reluctant to acknowledge fully its engagement with foreign ideas. In his new book, Unlikely Partners: Chinese Reformers, Western Economists, and the Making of Global China, historian Julian Gewirtz uncovers the real story of China’s reform project and sheds light on the partnerships that helped build the world’s second largest economy. On June 12, 2017, Mr. Gewirtz joined the National Committee for a discussion of his book, in a conversation with National Committee President Stephen Orlins.
Julian Baird Gewirtz is the author of Unlikely Partners: Chinese Reformers, Western Economists, and the Making of Global China (Harvard University Press, 2017), which The Economist called “a gripping read, highlighting what was little short of a revolution in China’s economic thought.” A Rhodes Scholar, he is currently completing his doctorate in modern Chinese history at Oxford University. He most recently worked as special advisor for international affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy and previously worked for Alibaba, Facebook, and Caijing magazine. Mr. Gewirtz has written on China for The Washington Post, the Financial Times, and Foreign Affairs. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 2013 and received a master’s degree in history from Oxford University in 2014.
As China has become a global power, it has sought to build an exportable educational model that will influence international education, while at the same time supporting the interests of the Communist Party. China has simultaneously in some ways strengthened its commitment to the Western university model and embraced its emphasis on the liberal arts and sciences as a way to drive innovation and economic progress. Chinese universities serve multiple constituencies: Chinese who will work in China upon graduation; Chinese who will seek employment outside of China, particularly in Belt and Road countries; non-Chinese who may hope to stay in China to work; and non-Chinese who will leave China upon graduation. How will the universities address these competing demands? They will draw on indigenous ideas in ways that are attractive both domestically and beyond its borders. Professor Gerard Postiglione of the University of Hong Kong has been observing this effort play out in the context of China’s push to become an international leader in the Belt and Road era. On June 19, Dr. Postiglione joined the National Committee for a conversation with National Committee Senior Director for Education Programs Margot Landman about higher education in Hong Kong and on the mainland, as well as the implications of China’s campaign to become a global leader in higher education.
Gerard A. Postiglione is Chair Professor in Higher Education in the University of Hong Kong, where he was associate dean for research and director of the Wah Ching Center of Research on Chinese Education. He received the Humanities and Social Science Prestigious Fellowship Award from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Research Grants Council in 2014. He received a Lifetime Contribution Award for studies in higher education by the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) in 2015. He was inducted as a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association in 2016. His autobiography was published in Leaders in the Sociology of Education in 2016. He received a second Best Book Award from the CIES in 2017. Routledge press will publish a collection of his research works in July 2017. His other book in press is entitled The Changing Academic Profession in Hong Kong.
China watchers have long predicted the imminent collapse of China’s banking system. Between increased reliance on unstable funding sources, and an expanding credit to GDP gap, experts’ concerns are not unwarranted. Yet the collapse has not happened. In China’s Banking Transformation: The Untold Story, former banking director James Stent looks at what the experts have been missing, and why their predictions have not materialized. On June 5, 2017, Mr. Stent joined National Committee President Stephen Orlins for a discussion of his book, his views on the Chinese banking sector, and what they mean for our understanding of China’s political economy overall. Challenging the mainstream consensus on China’s banking system, Mr. Stent argues Chinese banks are hybrid organizations, which simultaneously respond to shareholder interests and the demands of party-defined economic goals. Understanding how Chinese banking has transformed since the early 1990s requires looking at China’s banks in the context of how the country’s political economy works, and at the continuing influence of China’s traditional culture on its contemporary institutions. Drawing on his experience working inside two of China’s top banks, Mr. Stent examines some of the key strengths of China’s banking system, and explains the unique political and cultural factors that must be considered in assessing the success of Chinese banks.
Bio: James Stent has pursued a career in financial services in Thailand and China. Beginning in 2006, he served for six years as an independent director and chairman of the audit committee of the China Everbright Bank, followed by four years as a member of the bank’s Board of Supervisors. From 2003 to 2006 he was an independent director on the board of the China Minsheng Bank in Beijing. He is presently an independent director and chairman of the audit committee of the XacBank of Mongolia. Mr. Stent worked for 18 years in Bangkok at Bank of Asia, a Thai bank, serving as deputy president of the bank until his retirement in 2002, continuing thereafter as a director of the bank until 2004. Jim began his banking career with Citibank, working in New York, Manila, and Hong Kong. He then joined Crocker National Bank, working in San Francisco, Hong Kong and Bangkok, before moving to the Bank of Asia. In addition to his banking career, Mr. Stent also has experience in cultural heritage protection and tourism development. He is chairman of the steering committee of the Siamese Heritage Trust, and previously served as director of the Raks Thai Foundation and as a council member and honorary treasurer of the Siam Society. He also served for three years as the CEO of WildChina, a Chinese travel firm specializing in cultural and ecological tourism. Mr. Stent grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and received a bachelor’s degree in history at the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s of public affairs degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, where he focused on development economics. He speaks and reads Chinese and Thai.
In 2014, Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement grabbed international headlines, shut down the city’s largest commercial districts, and generated concern about Hong Kong’s political future. Images of city streets awash in yellow, and protesters clashing with police quickly spread around the world, and many observers believed the movement heralded significant changes to Hong Kong’s political structure. Three years after calm was restored, questions remain: what is the political mood on Hong Kong campuses? Are freedoms being gradually eroded? What is the future of One Country-Two Systems under the newly elected Chief Executive Carrie Lam?
David Zweig, a long time Hong Kong resident, and a professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, has been watching the situation closely, and on May 15, 2017 he shared his insights with the National Committee in a conversation moderated by NCUSCR President Stephen Orlins. Dr. Zweig addressed a variety of issues including political resistance, academic freedom, reverse brain drain, and the current contradictions between the former British colony and Beijing.
David Zweig is chair professor for the Division of Social Science and director at the Center on China’s Transnational Relations at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is also an adjunct professor at the National University of Defense Technology’s School of Social Sciences and Humanities in Changsha (Hunan), as well as vice-president of the Center on China’s Globalization in Beijing.
Even as the China’s economic reforms in the 1980s and 90s laid the foundation for it to become an economic powerhouse, increasingly wide gaps opened up between rich and poor, leaving behind those ill equipped to compete in a market economy. The massive changes taking place were also reflected in the uneven distribution of social welfare benefits, which tended to accrue to those best positioned to succeed under the new system. In 1993, Shanghai implemented a minimum livelihood guarantee or dibao, an anti-poverty safety net. Since then, the program has expanded throughout China and is centrally regulated. Today, it serves as the country’s primary social insurance program. Even though it is the largest welfare program in the world, there has been little English-language research evaluating the effectiveness of the dibao system. In her new book, Welfare, Work, and Poverty: Social Assistance in China, Columbia University professor and expert on low-income families in China Qin Gao attempts to rectify this deficiency by answering key questions about the program’s efficacy.
Dr. Gao examines how successful the dibao system has been at alleviating poverty, as well as patterns of behavior and the sense of well-being among dibao recipients. Her work not only deepens our understanding of entitlements in China, but also adds the Chinese case as a comparative example to the growing body of literature looking at welfare systems around the world. On May 10, 2017, Dr. Gao joined the National Committee in New York City for a discussion of her book, the development and expansion of the dibao system, as well as its policy implications for China and other countries. The conversation was moderated by Professor Mark Frazier, director of the India China Institute at The New School.
Qin Gao is professor of social policy and social work at the Columbia University School of Social Work and director of the newly established China Center for Social Policy at the school. She is a faculty affiliate of the Columbia Population Research Center and Weatherhead East Asian Institute. She is also an academic board member of the China Institute for Income Distribution at Beijing Normal University, and is a Public Intellectuals Program fellow of the National Committee on United States-China Relations. Dr. Gao’s research examines poverty, income inequality, and social welfare policies in China and their cross-national comparisons. Dr. Gao also studies gender inequality and social protection for rural-to-urban migrants in China. She has published widely in leading interdisciplinary journals such as The China Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary China, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Journal of Social Policy, Review of Income and Wealth, Social Service Review, and World Development.
Mark W. Frazier is professor of politics at the New School for Social Research, and academic director of the India China Institute at The New School. His recent research compares China and India in terms of how each has coped with development challenges related to inequality and urbanization, historically and in the present. He is the author of Socialist Insecurity: Pensions and the Politics of Uneven Development in China (Cornell University Press 2010) and The Making of the Chinese Industrial Workplace (Cambridge University Press 2002). He has authored op-ed pieces and essays for The New York Times, Daedalus, The Diplomat, and World Politics Review. Dr. Frazier is also a fellow of the National Committee's Public Intellectuals Program.
Author Howard French discusses his new book Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Shapes China's Push for Global Power. Until the mid-19th century, China occupied the premier place in East Asia’s political order. Exercising cultural and political hegemony through a set of tributary relationships with its neighbors, China’s imperial bureaucrats developed a conception of rule different from the Westphalian idea of individual nation states. After more than a century of political turmoil, China is once again asserting itself on the global stage, and many observers have interpreted China’s present ambitions as an attempt to restore its former glory. Combining journalistic and historical research methods, Howard French delves into the link between contemporary China and its imperial past in his new book.
Howard French is a former New York Times reporter, and an expert on China. In Everything Under the Heavens, he examines how China’s leaders understand their own history, and analyzes the ideological, philosophical, and legal implications of this intellectual heritage. He also explains what this means for U.S.-China relations going forward. Mr. French joined the National Committee in New York City on May 2 to discuss his book and strategies for engaging a resurgent China with Senior Director for Education Programs Margot Landman.
Howard French is an associate professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He is a former reporter for The Washington Post and former bureau chief for The New York Times in Central America and the Caribbean, West and Central Africa, Japan, and China. He is the recipient of two Overseas Press Club awards and a two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee. He is the author of A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa and China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa. He has written for The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, and Rolling Stone, among other national publications.
In March 2011, China’s spending on internal security surpassed the budget for external defense for the first time. This was widely interpreted as evidence that China’s internal security apparatus – long seen as a highly repressive pillar of Communist Party rule – was tightening its control. In an upcoming piece for the China Quarterly, political scientist, China expert, and National Committee Public Intellectuals Program fellow Sheena Greitens challenges this understanding by contextualizing China’s security spending historically, and evaluating it against the magnitude of the threats it must address. Looking at a period of two decades, Dr. Greitens argues that China’s domestic security spending is more limited than most policy analysis suggests, and actually implies a weaker coercive capacity than is usually presumed. On April 26, Dr. Greitens joined National Committee President Stephen Orlins for a discussion of her current research, China’s domestic security budget, and its connection to developments in internal security under Xi Jinping.
Sheena Greitens is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Missouri. She is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for East Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution, and an associate in research at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University. Dr. Greitens holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University; an M.Phil from Oxford University, where she studied as a Marshall Scholar; and a B.A. from Stanford University. Her research focuses on East Asia, security studies, and the politics of democracy and dictatorship. Her first book, Dictators and their Secret Police: Coercive Institutions and State Violence, was published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press.
Award-winning author John Pomfret discusses his newly published The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom, tracing the history of Sino-American relations, in a conversation with National Committee President Stephen Orlins on January 23, 2017 in New York.
Although the contemporary U.S.-China relationship has grown out of Nixon and Kissinger’s visits to China in the 1970s, the foundations of Sino-American exchange are hundreds of years old. Since the establishment of the United States, missionaries, traders, scholars, and laborers have formed bridges between the two cultures, tracing familiar patterns of interaction that continue to play out today. As points of contact between the U.S. and China have proliferated over the last two centuries, the relationship has consistently been characterized by enormous promise and deep ambivalence.
John Pomfret, former reporter for The Washington Post, and a long-time resident of China, takes a new look at the long history of U.S.-China relations in his recent book, The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom: America and China, 1776 to the Present. He describes cycles of mutual understanding and collaboration, and bitter disappointment. As U.S.-China relations approach a new inflection point, Mr. Pomfret’s account of the history of the relationship provides illuminating perspectives on the present.
American strategic engagement with the Asia Pacific has deep roots in American history, going back to the nation’s founding. Despite the difficulties of formulating and maintaining a coherent grand strategy amid democratic competition, the United States has, over more than 200 years, developed a distinctive approach to the region based on its interests and national identity. In a new book, By More Than Providence: Grand Strategy and American Power in the Asia Pacific Since 1783, Center for Strategic and International Studies and Georgetown University expert Michael Green argues that American strategic thinking towards Asia has been defined by the fear that a rival power might seek to exclude the United States from the western Pacific, preventing the free flow of trade and ideas.
In By More than Providence, Dr. Green fills an important gap in existing scholarship on the strategic calculus in East Asia. Through examination of the thinking of America’s greatest statesmen and strategists and by outlining the development of U.S. grand strategy towards Asia, he adds a crucial element to our understanding of the balance of power in the region, and to what is at stake in American engagement there today. On March 28, Dr. Green joined National Committee President Steve Orlins in New York City for a discussion of the history of American strategy in Asia, and the most pressing contemporary strategic challenges our country faces in the region.
Michael Green is senior vice president for Asia and Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and chair in modern and contemporary Japanese politics and foreign policy at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He served on the staff of the National Security Council (NSC) from 2001 through 2005, first as director for Asian affairs, with responsibility for Japan, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, and then as special assistant to the president for national security affairs and senior director for Asia, with responsibility for East Asia and South Asia. Before joining the NSC staff, he was senior fellow for East Asian security at the Council on Foreign Relations, director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Center, and director of the Foreign Policy Institute.
The election of Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen in January 2016 brought renewed uncertainty to cross-strait relations. Taiwan is more economically integrated with mainland China than ever before, yet the PRC continues to pose a threat to Taiwanese self-government, and has not renounced the use of force to achieve unification. Even as the core dilemma between security and economics has driven Taiwanese politics for over two decades, shifting political winds on the island have refocused attention on the contradictions that shape Taiwan’s policy environment. Ever since Taiwan began allowing direct investment on the mainland in 1991, shared cultural ties and convergent economic interests have helped promote trade and investment, both of which exceed $130 billion. Yet the process has been far from linear, and both of Taiwan’s main political parties have at different times advocated liberalization and tightening. In the most recent policy reversal, the Sunflower Movement of 2014 succeeded in blocking a major cross-strait trade deal, undermining the détente orchestrated by Ma Ying-jeou.
An expert on global political economy and former partner at Goldman Sachs, Syaru Shirley Lin teaches at the University of Virginia and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. In her book Taiwan’s China Dilemma: Contested Identities and Multiple Interests in Taiwan’s Cross-Strait Economic Policy, Dr. Lin analyzes how national identity and economic interest interact to produce policy oscillations in Taiwan’s stance towards its gigantic neighbor. Dr. Lin also examines how the uneven socio-economic consequences of globalization in Taiwan influence the formation of its China policy, and argues that the Taiwan case offers a way of understanding resistance to trade liberalization and economic integration around the world. Dr. Lin discussed her book, and the future of cross-strait economic relations, with National Committee President Stephen Orlins on November 3, 2016 in New York City.
Before 1978, China was a poor country with a planned economy overseen by a Maoist bureaucracy. Today it has the world’s second largest economy, a robust and growing middle class, and is a key driver of global growth. What explains this rapid transformation? In her new book, How China Escaped the Poverty Trap, Yuen Yuen Ang traces the joint evolution of the economy and governance, describing how China employed a strategy of “directed improvisation” to harness weak institutions to build markets, which in turn stimulated the growth of strong institutions; they then preserved markets. Dr. Ang compares China’s reform experience to late medieval Europe, pre-Civil War America, and contemporary Nigeria.
Dr. Ang is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Michigan, where she studies developing countries, emerging markets, and China. On February 22, she joined National Committee President Stephen Orlins in New York City for a discussion of her book, its striking conclusions about China’s development path, implications for our understanding of Western history, and how others can escape the poverty trap.
Yuen Yuen Ang is assistant professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan. Her research features a unique blend of international development, complex systems, and Chinese political economy. Her first book, How China Escaped the Poverty Trap (2016), was published by the political economy series of Cornell University Press.
Presidents Donald J. Trump and Xi Jinping met April 6-7, 2017 at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. As the two men met for the first time, much hinged on their discussions. Despite President Trump’s tough-on-China campaign rhetoric and provocative tweets since the election, he and his advisors have adopted a more conciliatory line since assuming office. China regarded the new administration warily after President Trump broke diplomatic protocol and accepted a call from Taiwan’s president in December, but China too had moved to a more accommodating stance in the run-up to the meeting.
To better understand each country’s takeaways from the summit and what it suggests for the future of U.S.-China relations, National Committee President Steve Orlins convened a teleconference with Evan Medeiros and Michael Green, both of whom served as special assistant to the president and senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council.
North Korea and trade issues topped the agenda, while the issues of Taiwan and the South China Sea remained largely quiet. Rather than focusing on policy, the summit focused on developing a personal relationship between the two leaders early on and diminishing any notions of an emerging zero-sum relationship. To continue the dialogue, President Xi invited Trump to a state visit in China later this year. Xi also proposed four new dialogue mechanisms to replace the Obama Administration’s framework, which Trump agreed to. The new framework, the U.S.-China Comprehensive Dialogue, will feature four tracks: a diplomatic and security dialogue; a comprehensive economic dialogue; a law enforcement and cybersecurity dialogue; and a social and cultures issues dialogue. The Trump Administration, for its part, put forward a 100-day plan to address differences on economic issues between the two countries.
Evan Medeiros and Michael Green addressed questions related to issues surrounding the summit, including: Syria, PACOM’s deployment of the Carl Vinson strike group, human rights abuses, U.S. Pacific ally reactions, upcoming Southeast Asian economic summits, foreign infrastructure investments in the United States, and more.
China’s booming film market has become an essential consideration for the production of Hollywood movies and is expected to overtake the U.S. market by 2017. In an effort to take advantage of this growth, American entertainment conglomerates are increasingly partnering with Chinese studios, and producing products for the Chinese market. So far, they have been highly successful, with four of the ten all-time highest grossing films in China produced by U.S. studios. As American entertainment companies seek to expand their global media empires, they must contend with the constraints of Chinese censorship as well as Beijing’s campaign to elevate its own soft power abroad. How will America’s entertainment powerhouses and China’s burgeoning film industry collaborate to build their global brand identities? Will Hollywood sacrifice its critical and artistic license to placate the Chinese Communist Party?
In her new book Hollywood Made in China, Aynne Kokas investigates the commercial relationships that conceived of such works as The Great Wall and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, as well as their impact on the production and content of major Hollywood films. An assistant professor of media studies at the University of Virginia, Dr. Kokas also examines the effect of China’s soft power campaign and Xi Jinping’s “Chinese Dream” on entertainment industry branding. On February 27, Dr. Kokas joined the National Committee for a discussion of her book and the Chinese future of America’s “dream factory.”
Aynne Kokas is an assistant professor of media studies at the University of Virginia. Dr. Kokas’ research broadly examines Sino-U.S. media and technology relations. Her book, Hollywood Made in China (University of California Press, 2017), argues that Chinese investment and regulations have fundamentally altered the landscape of the U.S. commercial media industry, most prominently in the case of major conglomerates that rely on leveraging global commercial brands. Dr. Kokas has been a visiting fellow at the Shanghai Institute of International Studies and at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She is a non-resident scholar at Rice University’s Baker Institute of Public Policy, a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a fellow in the Public Intellectuals Program of the National Committee on United States-China Relations.
Over the last decade, China has emerged as one of the largest suppliers of international development finance, with a large and growing overseas development budget. Yet China does not release detailed information about the “where, what, how, and to whom” of its development aid. This presents an obstacle for policy makers, practitioners, and analysts who seek to understand the distribution and impact of Chinese development finance.
Since 2013, AidData has led an ambitious effort to develop an open source data collection methodology called Tracking Underreported Financial Flows (TUFF), and maintain a publicly available database of Chinese development projects around the world. AidData has also teamed up with a group of economists and political scientists from leading universities around the world to conduct cutting-edge research with this database, examining differences and similarities in the levels, priorities, and consequences of Chinese and American development finance.
On March 13, Dr. Brad Parks, executive director of AidData and a faculty member at the College of William and Mary, discussed the organization’s work with the National Committee in New York City. Drawing on advanced techniques that include using nighttime light and deforestation data from high-resolution satellite imagery, Dr. Parks presented new findings on the intended economic development impacts and the unintended environmental impacts of Chinese development projects.
Brad Parks is AidData’s executive director and a research faculty member at the College of William and Mary’s Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations. His research focuses on the cross-national and sub-national distribution and impact of international development finance, and the design and implementation of policy and institutional reforms in low-income and middle-income countries. His publications include Greening Aid?, Understanding the Environmental Impact of Development Assistance (Oxford University Press, 2008) and A Climate of Injustice: Global Inequality, North-South Politics, and Climate Policy (MIT Press, 2006). He is currently involved in several empirical studies of the upstream motivations for, and downstream effects of, Chinese development finance. His research in this area has been published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, the Journal of Development Studies, China Economic Quarterly, and the National Interest.
From 2005 to 2010, Dr. Parks was part of the initial team that set up the U.S. Government's Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). As acting director of Threshold Programs at the MCC, he oversaw the implementation of a $35 million anti-corruption and judicial reform project in Indonesia and a $21 million customs and tax reform project in the Philippines.
Dr. Parks holds a Ph.D. in international relations and an M.Sc. in development management from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
As the U.S.-China relationship continues to deepen in complexity, the two countries must manage strategic competition, negotiate trade and investment challenges, and cooperate on areas of mutual interest. We explored these issues, among others, in a program featuring former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger in conversation with National Committee President Stephen Orlins, on December 5, 2016 in New York City. Dr. Albright and Dr. Kissinger reflected on Sino-American relations during their tenures and offered their views on the future of the relationship at this critical juncture. The event was part of the Leaders Speak series commemorating the National Committee’s 50th anniversary. For information, visit www.ncuscr.org.
Madeleine K. Albright was named the 64th Secretary of State in 1997. She was the first woman to serve in this position and, at that time, became the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. From 1993 to 1997, Dr. Albright served as the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations and was a member of the president’s cabinet.
She currently serves as chair of both Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, and Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets. Dr. Albright is a professor in the practice of diplomacy at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She chairs the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and is the president of the Truman Scholarship Foundation. Dr. Albright also serves as a member of the Defense Policy Board. She has previously served on the board of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. In 2012, she was chosen by President Obama to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in recognition of her contributions to international peace and democracy.
Henry A. Kissinger was sworn in on September 22, 1973,as the 56th Secretary of State, a position he held until January 20, 1977. He also served as national security advisor from January 20, 1969, until November 3, 1975. In this position, Dr. Kissinger played a crucial role in arranging President Nixon’s 1972 visit to China, which opened the door to the re-establishment of U.S.-China relations. He has served as a member of the Defense Policy Board since 2001.
At present, Dr. Kissinger is chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm. Among his many activities, Dr. Kissinger is a member of the International Council of J.P. Morgan Chase, and serves as vice chairman of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. Among awards Dr. Kissinger has received are a Bronze Star from the U.S. Army in 1945, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977.
Dr. Kissinger is the author of many books and numerous articles on U.S. foreign policy, international affairs, and diplomatic history. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1950 and received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University in 1952 and 1954, respectively. From 1954 until 1969 he was a member of the faculty of Harvard University, in both the Department of Government and the Center for International Affairs.
Heading into 2016, some expected a sharp decline in China’s economic growth. So far, China has avoided a hard landing and continues to meet its modified growth targets, but the slowdown is clearly real. As China adjusts to its “new normal,” business leaders remain anxious about the long term prospects of the world’s second largest economy. Slowing growth has reduced American corporate profits, but China is still the most attractive emerging market in the world, and most companies have decided to stay.
The US-China Business Council’s (USCBC) Annual Membership Survey captures how American companies view the changing business environment and are responding to this challenge. The survey’s data reveals the difficult position of American business leaders operating in China. While nearly 20 percent of respondents expect their revenue to decline in the coming year, 90 percent say their business remains profitable and that China continues to be a priority market. On October 20, 2016, USCBC President John Frisbie presented the survey’s key findings, in a discussion with National Committee President Stephen Orlins.
John Frisbie, president of the USCBC since 2004, has 30 years of experience in business and government relations with China, including nearly 10 years living and working in Beijing. His China background includes mergers and acquisitions, commercial negotiations, operating best practices and execution, strategy development, trade and investment consulting, policy analysis and advocacy, U.S. and PRC government relations, and media relations. He has spoken at numerous conferences and events; written articles for the China Business Review, USCBC’s digital magazine; and has been published in other outlets such as the Financial Times, Current History, and the Journal of Commerce. He has also been extensively quoted in articles in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Caixin, among other publications.
Unresolved questions about Hong Kong’s political future, long hidden beneath the surface of the territory’s bustling commercial activity, burst to the forefront in 2014 in response to proposed electoral reforms. Since then the struggle for democracy in Hong Kong has developed into a significant challenge to Beijing’s vision for the former British colony. The Umbrella Movement, the 2015 “Fishball Revolution,” and the recent LegCo oath-taking controversy, which have drawn a lot of media attention, mark the entry of a new generation of political actors, more idealistic and committed to the realization of full electoral democracy than their elders; they also reflect popular resentment long in the making. Since the territory’s reversion to China almost 20 years ago (in 1997), economic inequality has grown, community-police relations have deteriorated, and some worry that they are losing control of their own cultural and political destiny.
An expert on China’s relations with its neighbors, Richard Bush is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and is director of its Center for East Asia Policy Studies. In his new book, Hong Kong in the Shadow of China: Living with the Leviathan, Dr. Bush examines both the immediate and long term causes of Hong Kong’s demonstrations, and analyzes the emergence of a pro-democracy movement galvanized by millennials’ activism. He explores the options available to Hong Kong and China, as well as what they must do to ensure both economic competitiveness and good governance. On December 7, 2016, Dr. Bush discussed his book, the Hong Kong protests, and their implications for U.S policy with the National Committee in New York City.
Modern China historian Jeffrey Wasserstrom and the New Yorkermagazine’s Jiayang Fan joined the National Committee for a discussion of how international ambitions, a contentious historical legacy, and official doctrine fuel common misconceptions about U.S.-China relations on December 12, 2016.
Despite more than 300,000 Chinese students currently studying in the United States, increasingly integrated economic relations, booming cross-border tourism, and more high-level dialogues than ever before, misconceptions and suspicion between the United States and China are still widespread. The recent U.S. election saw significant rhetorical frustration directed at China, and it remains to be seen which, if any, hardline campaign promises will be turned into policy. At the same time, closer relations have allowed mutual fascination and admiration to flourish through the millions of Sino-American interactions occurring every day.
Jeffrey Wasserstrom is Chancellor's Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine, where he also holds appointments in law and literary journalism. His most recent books are, as editor, The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China, and, as author, Eight Juxtapositions: China through Imperfect Analogies from Mark Twain to Manchukuo, both published this year. A regular contributor to newspapers, magazines, and blogs, he is a former member of the board of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.
Jiayang Fan is a staff writer at the New Yorker magazine, where she writes about China and Chinese-American politics and culture. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Magazine, and the Paris Review, among other places. Ms. Fan was born in Chongqing, moving to the United States at the age of eight. She graduated from Williams College with a double major in philosophy and English literature. She received a Fulbright scholarship to spend a year in Korea.
Do leaders make history or does history make leaders? At a National Committee program on November 10, 2016, in New York City, Kerry Brown tackled these perennial questions as he talked about the Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography, which he edited—the first work of its kind in over a century. Brown presented Chinese biography as a uniquely useful way to understand historical events, and discussed the influence of individual Chinese leaders, in different fields, over the last four decades. He also discussed his book CEO, China: The Rise of Xi Jinping, which examines the role of Xi Jinping today and contrasts him with Chinese leaders of the past. Brown discussed Chinese leadership questions in a global context, and explored how individuals are shaped by their times but also have the potential to influence Chinese and world history. He was joined in conversation by NCUSCR President Stephen Orlins. Kerry Brown is professor of Chinese Studies and director of the Lau China Institute at King's College, London. From 2012 to 2015 he was professor of Chinese Politics and director of the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, Australia. Prior to this he worked at Chatham House from 2006 to 2012, as senior fellow and then head of the Asia Programme. From 1998 to 2005 he worked at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as first secretary at the British Embassy in Beijing, and then as head of the Indonesia, Philippine and East Timor Section. He lived in the Inner Mongolia region of China from 1994 to 1996. Dr. Brown has a Master of Arts from Cambridge University, a Post Graduate Diploma in Mandarin Chinese (Distinction) from Thames Valley University, London, and a PhD in Chinese politics and language from Leeds University. He is the author of over ten books on modern Chinese politics, history and language, the most recent of which are The New Emperors: Power and the Princelings in China (2014) and What's Wrong with Diplomacy: The Case of the UK and China (2015). He was editor in chief of the Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography (in four volumes- 2014-2015). His CEO, China: the Rise of Xi Jinping was published in 2016.
Many challenges face the United States as it looks across the Pacific to Southeast Asia, including the implications of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, tensions in the South China Sea, and China’s economic initiatives in the area such as the establishment of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and the One Belt One Road (including the “Maritime Silk Road”) policy, among others. On June 20, 2016 in New York City, Drs. Bates Gill, Evelyn Goh, and Chin-Hao Huang discussed the evolving strategic landscape with the National Committee for the fourth installment of our 50th Anniversary Series, China and the World: Southeast Asia.
Dr. Bates Gill is a visiting professor at the US Studies Centre and professor of Asia-Pacific Strategic Studies with the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Coral Bell School of Asia and Pacific Affairs, Australia National University.
Dr. Evelyn Goh is the Shedden Professor of Strategic Policy Studies at the Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific, where she is also the director of research for the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre. She is co-editor of the Cambridge Studies in International Relations book series. Her research interests are East Asian security and international relations theory.
Dr. Chin-Hao Huang is assistant professor of political science at Yale-NUS (National University of Singapore) College. He specializes in international security, focusing on China and Asia more broadly. He is the recipient of the American Political Science Association Best Paper Award in Foreign Policy (2014) for his research on China’s compliance behavior in multilateral security institutions. His field work has been supported in part by the United States Institute of Peace, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Rockefeller Foundation. He is working on a book manuscript that explains how and why Chinese foreign policy decision-makers exercise restraint and comply with international security norms.
As China’s economy has expanded rapidly in recent decades, outbound Chinese FDI has reached record levels, and Chinese investors seeking opportunities abroad have seized on Europe as a preferred destination for outbound FDI. A massive influx of Chinese capital represents both opportunities and challenges for future Europe-China relations. Many relatively small countries view surging Chinese investment as a welcome new source of funding that can reduce dependence on the EU and western European markets. Europe-bound FDI also allows Chinese investors to diversify their assets and move up the value chain, as they make acquisitions in high tech and advanced service industries. At the same time, concerns have been raised about reciprocal market access for European firms, and the role of Chinese state capital in recent high profile deals.
In his book China’s Offensive in Europe, Mr. Philippe Le Corre, an expert on Sino-European relations at the Brookings Institution, analyzes the nature and trends of Chinese investments in Europe, and what they mean for the intercontinental relationships. For the fifth installment of our 50th Anniversary series, China and the World, Mr. Le Corre discussed his book with the National Committee on October 6, 2016 in New York City.
Philippe Le Corre is a visiting fellow in the foreign policy program of The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. He is also a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University and a senior adviser to Sciences Po University in Paris. His research focuses on China-Europe relations, Chinese foreign investments in Europe and Chinese soft power.
Mr. Le Corre joined Brookings after a long career related to China, initially as a foreign correspondent for Radio France International and Le Point newsweekly, from 1988 to 1998. After serving as a reporter for five years in the UK, he became a fellow of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University in 2003, continuing his focus on China. He left Harvard to join the office of the French Minister of Defense, first as a senior adviser on international affairs and public diplomacy, and then as a senior policy analyst on Northeast Asia within the Ministry’s policy planning staff.
His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, Le Monde, China Economic Quarterly, and other widely read publications. His books include China’s Offensive in Europe (Brookings Institution Press, 2016); Tony Blair, les rendez-vous manqués (Tony Blair's Missed Opportunities, 2004); Quand la Chine va au marché, leçons de capitalisme à la chinoise (When China Goes to the Markets, 1999); Après Hong Kong (After Hong Kong, 1997).
What does record Chinese investment in the United States mean for Sino-American relations? What are the biggest benefits from and challenges to the U.S.-China trade relationship? These and other current issues were explored in a program featuring former Commerce Secretary Barbara H. Franklin and former U.S. Trade Representatives Carla A. Hills and Susan C. Schwab, in conversation with National Committee President Steve Orlins. Secretary Franklin, Ambassador Hills and Ambassador Schwab also reflected on U.S.-China relations during their tenures and offered their views on the present and future of trade and investment between the two countries.
Barbara H. Franklin served as the 29th Secretary of Commerce for President George H.W. Bush. As commerce secretary, she increased American exports, with an emphasis on market-opening initiatives in China, Russia, Japan, and Mexico. Her historic mission to China in 1992 normalized commercial relations with the country, removing the ban on ministerial contact that the United States had imposed following the 1989 Tiananmen Square events, and brought back $1 billion in signed contracts for American companies. Trade with China grew dramatically in the following years, as did foreign investment. Secretary Franklin is currently president and CEO of Barbara Franklin Enterprises, a private consulting firm headquartered in Washington, D.C
Carla A. Hills served in the George H.W. Bush administration as the 10th United States Trade Representative. Ambassador Hills also served in the cabinet of President Gerald R. Ford, as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Prior to this, she was an assistant attorney general in the Civil Division of the Department of Justice in the Ford administration. Ambassador Hills is currently chairman and chief executive officer of Hills & Company International Consultants, which provides advice to international firms on investment, trade, and risk assessment issues abroad, particularly in emerging market economies.
Susan C. Schwab served in the George W. Bush administration as the 15th United States Trade Representative. During her tenure, Ambassador Schwab successfully concluded bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs). In her trade enforcement role, Ambassador Schwab settled a two-decade long dispute with Canada over soft-wood lumber, and has launched and/or worked to resolve trade disputes with China, the European Union, and others, primarily related to market access, intellectual property, and illegal subsidies.
Ambassador Schwab currently teaches at the University of Maryland. Previously, she served as dean of the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, from 1995 through 2003. She has also held the position of president and CEO of the University System of Maryland (USM) Foundation, and of USM Vice Chancellor for Advancement.
The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations is the leading nonprofit nonpartisan organization that encourages understanding of China and the United States among citizens of both countries. For information on the National Committee and its 50th anniversary programs, please visit www.ncuscr.org
Within the past few decades, China has undergone a series of profound social changes stemming from globalization and its own domestic economic reforms and political development. Cultural attitudes deeply embedded in China for centuries have changed seemingly overnight with the expansion of the Chinese middle class.
Perhaps no city in China quite exemplifies this colossal transformation like Shanghai. Once a moderately sized port city, Shanghai has quickly become a sprawling global financial and cultural center rivaling New York and London. The economic promise of Shanghai has attracted millions of Chinese and foreigners alike seeking to partake in the seeming torrent of capital, ideas, and opportunity. One of these dreamers is Rob Schmitz, who traveled to Shanghai as a correspondent for Marketplace. While immersing himself in his neighborhood, Mr. Schmitz encountered a web of individuals whose life stories together portray the mosaic of contemporary China. In his new book, Street of Eternal Happiness, Schmitz narrates the experiences of these everyday people, and the hardships many have endured in their struggle to adapt to an ever-changing China. As he became more involved in their lives, Schmitz made surprising discoveries that reveal a family’s – and country’s - dark past, and an abandoned neighborhood where fates have been violently altered by unchecked power and greed.
A tale of 21st century China, Street of Eternal Happiness profiles China’s distinct generations through individuals whose lives illuminate an enlightening, humorous, and at times heartrending journey along the winding road to the Chinese Dream. Each story adds another layer of humanity and texture to modern China. The result is an intimate and surprising portrait that dispenses with the tired stereotypes of a country we think we know, presenting us instead with the vivid stories of the people who make up one of the world’s most captivating cities. Join us as Rob Schmitz launches his book with the National Committee on May 17, in New York City.
Rob Schmitz is the China correspondent for American Public Media's Marketplace, the largest business news program in the U.S. with more than 12 million listeners a week. Mr. Schmitz has won several awards for his reporting on China, including two national Edward R. Murrow awards and an Education Writers Association award. His work was also a finalist for the 2012 Investigative Reporters and Editors Award. His reporting in Japan — from the hardest-hit areas near the failing Fukushima nuclear power plant following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami — was included in the publication “100 Great Stories,” celebrating the centennial of Columbia University’s Journalism School. In 2012, Rob exposed the fabrications in Mike Daisey’s account of Apple’s supply chain on This American Life. His report was featured in the show’s “Retraction” episode, the most downloaded episode in the program’s 16-year history.
The political ideology of Mao Zedong swept China following the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and still has an impact on life in contemporary China.
Maoism at the Grassroots, edited by Matthew D. Johnson and Jeremy Brown, examines the first decades of the People’s Republic of China from the perspective of ordinary people. While the Mao era is often regarded as a time of Party-state dominance—achieved through massive political campaigns such as the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution—the authors in this volume marshal new research to reveal a wide array of individual viewpoints and local experiences during China’s years of high socialism.
Focusing on the period from the mid-1950s to 1980, the authors provide insights into the everyday lives of citizens across social strata, ethnicities, and regions. They explore how ordinary men and women risked persecution and imprisonment to assert personal beliefs and identities. Many displayed a shrewd knack for negotiating the complicated power structures of everyday Maoism, appropriating regime ideology in their daily lives while finding ways to express discontent and challenge the state’s pervasive control. Men had gay relationships in factory dormitories, teenagers wrote searing complaints in diaries, farmers formed secret societies and worshipped forbidden spirits. These diverse undercurrents were as representative of ordinary people’s lives as the ideals depicted in state propaganda.
Bringing together contributions from scholars in China, Europe, North America, and Taiwan, Maoism at the Grassroots offers fresh insights into the day-to-day realities of life under Mao. Matthew Johnson and Jeremy Brown reevaluated the history of Maoism and its impact on Chinese society with the National Committee on May 10, 2016 in New York City.
Jeremy Brown is an associate professor of history at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. He is the author of City Versus Countryside in Mao’s China: Negotiating the Divide, and editor of Maoism at the Grassroots: Everyday Life in China’s Era of High Socialism (co-edited with Matthew D. Johnson) and Dilemmas of Victory: The Early Years of the People’s Republic of China (co-edited with Paul G. Pickowicz). His recent research on the social history of accidents in the People's Republic of China has been supported by a Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship and by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He is also writing a new history of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
Matthew Johnson is an associate professor of East Asian history and chair of the East Asian Studies concentration at Grinnell College. As a Fulbright scholar he carried out an archive- and interview-based history of China's Mao-era film industry, and he is the author and editor of numerous academic publications on Chinese media, culture, and society. He is also a founder of the PRC History Group (prchistory.org) and an editor of the H-PRC listserv and open-access journal The PRC History Review.
On August 24, 2015, global financial markets plunged following China’s “Black Monday,” the largest sell-off in the history of the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Following a burst in the stock market bubble in June 2015, trillions of dollars were erased from the stock index throughout the summer, with the largest day of losses hitting on Black Monday. The sheer scale of the stock market crash, accompanied by weak manufacturing data and an unexpected devaluation of China’s currency exacerbated long held concerns by some economists that China’s economic development was unstable. In his new book, China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know, Arthur Kroeberargues that many of these fears are exaggerated.
To understand the context of the current economic situation, Dr. Kroeber describes how the Chinese economy has evolved since 1979 and the initial reforms of the Deng Xiaoping era. The Communist Party of China has effectively managed the transformation of the economy. The Chinese leadership was able to learn from the examples of other East Asian “development states.” While there are considerable similarities, Dr. Kroeber notes that there are also profound differences between China’s development model and those of Japan and South Korea; the similarities and the differences have a profound impact on the prospects for China’s economy.
As Western economies continue to struggle to rebound from the global financial crisis of 2008, worldwide economic progress has been dependent on China’s unprecedented economic successes. Some analysts fear that systemic flaws in China’s economy will undermine China’s economic potential. Join us as Arthur R. Kroeber discusses the Chinese economy as it moves in a consumer-driven direction amid demographic and environmental challenges, with the National Committee on May 18, in New York City.
Arthur R. Kroeber is head of research at Gavekal, a financial-services firm based in Hong Kong, founder of the China-focused Gavekal Dragonomics research service, and editor of China Economic Quarterly. He divides his time between Beijing and New York. Before founding Dragonomics in 2002, he spent fifteen years as a financial and economic journalist in China and South Asia.
Some people argue that the global balance of power is shifting away from the North Atlantic and toward the Asia-Pacific as countries such as India and China gain economic, military, and political influence. India and China may appear to be developing new international systems – for example, through the AIIB – that could threaten the post-war order developed by the United States and Western Europe. However, long-simmering tensions between India and China make it clear that they do not form a united bloc, and present an opportunity for the United States to play a role in re-shaping the balance of power throughout the world.
Given the considerable differences arising between New Delhi and Beijing, and the fact that each country confronts enormous domestic issues including poverty, corruption, and environmental degradation on a huge scale, how can the United States manage its relationships with the two rising Asian powers? For the third installment of our 50th Anniversary series, China and the World, Ms. Anja Manuel, author of This Brave New World: India, China and the United States, described the Sino-Indian relationship and the role the United States may play in creating a new balance of power with both India and China. Moderated by National Committee President Stephen Orlins, the program was held on May 9, 2016 in New York City.
Anja Manuel is co-founder and partner, along with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, of RiceHadleyGates LLC, a strategic consulting firm.
Anja Manuel is also a lecturer in the International Policy Studies Program at Stanford University where she designed and teaches a course on U.S. foreign policy in Asia.
From 2005 to 2007, Anja Manuel served as special assistant to Under-Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns at the U.S. Department of State. In this role, Ms. Manuel was responsible for South Asia policy, Congressional outreach and legal matters. She was part of the negotiating team for the U.S.-India civilian nuclear accord, helped to secure passage of the accord in the U.S. Congress, and was deeply involved in developing U.S. policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan.
With the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the Chinese communist leadership established a formal alliance with the Soviet Union. The pact between the two communist giants proved to be short-lived as ideological differences between Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong, coupled with the growing fear in China of Soviet encirclement, compromised the alliance. Eventually, following several border skirmishes, including a war in 1969, China’s leaders feared a Soviet invasion. To counter this, Mao sought rapprochement with the United States, a move that would define Sino-Soviet relations until the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.
For the second installment of our 50th Anniversary series, China and the World, Dr. Maria Repnikova, expert on Sino-Russian relations, described the latest developments in the relationship with National Committee President Stephen Orlins on April 18, 2016 in New York City.
Dr. Maria Repnikova is a scholar of comparative Chinese and Russian media politics and Sino-Russian relations. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, where she is completing a book on critical journalists in China.
Dr. John Garver, author of China’s Quest: The History of the Foreign Relations of the People’s Republic of China discussed his book with National Committee on U.S.-China Relations Vice President Jan Berris on April 14, 2016 in New York City.
When the People’s Republic of China was established in 1949, China was in a state of disarray. Decades of occupation and civil war had left the country fractured and impoverished. The nation embarked on an ambitious effort to overhaul its economic and political systems. While its domestic agenda was the priority for the Communist Party of China, China had to develop a foreign policy, particularly to deal with the world’s capitalist countries in the midst of the Cold War.
With memories of the “century of humiliation” fresh in Chinese people’s minds, countering inroads of Western bourgeois liberalism was at the top of the international agenda during the early years of the PRC. As the Cold War evolved, however, so, too, did China’s foreign policy concerns. Following Stalin’s death, China’s leadership grew increasingly skeptical of the Soviet Union and the intentions of its new Premier, Nikita Khrushchev. The Sino-Soviet split exposed what author and scholar John W. Garver considers the real force shaping the PRC’s foreign policy: regime survival. While many political scientists have analyzed China’s approach to the split through a realist lens, focusing on national interest, Dr. Garver argues that de-Stalinization in the Soviet Union threatened the ideological foundation of the Chinese communist regime.
In the months leading up to the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, China began making a series of pledges to overhaul its environmental and energy policies. To curb emissions, it announced the creation of a cap-and-trade program, restrictions on domestic coal production, and investment in renewable energy. At the Paris conference, China’s top climate negotiator expressed confidence in the measures and policies China was putting into place.
However, questions remain whether China’s new approaches will be sufficient to curb global climate change. Despite being the world’s largest investor in green energy, China is still the world’s largest producer of greenhouses gases. Furthermore, recent allegations that China has been underreporting carbon emissions have cast doubt on China’s ability to meet its international environmental commitments.
On April 5, 2016 at the National Committee’s New York offices, Mark L. Clifford, author of The Greening of Asia: The Business Case for Solving Asia’s Environmental Emergency, discussed his latest research with National Committee President Stephen Orlins.
Mark L. Clifford is the Hong Kong-based executive director of the Asia Business Council. Previously he was editor-in-chief of the South China Morning Post, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Standard, and the Asia regional editor for BusinessWeek.
Dr. Elanah Uretsky’s recent book, Occupational Hazards: Sex, Business, and HIV in Post-Mao China, follows a group of Chinese businessmen and government officials as they conduct business in Beijing and western Yunnan Province, uncovering informal networks that result in political favors for the businessmen. The networks are built on liquor, cigarettes, food, and sex; risky behaviors turn into occupational hazards.
Occupational Hazards follows men both powerful and vulnerable - to China's growing epidemics of sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS. Examining the relationships between elite masculine networking practices and vulnerability to HIV infection, the book includes the stories of numerous government officials and businessmen who visit commercial sex workers but avoid HIV testing for fear of threatening their economic and political status. Their lives are complicated by a political system that does not publicly acknowledge the risks and by international approaches to disease control that limit the reach of public health interventions. Dr. Uretsky offers insights into how complex socio-cultural and politico-economic negotiations affect the development of and approaches to China's HIV epidemic.
Dr. Uretsky discussed her research with the National Committee on March 15, 2016 in New York City. She is a medical anthropologist in the departments of global health, anthropology, and the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.
Despite its implementation at a time of global concern about over-population, China’s one-child policy developed into one of the most controversial social policies of the twentieth century. Between 1970 and 1976, the Chinese government successfully led the “Long, Late, and Few” campaign which aimed to curtail population growth at a time of limited resources. However, by the end of the decade, after a brief decline China’s population growth rate began to rise again, prompting the leaders to reexamine their efforts. In response, in 1980 the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China announced the implementation of the so-called one-child policy, in which Han couples would be limited to one child. There were exceptions, particularly for rural families.
The contentious population control policy lasted for more than three decades; in late 2015 the Chinese government announced that families would be allowed to have two children. The one-child policy has had tremendous demographic repercussions far beyond a significantly reduced birth rate. Acclaimed author and journalist Mei Fong has spent years documenting and analyzing the impact of the policy. In her book, One Child: The Story of China's Most Radical Experiment, Ms. Fong writes about the origins of the policy and some of its unintended consequences including the creation of “little emperors” (spoiled children), a huge gender imbalance, and a rapidly aging population. Mei Fong discussed her book with the National Committee on March 8, 2016 in New York City.
As a journalist Mei Fong covered Hong Kong and China for the Wall Street Journal, winning a shared Pulitzer Prize for her stories on China’s transformative process ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She is believed to be the first Malaysian to win a Pulitzer. Her stories on China’s migrant workers also won a 2006 Human Rights Press Award from Amnesty International and the Hong Kong Correspondents Club, as well as awards from the Society of Publishers in Asia and Society of Professional Journalists. After leaving China, she joined the faculty at the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communications. She is currently a fellow at New America, a think tank in Washington, D.C.
Given its experience of colonialism, Africans have long been suspicious of Chinese intentions on the continent. Recent allegations of unprecedented Chinese state-sponsored acquisitions of African farmland have alarmed many who now fear that Africa, with its large tracts of untouched arable land, will enter a new colonial era.
In her book, Will Africa Feed China?,leading expert and National Committee director Deborah Bräutigam analyzes the nature of Chinese agricultural investment in Africa. After conducting research in several African countries, Dr. Bräutigam discovered that despite claims of a calculated Chinese plan to control rural Africa for its own purposes, Chinese agricultural investment in Africa has been remarkably limited; in fact, China exports more agricultural goods to Africa than it imports.
The concern is not limited to agriculture; Chinese investment throughout Africa has generally been viewed through a neocolonial lens. The widespread suspicion calls into question the foundation of Sino-African relations. Dr. Bräutigam discussed her book, and Chinese policy in Africa at the first installment of our 50th Anniversary special series, China and the World, on February 25, 2016 in New York City.
Dr. Deborah Bräutigam is the Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of Political Economy, director of the International Development Program, and director of the China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Her most recent books include The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa (Oxford University Press, 2011) and Will Africa Feed China? (OUP, 2015). Before joining SAIS in 2012, she taught at Columbia University and American University.
Born to American missionaries in northern India, John Birch went to China in 1940 as an Independent Baptist missionary. Following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, Birch volunteered for the U.S. Army to fight the Japanese in China and was recruited by Claire Chennault, leader of the Flying Tigers and the U.S. 14th Air Force, as a field intelligence officer.
John Birch is better known today for what happened after he was shot and killed by Chinese Communist forces in the days immediately following Japan’s surrender. In the acrimonious debate over the "loss" of China, U.S. Senator William Knowland claimed that Birch was a martyr whose murder revealed the true intentions of the Communists. Thirteen years after Birch's death, a retired businessman from Boston named Robert Welch chose him as the figurehead of an anti-communist advocacy group, the John Birch Society.
In John Birch: A Life (Oxford, 2016), Terry Lautz, a longtime scholar of U.S.-China relations and director of the National Committee, unravels the mythology surrounding John Birch after conducting extensive archival research, interviewing Birch’s brothers, analyzing letters he wrote, and traveling to the places in China where he lived and died. In addition, Dr. Lautz explores the perception that John Birch is the personification of the longstanding American ambition to save and defend China. Terry Lautz discussed his book with the National Committee on February 11 in New York City.
Dr. Terry Lautz is a Moynihan Research Fellow and interim director of the East Asia Program at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. He is former vice president of the Henry Luce Foundation, a director of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, chair of the board of the Harvard-Yenching Institute, and member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Dr. David M. Lampton delivered the 10th annual Barnett-Oksenberg Lecture on Sino-American Relations in Shanghai on November 23, 2016. This annual forum affords the opportunity for a frank and forthright discussion of current and potential issues between the two countries and is the only ongoing lecture series on U.S.-China relations that takes place in Mainland China. A transcript of Dr. Lampton’s prepared remarks is available here: https://www.ncuscr.org/content/managing-relations-between-two-big-powers-david-m-lampton-2015-barnett-oksenberg-lecture
Dr. David Lampton is the George and Sadie Hyman Professor and director of SAIS-China and China studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Dr. Lampton is former president of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and the author of numerous books, including The Three Faces of Chinese Power: Might, Money and Minds.
The program is cosponsored by the National Committee and the Shanghai Association of American Studies, with the cooperation of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.
Former World Bank chief economist Justin Yifu Lin, professor and honorary dean, National School of Development, Peking University, discusses China’s economy in 2016 and beyond, with a focus on free trade zone developments and reform and opening up initiatives in China. The program, moderated by National Committee on U.S.-China Relations President Stephen Orlins, includes Q&A. Program date: January 7, 2016 in New York City.
For information, presentation slides and video of the 2016 Forecast for China’s Economy, featuring some of China’s most influential economists and a panel moderated by CNBC’s Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, visit https://www.ncuscr.org/content/forecast-chinas-economy-2016
Following Taiwan’s January 16, 2016 presidential elections, two of America’s leading experts on Taiwan, Douglas Paal, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Shelley Rigger, Brown Professor of East Asian politics, chair of Chinese studies and assistant dean for educational policy at Davidson College, joined a teleconference with National Committee on U.S.-China Relations President Stephen Orlins to reflect on the outcome of the election, its significance for cross-Strait relations, and likely impact on U.S. relations with both Taiwan and the mainland.
Douglas H. Paal is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He previously served as vice chairman of JPMorgan Chase International (2006–2008) and was an unofficial U.S. representative to Taiwan as director of the American Institute in Taiwan (2002–2006). He was on the National Security Council staffs of Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush between 1986 and 1993 as director of Asian Affairs and then as senior director and special assistant to the president.
Dr. Paal held positions in the policy planning staff at the State Department, as a senior analyst for the CIA, and at the U.S. embassies in Singapore and Beijing. He has spoken and published frequently on Asian affairs and national security issues.
Dr. Paal is a director of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.
Shelley Rigger is the Brown Professor of East Asian Politics, chair of Chinese Studies and assistant dean for educational policy at Davidson College. She has a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University and a B.A. in public and international affairs from Princeton University. She has been a visiting researcher at National Chengchi University in Taiwan (2005) and a visiting professor at Fudan University (2006) and Shanghai Jiaotong University (2013). She is a non-resident fellow of the China Policy Institute at Nottingham University and a senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI).
Dr. Rigger is the author of two books on Taiwan’s domestic politics, Politics in Taiwan: Voting for Democracy (Routledge 1999) and From Opposition to Power: Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (Lynne Rienner Publishers 2001). In 2011 she published Why Taiwan Matters: Small Island, Global Powerhouse, a book for general readers. She has published articles on Taiwan’s domestic politics, the national identity issue in Taiwan-China relations and related topics. Her monograph, Taiwan’s Rising Rationalism: Generations, Politics and ‘Taiwan Nationalism,’ was published by the East West Center in Washington in November 2006. Currently she is working on a study of Taiwan’s contributions to the PRC’s economic take-off.
Dr. Rigger is a former director and current member of the National Committee.
Hong Kong Secretary of Justice, Rimsky Yuen discussed the state of Hong Kong-Mainland China relations and the future of the “One Country, Two Systems.” The discussion, moderated by Jerome Cohen, professor and co-director at the U.S.-Asia Law Institute, New York University School of Law, took place at the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations in New York City on October 30, 2015.
Former Newsweek Beijing bureau chief and Asia editor Dorinda Elliott of the Paulson Institute discusses U.S. engagement with China, including the context for the United States’ engagement policy, China’s perspective on the relationship and potentials for future challenges and cooperation between the two countries. Ms. Elliott also discusses the mission and initiatives of the Paulson Institute in China. This program, conducted at Greenwich Library in Greenwich, Connecticut, was part of the 2015 nationwide CHINA Town Hall program, conducted at 75 locations across the country on October 5, 2015.
Dorinda Elliott is Editorial and communications director at The Paulson Institute. The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations is the leading national, non-partisan public affairs organization devoted exclusively to building constructive and durable relationships between the United States and China.
PRC President Xi Jinping's first state visit to the United States from September 22-25, 2015, has been closely watched on both sides of the Pacific. At the close of the bilateral summit, NCUSCR Public Intellectuals Program Fellow Sheena Chestnut Greitens, assistant professor of political science at the University of Missouri and NCUSCR Co-Chair, Ambassador J. Stapleton Roy, managing director, Kissinger Associates, discussed the expectations, outcomes and key aspects of the Xi-Obama meetings, along with their implications for the U.S.-China relationship.
Sheena Chestnut Greitens is an assistant professor of Political Science at the University of Missouri and a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for East Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution. She is also an asociate in research at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University and a Public Intellectuals Program (PIP) fellow with the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.
Ambassador J. Stapleton Roy retired from the Foreign Service in January 2001 after a career spanning 45 years with the U.S. Department of State. A fluent Chinese speaker, Ambassador Roy spent much of his career in East Asia, where his assignments included Bangkok (twice), Hong Kong, Taipei, Beijing (twice), Singapore, and Jakarta. He also specialized in Soviet affairs and served in Moscow at the height of the Cold War. Ambassador Roy served as ambassador three times: in Singapore (1984-86), the People’s Republic of China (1991-95), and Indonesia (1996-99). In 1996, he was promoted to the rank of career ambassador, the highest rank in the Foreign Service. Ambassador Roy’s final post with the State Department was as assistant secretary for Intelligence and Research. In January 2001, Ambassador Roy joined Kissinger Associates, Inc., a strategic consulting firm, as managing director. For several years he was director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; he now serves as its distinguished scholar and founding director, emeritus.
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