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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.

Episode Date
Stephen Platt on Imperial Twilight: The Opium War and the End of China's Last Golden Age

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.

Jul 16, 2018
Consul General Kurt W. Tong on Recent Developments in Hong Kong

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.

Jun 29, 2018
The China Mission: George Marshall's Unfinished War, with Daniel Kurtz-Phelan

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 TimesThe Washington Post, and The New Yorker. He is a graduate of Yale University.

Jun 25, 2018
Peggy Blumenthal and David Zweig on China's Students in the U.S.

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 (, 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).

Jun 06, 2018
Scott Seligman: The Third Degree

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.

Speaker Bio:

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.

May 29, 2018
Denise Ho: Curating Revolution in Mao's China

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 QuarterlyFrontiers of History in ChinaHistory Compass, and Modern China, and her writings on art, culture, and history in The AtlanticChinaFileDissentThe 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.

May 10, 2018
Natalie Lichtenstein: A Guide to the AIIB

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.

May 08, 2018
Gary Liu: Running the South China Morning Post

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 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.

May 01, 2018
Jeffrey Wasserstrom and Maura Cunningham: Has Xi Jinping Changed the Course of Chinese History in the 21st Century?

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.  

Apr 03, 2018
Dr. Szu-chien Hsu: A Political Profile of Taiwan's Youth

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

Mar 29, 2018
Carl Minzner: The End of China's Reform Era

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 TimesWall Street JournalLos 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

Mar 16, 2018
Roseann Lake: The Single Women Shaping China's Economic Future

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

Mar 08, 2018
Term Limits, Tariffs, and Reflections on U.S.-China Relations with Jeffrey Bader

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.

Mar 06, 2018
David Denoon: China's Foreign Policy in Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and Latin America

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.

Mar 02, 2018
Ann Lee: Will China's Economy Collapse?

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.

Feb 23, 2018
Bin Xu: Sichuan Earthquake and Civic Engagement in China

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.

Feb 23, 2018
Jennifer Lin: Shanghai Faithful – A Chinese Christian Family

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.

Feb 01, 2018
Scott Tong: A Village With My Name

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.

Feb 01, 2018
Mary Gallagher: Authoritarian Legality in China

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.

Feb 01, 2018
Michael Meyer: The Road to the Sleeping Dragon

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 ( is the leading nonprofit nonpartisan organization that encourages understanding of China and the United States among citizens of both countries.

Dec 14, 2017
U.S.-China Science and Technology: Nancy Liu and Lawrence Sullivan

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 ( is the leading nonprofit nonpartisan organization that encourages understanding of China and the United States among citizens of both countries.

Dec 13, 2017
The Souls of China: Religion in China After Mao, with Ian Johnson

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 ( is the leading nonprofit nonpartisan organization that encourages understanding of China and the United States among citizens of both countries.


Dec 13, 2017
Isaac Stone Fish: Why Isn’t Beijing Doing More to Constrain North Korea

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 ( is the leading nonprofit nonpartisan organization that encourages understanding of China and the United States among citizens of both countries.

Dec 08, 2017
Pan Guang: China and the Middle East

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.

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.

Dec 08, 2017
Robert Gottlieb & Simon Ng: U.S.-China Urban Environmental Change

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.

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.

Dec 08, 2017
Maria Repnikova: Media Politics in China


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.


Dec 01, 2017
Scott Kennedy: China's Innovation Drive


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.


Oct 12, 2017
Lenora Chu and Gish Gen: East-West Creativity Gap – Myth or Fact?

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, 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.


Oct 03, 2017
Cheng Li on the Rising Influence of Think Tanks in China

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.

Oct 03, 2017
Women in the Arts from Greater China: Author Michelle Vosper

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:

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.


Jul 25, 2017
2017 U.S. Foreign Policy Colloquium Keynote Address: The Honorable Wendy R. Sherman

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.

Jun 23, 2017
The Belt and Road Forum: Reflections from Chinese Experts

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.

Jun 23, 2017
Unlikely Partners: Chinese Reformers and Western Economists with Author Julian Gewirtz

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. 

Jun 23, 2017
China's Universities and the Belt and Road: Gerard Postiglione

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.

Jun 23, 2017
China's Banking: The Untold Story - James Stent

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.


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.

Jun 15, 2017
Hong Kong and Beijing: A Complicated Relationship – David Zweig

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.


Jun 15, 2017
Social Assistance in China: Author Qin Gao

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.

Jun 09, 2017
How the Past Shapes China’s Push for Power: Author Howard French

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. 

Jun 09, 2017
China’s Domestic Security: Author Sheena Greitens

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.

Jun 09, 2017
Author John Pomfret: The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom

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. 

Jun 09, 2017
Strategy and American Power in Asia Pacific: Author Michael Green

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.


May 05, 2017
Taiwan’s China Dilemma: Author Syaru Shirley Lin

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. 

May 05, 2017
How China Escaped the Poverty Trap: Author Yuen Yuen Ang

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.

May 05, 2017
Teleconference: Reflections on the Trump-Xi Summit

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.

Apr 13, 2017
Hollywood Made in China: Author Aynne Kokas

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.

Apr 06, 2017
Ending Myths About Chinese Overseas Development: Brad Parks, AidData

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 StudiesChina 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.

Mar 17, 2017
Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright on U.S.-China Relations

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

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.


Jan 13, 2017
Business Environment in China – USCBC Survey: John Frisbie

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 TimesCurrent History, and the Journal of Commerce. He has also been extensively quoted in articles in The Wall Street JournalThe Washington PostThe New York Times, and Caixin, among other publications.

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.

Jan 13, 2017
Hong Kong in the Shadow of China: Richard Bush

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. 

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.

Jan 11, 2017
The Era of Xi and Trump: Jeffrey Wasserstrom and Jiayang Fan

Modern China historian Jeffrey Wasserstrom and the New Yorker magazine’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 ReviewThe 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.

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.


Jan 11, 2017
Chinese Leadership and the Tide of History: Kerry Brown

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.

Nov 30, 2016
China and Southeast Asia: Bates Gill, Evelyn Goh, Chin-Hao Huang

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.

Oct 18, 2016
China and Europe: Philippe Le Corre

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).

Oct 18, 2016
South China Sea Tribunal Decision: Expert Briefing with Peter Dutton
Jul 13, 2016
Leaders Speak: Former Commerce Secretary and U.S. Trade Representatives

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

Jun 15, 2016
Book Launch: Street of Eternal Happiness - Author Rob Schmitz

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 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.


May 24, 2016
Maoism at the Grassroots: Authors Matthew Johnson & Jeremy Brown

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 ( and an editor of the H-PRC listserv and open-access journal The PRC History Review.

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.

May 24, 2016
China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know – Author Arthur Kroeber

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 KnowArthur 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.

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.


May 24, 2016
China, India and the U.S.: Author Anja Manuel

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.


May 18, 2016
China and the World: Russia – Dr. Maria Repnikova

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.

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.

Apr 22, 2016
History of China’s Foreign Relations: Author John Garver

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. 

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.

Apr 22, 2016
The Greening of Asia: Author Mark Clifford

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.

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.

Apr 22, 2016
Occupational Hazards: Sex, Business and HIV in China – Author Elanah Uretsky

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.

Mar 21, 2016
One Child: China's Most Radical Experiment - Author Mei Fong

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.

Mar 16, 2016
“Will Africa Feed China?” Author Deborah Brautigam

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.

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.

Mar 01, 2016
John Birch: A Life - Discussion with author Terry Lautz

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. 

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.


Feb 18, 2016
David Lampton: Managing US-China 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:

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.

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.

Jan 28, 2016
Justin Yifu Lin: China’s Economy 2016 & Beyond

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

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.

Jan 26, 2016
Shelley Rigger & Douglas Paal: Taiwan's Elections 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 Paal

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

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. 

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.


Jan 19, 2016
Hong Kong-Mainland Relations: HK Secretary of Justice Rimsky Yuen

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.

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.

Oct 30, 2015
Engagement with China: Dorinda Elliott, Paulson Institute

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.

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.

Oct 30, 2015
Obama-Xi Summit 2015: Sheena Greitens and Stapleton Roy

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.

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.

Sep 28, 2015
Meeting China Halfway: Defusing an Emerging US-China Rivalry

Although a Sino-U.S. conflict is far from inevitable, some assessments see tensions building in the Asia-Pacific region. Despite worrying signs of intensifying rivalry between Washington and Beijing, few observers have offered paths away from disaster. In Meeting China Halfway: How to Defuse the Emerging US-China Rivalry, author Lyle J. Goldstein focuses on American and Chinese perceptions of where their interests clash and proposes ways to ease bilateral tensions through compromise. Each chapter contains a "cooperation spiral"—the opposite of an escalation spiral—to illustrate his policy proposals. Dr. Goldstein makes numerous policy proposals over the course of the book, hoping to stimulate a genuine debate about cooperative policy solutions to the most challenging problems in U.S.-China relations.

Dr. Goldstein discussed his book at the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations in New York on June 25, 2015. The conversation and Q&A are moderated by NCUSCR President Stephen Orlins.  For more information on the program:

Lyle J. Goldstein is an associate professor in the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI), which was established at U.S. Naval War College in October 2006 to improve mutual understanding and maritime cooperation with China.  He served as the founding director of CMSI from 2006 to 2011.  For this service, he was awarded the Superior Civilian Service Medal in 2012. 


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.

Jun 30, 2015
The Upcoming S&ED 2015: Brookings’ Dollar, Li and Lieberthal

In anticipation of the 2015 Strategic & Economic Dialogue, NCUSCR brings together three leading experts from the Brookings Institution’s John L. Thornton China Center to discuss the dialogue and its implications for the U.S.-China relationship. Remarks by economist David Dollar and National Committee Directors Cheng Li and Kenneth Lieberthal (introduced by National Committee President Stephen Orlins) explore policy implications of the S&ED, Chinese leadership dynamics that will influence the talks and the role of the U.S.-China economic relationship.

David Dollar is a senior fellow with the Foreign Policy and Global Economy and Development programs at the Brookings Institution John L. Thornton China Center.

Cheng Li is director and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s John L. Thornton China Center.

Kenneth Lieberthal is a senior fellow in Foreign Policy and Global Economy and Development at the Brookings Institution.


 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.

Jun 19, 2015
New Neighbors: Chinese Investment in the United States

After a slow start, China has emerged as one the fastest growing sources of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. To date, debates about potential national security risks from these investments have dominated headlines. However, there has been no comprehensive assessment of the impact of growing Chinese FDI on U.S. communities – until now. "New Neighbors," a report by the National Committee and Rhodium Group, is the first in-depth study to examine and quantify the effects of Chinese capital inflows at the local level, estimating investment, operations, and jobs provision in individual U.S. congressional districts and assessing their relevance for American innovation, exports, and other economic linkages.

On May 20, 2015, the report’s authors joined NCUSCR President Stephen A. Orlins for a discussion of "New Neighbors," including how its chief findings fit into the broader dynamics of U.S.-China relations. 


Stephen A. Orlins, President, National Committee on U.S.-China Relations

Daniel H. Rosen, Founding Partner, Rhodium Group

Thilo Hanemann, Director of Research, Rhodium Group

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.

May 29, 2015
Intimate Rivals: Japan-China Relations with Sheila Smith

No country feels China's rise more deeply than Japan. Through intricate case studies of visits by politicians to the Yasukuni Shrine, conflicts at the East China Sea boundary, concerns about food safety, and strategies of island defense, In a discussion with National Committee President Stephen Orlins, Sheila Smith explores the policy issues testing the Japanese government as it navigates its relationship with China. She finds that Japan's interactions with China extend far beyond negotiations between diplomats to include an array of social actors intent on influencing the Sino-Japanese relationship. At a National Committee event on May 11, 2015 in New York City, Sheila Smith discussed her book Intimate Rivals and the implications of the Sino-Japanese relationship on U.S.-China relations.

Dr. Smith is a regular contributor to the CFR blog Asia Unbound, and frequent contributor to major media outlets in the United States and Asia. She joined CFR from the East-West Center in 2007, where she directed a multinational research team in a cross-national study of the domestic politics of the U.S. military presence in Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines.

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.

May 29, 2015
In Manchuria – Transformation of Rural China with Author Michael Meyer

Author Michael Meyer discusses his new book, In Manchuria: A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China at a National Committee public program on April 2, 2015.  For three years, Mr. Meyer, a National Committee Public Intellectuals Program fellow, lived in a rice-farming community in Jilin Province, documenting the tremendous changes that were occurring. In Manchuria is a combination of memoir, reportage, and historical research, presenting a unique profile of China's northeast.

 As the author of the acclaimed The Last Days of Old Beijing (2008), Mr. Meyer received a Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He also won a Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers. Mr. Meyer’s stories have appeared in the New York TimesTimeSmithsonianSports IllustratedSlate, the Financial Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and on This American Life.

He recently taught literary journalism at the University of Hong Kong’s Journalism and Media Studies Center, and is now an assistant professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh where he teaches nonfiction writing.  He divides his time between Pittsburgh and Singapore.


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.

Apr 07, 2015
Justin Yifu Lin: China's Mid- and Long-term Economic Growth Prospects


Former World Bank SVP and chief economist Justin Yifu Lin discusses China’s mid- and long-term growth prospects at “China’s Economy 2015,” a program of the National Committee on U.S.-China relations in cooperation with Peking University’s China Center for Economic Research, held at the New York Stock Exchange, January 7, 2015. 



For program videos and presentations, visit:



Professor Lin argued optimistically that China’s current decelerating GDP growth rate has been a symptom of external and cyclical factors and compared its growth rate to the sharper drop he observed in other high performing economies, both developing and developed. His analysis, calibrated by an assessment of China’s challenges, showed how the export, investment, and consumption environment had changed, but remained comparatively positive. This he followed with an assessment of where China should focus its growth strategy.



Dr. Lin is professor and honorary dean at the National School of Development, Peking University; his remarks are moderated by Yao Yang, Dean, National School of Development, Peking University.



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.


Feb 04, 2015
Richard Bernstein: China 1945

In China 1945 Richard Bernstein tells the incredible story of that year’s sea change, analyzing its many components, from ferocious infighting among U.S. diplomats, military leaders, and opinion makers to the complex relations between Mao and his patron, Stalin. Bernstein examines the first time that American power and good intentions came face-to-face with a powerful Asian revolutionary movement, and challenges familiar assumptions about the origins of modern Sino-American relations.

Richard Bernstein studied Chinese history with the legendary John K. Fairbank at Harvard University before becoming one of the first American journalists to be stationed in the People’s Republic of China, opening the Time bureau in Beijing in 1980. He then spent twenty-five years as a staff correspondent for the New York Times for which he reported from more than two dozen countries in Asia, Europe, and Africa. His postings included the United Nations, Paris, and Berlin; he was also a national cultural correspondent and daily book critic.

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.

Jan 26, 2015
Cities and Stability: China’s Urbanization with Author Jeremy Wallace

China's management of urbanization is an under-appreciated factor in the regime's longevity. The Chinese Communist Party fears the emergence of unequal megacities with their attendant slums and social unrest, as has occurred in many cities around the world, because such cities might threaten the survival of the regime. To combat the threat, many regimes, including China's, adopt policies that favor cities. Cities and Stability shows this "urban bias" to be a Faustian bargain: cities may be stabilized for a time, but the massive in-migration from the countryside that results can generate the conditions for political unrest.

Dr. Jeremy Wallace discussed his new book Cities and Stability at a National Committee public program on December 17, 2014. Dr. Wallace is an assistant professor of political science at The Ohio State University. His research focuses on authoritarian regime survival and how such regimes—particularly China’s—grapple with threats.

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.

Dec 23, 2014
Nicholas Lardy: Markets Over Mao

China's transition to a market economy has propelled its remarkable economic growth since the late 1970s. In his book “Markets Over Mao: The Rise of Private Business in China” Nicholas R. Lardy, one of the world's foremost experts on the Chinese economy, traces the increasing role of market forces and refutes the widely advanced argument that Chinese economic progress rests on the government's control of the economy's "commanding heights." Markets Over Mao offers powerfully persuasive evidence that the major sources of China's growth in the future will be market-rather than state-driven, with private firms providing the major source of economic growth, the sole source of job creation, and the major contributor to China's still growing role as a global trader. 


Dr. 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.

Dec 23, 2014
U.S.-China Climate Change Announcement: Joanna Lewis & Alex Wang

On November 11, 2014, Presidents Obama and Xi announced the importance of strengthening bilateral cooperation on climate change during the APEC meetings in Beijing, representing the first time, China and the United States have committed to specific targets for reducing greenhouse emissions.


In this podcast program, professors Joanna Lewis and Alex Wang join an on-the-record teleconference moderated by NCUSCR President Steve Orlins, as they discuss the significance of the announcement. Q&A follows the speakers' remarks. The teleconference took place on November 25, 2014.


Joanna Lewis is an associate professor in the Science, Technology and International Affairs (STIA) Program at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Her research focuses on energy, environment and innovation in China, including renewable energy industry development and climate change policy. Dr. Lewis has been a visiting scholar at Tsinghua University, the Wilson Center and the East West Center.


Alex Wang is an assistant professor at the UCLA School of Law.  His primary research and teaching interests are in environmental law, Chinese law, comparative law, and torts.


Prior to 2011, Mr. Wang was a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) based in Beijing, and the founding director of NRDC's China Environmental Law & Governance Project for nearly six years. Professor Wang was a Fulbright Fellow to China from 2004-05. Prior to that, Mr. Wang was an attorney at the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in New York City.

Both Dr. Lewis and Mr. Wang are fellows in the National Committee's Public Intellectuals Program.

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.


Nov 26, 2014
China’s Fourth Plenum, October 2014: Carl Minzner

The Fourth Plenum of the 18th Party Congress in October 2014 focused on the rule of law. On November 3, the National Committee convened a discussion with Carl Minzner, professor at the Fordham University School of Law. In an on-the-record teleconference moderated by NCUSCR President Steve Orlins, the two reflected on the Fourth Plenum and its implications for the development of China's legal system and governance. A question and answer session followed the speakers' remarks.

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 op-eds appearing in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and Christian Science Monitor. Recent academic works include "China's Turn Against Law", in the American Journal of Comparative Law (2011) exploring Chinese authorities' shift against legal reforms of the 1980s and 1990s, and "The Rise and Fall of Chinese Legal Education" in the Fordham International Law Journal, examining both the expansion of Chinese legal education since the late 1990s, and its impending retrenchment.

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.

Nov 12, 2014
Evan Osnos Discusses His New Book on China: Age of Ambition

Author and New Yorker writer Evan Osnos introduces his newest book Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China in a conversation with National Committee on U.S.-China Relations President Stephen Orlins on June 3, 2014 in New York.

From abroad, we often encounter conflicting characterizations of China: a nation of pragmatic plutocrats and ruthlessly dedicated students destined to rule the global economy—or an addled Goliath, riddled with corruption and on the edge of stagnation. What we don’t see is how both powerful and ordinary people are remaking their lives as their country dramatically changes. As the Beijing correspondent for The New YorkerEvan Osnos was on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval. In Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China, he describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party’s struggle to retain control.

Evan Osnos joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2008. He is a correspondent in Washington, D.C. who writes about politics and foreign affairs.

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.

Jun 16, 2014
The Life of Tanxu, 20th Century Chinese Monk: Author James Carter

Author James Carter discusses China’s 20th century history through the remarkable figure at the center of his new book Heart of Buddha, Heart of China: The Life of Tanxu, a Twentieth Century Monk with the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations on May 7, 2014.

The Buddhist monk Tanxu surmounted extraordinary obstacles and foreign occupation to become one of the most prominent religious figures in China. Mingling bold nationalism with his own belief in China’s cultural and social traditions, Tanxu experienced the fall of China’s last empire, descent into occupation and civil war, and its eventual birth as a modern nation. Dr. Carter’s book gives first-person immediacy to one of the most turbulent periods in Chinese history.

James Carter is professor of history at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, and holds a Ph.D. in modern Chinese history from Yale University.

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.

Jun 10, 2014
Chinese Aid to Khmer Rouge - Andrew Mertha

Author Andrew Mertha discusses his latest book “Brothers in Arms: Chinese Aid to the Khmer Rouge, 1975-1979” with the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations on April 29, 2014. This podcast contains audio of a public program and presentation; to view video and slides, please visit

When the Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia in 1975, they inherited a war-ravaged and internationally isolated country. Pol Pot’s government espoused the rhetoric of self-reliance, but Democratic Kampuchea was utterly dependent on Chinese foreign aid and technical assistance to survive. Yet in a markedly asymmetrical relationship between a modernizing, nuclear power and a virtually premodern state, China was largely unable to use its power to influence Cambodian politics or policy.

Dr. Andrew Mertha is associate professor of government at Cornell University.

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.


May 02, 2014
NCUSCR President Stephen Orlins: Public Service

National Committee President Stephen Orlins discusses public service at an event of the China Entrepreneurs Forum before an audience of 1,200 at Harvard University, April 18, 2014.

Stephen Orlins bio:

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.


Apr 24, 2014
China's Leadership from Deng to Xi: Dr. David M. Lampton

A year has passed since China installed a new president, Xi Jinping; he has moved forcefully in several areas but many challenges remain. How will the country move forward as its double-digit rate of economic growth slows? How does it plan to deal with international calls for political reform and cope with an aging and increasingly polarized population? How do China's leaders see the nation's future, including its strategic role in the region and beyond?

In Following the Leader: Ruling China, from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping, David M. Lampton looks back at China's political elite since "reform and opening" began with Deng Xiaoping in the late 1970's. In the book, based on hundreds of interviews, Dr. Lampton explores how China's leaders explain how they intend to move forward, shares their reflections on issues of leadership and policy, and considers the challenges before them.

Dr. David M.  Lampton is George and Sadie Hyman Professor and Director of China Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and chairman of The Asia Foundation. He was president of the National Committee on United States-China Relations in from 1988 to 1997. From May 1998 to May 2006 he also was affiliated with The Nixon Center (now the Center for the National Interest) as the founding director of its Chinese Studies Program. Prior to 1988, Dr. Lampton was founding director of the China Policy Program at the American Enterprise Institute. 

Apr 21, 2014
Stephen Roach: "Unbalanced" U.S.-China Economic Codependency

Economist Stephen Roach discusses his new book “Unbalanced” and U.S.-China economic codependency with President of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations Stephen Orlins on February 13, 2014 in New York.  Dr. Roach highlights the conflicts at the center of current economic tensions and the potential for greater cooperation.  Dr. Roach is a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and School of Management and was formerly chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia.

Mar 03, 2014
Justin Lin: China’s New Economic Structure After Third Plenum

Former World Bank Chief Economist and Senior Vice President Justin Yifu Lin, Professor and Honorary Dean of the National School of Development, Peking University, discusses China’s economic structure and growth and outlines the expected dramatic reforms following the Third Plenum.  Dr. Lin discusses structural reforms, sectors of expected growth and forces affecting China’s reform agenda as it enters 2014. Delivered at the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations’ Forecast for China’s Economy, January 6, 2014 at the New York Stock Exchange. Moderated by Yao Yang, Dean, National School of Development, Peking University. 

Feb 24, 2014
Vice Premier Liu Yandong NYC Cultural Symposium

On the third and last stop  of her U.S. visit, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong was honored at a cultural symposium and luncheon at Carnegie Hall on November 22, co-hosted by the National Committee and the Chinese Consulate General in New York.  The symposium, on Sino-American cultural exchange and cooperation, featured the signing of five cultural cooperation agreements and was attended by a diverse group of American leaders in the fields of the arts and education.

Dec 04, 2013
Blueprint for Reform? China's Third Plenum with Barry Naughton

The Third Plenum of the 18th Party Congress took place from November 9 to 12, 2013,  in Beijing.  At the end of the conference, China unveiled its official reform blueprint for the coming years, including plans to give market competition a decisive role in the economy and to establish a new committee to oversee national security.  Hours after the close of the Plenum on November 12, the National Committee hosted an on-the-record teleconference with Professor Barry Naughton.  Moderated by NCUSCR President Stephen Orlins, Dr. Naughton reflected on the results of the Plenum and its implications for future reforms.  

One of the world's top experts on the Chinese economy, and a long-term analyst of Chinese economic policy, Barry Naughton is a professor at the University of California, San Diego.  He is in Beijing this fall as a visiting scholar at Tsinghua University, which has allowed him to follow preparations for the Third Plenum closely.

Last month, MIT Press published Dr. Naughton's edited volume of essays by Wu Jinglian, China's foremost reform economist, called Wu Jinglian: Voice of Reform in China. 

Nov 18, 2013
"The China Fallacy" author Donald Gross

In “The China Fallacy: How the U.S. Can Benefit from China’s Rise and Avoid Another Cold War,” Donald Gross challenges attempts to contain China and warns against protectionism. Instead, he calls for achieving a stable peace with China and negotiating free trade agreements that will bring greater American prosperity consistent with principles for good Sino-American relations advanced by presidents from Nixon onward. Mr. Gross discusses why and how the United States can improve relations with China at a National Committee program on September 18, 2013 in New York City.

Donald Gross is a specialist in U.S. security and economic policy toward East Asia with many years of experience in government, public affairs, diplomacy and international business. He is now a senior associate at Pacific Forum CSIS, a non-profit foreign policy research institute affiliated with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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.

Oct 11, 2013

China is undergoing the largest migration in human history: Since the mid-1980s, roughly 300 million people have moved from China's countryside into its cities; between now and 2025, its expected that another 300 million Chinese will make their ways in. Without appropriate urban planning, design, and construction focused on sustainable development, the consequences of this massive urbanization could be dire for China and the world.

Jul 26, 2013

When President Richard M. Nixon met with Chairman Mao Zedong in Beijing in February 1972, at his side was a young U.S. diplomat serving as his principal interpreter: Chas W. Freeman, Jr. had started studying Mandarin (and Taiwan’s dialect, Minnan) in Taiwan three years earlier; and he spent much of his long diplomatic career specializing in China, including Taiwan. InInteresting Times, Ambassador Freeman brings a broad and well-informed historical perspective to his analysis of the issues that have confronted the world’s two most powerful countries over the last four decades. 

Jul 26, 2013

Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III in conversation with National Committee President Stephen Orlins. The Admiral addressed U.S.- China relations in the context of the harsh rhetoric from North Korea, the tense situation in the East and South China Seas, and the recent improvement in military-to-military relations between China and the United States.

Jul 26, 2013
The Silk Road in History and Today with author James Millward

In The Silk Road: A Very Short Introduction James Millward explores the historical background against which the silk road flourished, discusses the significance of old-world intercultural exchange, and puts the silk road into the context of world history. Professor Millward discussed the historical significance and contemporary uses of the silk road.

Jul 15, 2013
Barnett-Oksenberg Lecture on Sino-American Relation

Ambassador Jeffrey Bader, John Whitehead Senior Fellow in International Diplomacy, John L. Thornton China Center, The Brookings Institution, and former National Security Council senior director for East Asian affairs, delivered the keynote address at the 2013 Barnett-Oksenberg Lecture on Sino-American Relations to an audience in Shanghai. Now in its eighth year, this annual forum affords its guests the opportunity for a frank and forthright discussion of current and potential issues between the two counties; it is the first and only ongoing lecture series on U.S.-China relations to take place on the Mainland.

Jun 20, 2013
Lee Kuan Yew's Insights with Graham Allison and Robert Blackwill

Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, is known around the world as an innovative leader and respected scholar of global strategy. Lee has been a mentor to every Chinese leader from Deng Xiaoping to Xi Jinping, and a counselor to every U.S. president from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama.  In their new book, Graham Allison and Robert Blackwill distill the essence of Lee Kuan Yew’s visionary thinking about critical issues including the futures of China and the United States, U.S.-China relations, India, and globalization.

Jun 20, 2013
Karla Simon on Civil Society in China

In her new book, Civil Society in China: The Legal Framework from Ancient Times to the “New Reform Era,” Catholic University Professor Karla Simon provides both an historical and contemporary analysis of the legal framework for civil society and citizen participation in China. Professor Simon discussed the historical development of China’s civil society and how social, economic and legal system reforms today will affect China’s civil society going forward.

Jun 20, 2013