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In-depth conversations on Chinese politics, economics, law, and society with faculty, visitors, and guest speakers at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for the Study of Contemporary China. Hosted by CSCC Research Scholar Neysun Mahboubi. For more information on the Center, visit https://cscc.sas.upenn.edu

UPenn Center for the Study of Contemporary China University of Pennsylvania

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In-depth conversations on Chinese politics, economics, law, and society with faculty, visitors, and guest speakers at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for the Study of Contemporary China. Hosted by CSCC Research Scholar Neysun Mahboubi. For more information on the Center, visit https://cscc.sas.upenn.edu

    Reporting From a Rising China – Edward Wong

    Reporting From a Rising China – Edward Wong

    Western media presence in China has been vastly reduced since February 2020, the consequence both of political tensions and the Covid-19 pandemic. As the Chinese government finally begins to dismantle its “zero-Covid” policy in December 2022, the prospect of Western journalists returning to on-the-ground reporting from China appears more promising than it has in years. In this episode, Neysun Mahboubi discusses with Edward Wong, who reported from China for The New York Times from 2008-2016 and served as Beijing bureau chief, the narrative-defining stories he covered in those years, which so much have shaped the present moment in China’s governance and relations with the outside world. Recorded on October 16, 2019, the conversation highlights the unique and valuable “critical empathy” foreign correspondents can offer when deeply immersed in China.
    Edward Wong is a diplomatic correspondent for The New York Times, who reports on foreign policy from Washington, D.C. In 23 years at the Times, he has spent 13 years abroad, filing dispatches from dozens of countries, including North Korea, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia. He covered the Iraq War, based in Baghdad, from 2003 to 2007 and reported from China, based in Beijing, from 2008 to 2016. As Beijing bureau chief, he ran the Times’ largest overseas operation. Wong has been a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and done fellowships at the Belfer Center of Harvard Kennedy School and at the Wilson Center in Washington. He has taught international reporting as a visiting professor at Princeton University and U.C. Berkeley. Wong received a Livingston Award for his coverage of the Iraq War and was on a team from the Times’ Baghdad Bureau that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting. He has two awards from the Society of Publishers in Asia for coverage of China. He graduated from the University of Virginia and U.C. Berkeley, and studied Mandarin Chinese at the Beijing Language and Culture University, Taiwan University, and Middlebury College. 
    Sound engineering: Neysun Mahboubi
    Music credit: "Salt" by Poppy Ackroyd, follow her at http://poppyackroyd.com

    • 2 Std 22 Min.
    U.S. Human Rights Policy Towards China – Amy Gadsden

    U.S. Human Rights Policy Towards China – Amy Gadsden

    While the Chinese government’s actions in Xinjiang and Hong Kong lately have been the subject of particular scrutiny from U.S. policymakers, systematic attention to China’s human rights practices, more broadly, has been a consistent feature of U.S. policy towards China in recent decades, through successive Democratic and Republican administrations. In this episode, Neysun Mahboubi discusses with Amy Gadsden, a leading expert on human rights in China, the background to why human rights came to be such a major factor in U.S.-China relations, and how this portfolio of issues does (and should) relate to other policy considerations. The episode was recorded on August 16, 2019. Amy Gadsden is Associate Vice Provost for Global Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania, in which capacity she works with Penn’s schools and centers to develop and implement strategies to increase Penn’s global engagement both on campus and overseas, including by advancing Penn’s activities with respect to China. Previously, she served as Associate Dean for International and Strategic Initiatives at Penn Law School, where she built a comprehensive program aimed at expanding the Law School’s global curriculum. As an adjunct faculty member, Dr. Gadsden has taught seminars in international human rights and the rule of law. Before coming to Penn, she served as Special Advisor for China at the U.S. Department of State, and before that she served as China Director for the International Republican Institute. She has published widely on democracy and human rights in China, documenting legal and civil society reform, and was one of the first American scholars to observe and write about grassroots elections in China in the mid-1990s. Dr. Gadsden holds a Ph.D in Qing legal history from the University of Pennsylvania. 
    Sound engineering: Kaiser Kuo and Neysun Mahboubi
    Music credit: "Salt" by Poppy Ackroyd, follow her at http://poppyackroyd.com

    • 1 Std. 54 Min.
    China's Overseas NGO Law – Mark Sidel

    China's Overseas NGO Law – Mark Sidel

    In recent years, and especially under the administration of Xi Jinping, the Chinese government has “securitized” all manner of relationships between its citizens and outsiders. An important marker of this trend, which continues to generate intense concern, was the 2016 passage of the Overseas NGO Law, a new legal framework for managing the domestic Chinese operations of nonprofit and educational institutions based abroad. In this episode, Neysun Mahboubi discusses with Mark Sidel, one of the preeminent authorities on the nonprofit sector and philanthropy in China, why and how the Overseas NGO Law was drafted, and how to situate the law in the larger story of China’s engagement with foreign nonprofit and educational institutions from the late Maoist period onward. The episode was recorded on April 26, 2019.
    Mark Sidel is the Doyle-Bascom Professor of Law and Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Previously, he served as Professor of Law at the University of Iowa. He has published widely on the nonprofit sector and philanthropy (with a focus on Asia and the United States), and is a member of the editorial or editorial advisory boards of multiple journals in those fields. In addition to his academic work, he has extensive experience in international philanthropic and funding communities. He first served on the Ford Foundation team that established the Foundation's office in China, and as the Foundation's first program officer for law, legal reform, and nonprofit organizations based in China (Beijing), in the late 1980s. In the early and mid-1990s, he developed and managed the Ford Foundation's programs in Vietnam. Later he developed and managed the regional program on philanthropy and the nonprofit sector for the Ford Foundation in South Asia (New Delhi). He now serves as consultant for Asia at the Washington-based International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, focusing on China, India and Vietnam.
    Sound engineering: Neysun Mahboubi
    Music credit: "Salt" by Poppy Ackroyd, follow her at http://poppyackroyd.com

    • 2 Std 8 Min.
    China's Rise and IR Theory – Yan Xuetong

    China's Rise and IR Theory – Yan Xuetong

    No foreign policy topic currently garners more attention in the United States than its relationship with China, especially in light of China’s rise over the past few decades as an economic, technological, military, and strategic power and rival.  In this episode, Neysun Mahboubi discusses with Yan Xuetong, one of China’s leading experts on international relations, how China’s rise, and its ever more complex and fraught relationship with the United States, look from a domestic Chinese perspective, and through the lens of Professor Yan’s distinctive work on IR theory.  The episode was recorded on April 20, 2019.
    Yan Xuetong is Dean of the Institute for International Relations at Tsinghua University, in Beijing, and Senior Advisor to the Chinese Journal of International Politics.  He also serves as President of the Management Board of Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy.  He is a prolific and influential author, and his recent books include Ancient Chinese Thought, Modern Chinese Power (Princeton, 2011) and Leadership and the Rise of Great Powers (Princeton, 2019).  Previously, he served for many years as a research fellow of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, the premier government-connected research institute on international affairs in China.  He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.
    Sound engineering: Neysun Mahboubi
    Music credit: "Salt" by Poppy Ackroyd, follow her at http://poppyackroyd.com

    • 1 Std. 22 Min.
    China’s Domestic Security Under Xi Jinping – Sheena Chestnut Greitens

    China’s Domestic Security Under Xi Jinping – Sheena Chestnut Greitens

    One of the hallmarks of Xi Jinping’s tenure as China’s leader, since 2012, has been the notable strengthening of the state’s coercive architecture, through which it endeavors to control Chinese society.  In particular, Xi Jinping’s administration has substantially restructured the legal and institutional frameworks underpinning China’s domestic security, while also tightening central discipline over security personnel, and pioneering new technology-based methods for surveillance and social control.  In this episode, Neysun Mahboubi discusses with Sheena Chestnut Greitens, a leading expert on the politics of domestic security in Asian countries, how ideas about domestic security have developed in China under CCP rule, what are the institutions that embody them, and where the future may lead for China’s internal security–a discussion made all the more relevant today, when the Chinese state appears to be making use of the COVID-19 crisis to push its methods of social control even further afield.  The episode was recorded on May 3, 2019.
    In August 2020, Sheena Chestnut Greitens will become an associate professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin, where she will also serve as a Faculty Fellow with the Clements Center for National Security, and a Distinguished Scholar at the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law.  Her work focuses on East Asia, authoritarian politics, and American national security policy.  She is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, an adjunct fellow with the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and a member of the Digital Freedom Forum at the Center for a New American Security.  From 2015 to 2020, Greitens was an assistant professor of political science at the University of Missouri, and co-director of the University's Institute for Korean Studies.  Her first book, Dictators and their Secret Police: Coercive Institutions and State Violence (Cambridge, 2016) received the 2017 Best Book Award from both the International Studies Association and the Comparative Democratization Section of the American Political Science Association.  She is currently working on two main research projects: one on China's internal security policies and their implications for China in the world, and another on authoritarian diasporas, particularly focused on North Korea.  She is active on Twitter, where you can follow her @SheenaGreitens
    Sound engineering: Neysun Mahboubi
    Music credit: "Salt" by Poppy Ackroyd, follow her at http://poppyackroyd.com

    • 2 Std 6 Min.
    Unpacking the Present Crisis in US-China Relations – Ryan Hass

    Unpacking the Present Crisis in US-China Relations – Ryan Hass

    Whatever the likelihood or implications of a potential truce in the US-China trade war, it seems clear that the overall relationship between the two countries has lately entered into a new, more harder-edged phase, defined by competition and perhaps even conflict in multiple areas: economic, technological, ideological, strategic, and conceivably military as well.  In the United States, heated debates over US-China relations look not just to the present or future, but reach back to past attitudes and choices as well, even questioning the basic wisdom of the past 40 years of engagement with China in the first place.  In this episode, Neysun Mahboubi discusses with Brookings fellow, and former Obama White House official, Ryan Hass the present landscape in US-China relations, how it has been shaped by prior US and Chinese administrations, and what the current administrations’ respective approaches may deliver.  The episode was recorded on May 2, 2019.
    Ryan Hass is a fellow and the Michael H. Armacost Chair in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution, where he holds joint appointments to the John L. Thornton China Center and the Center for East Asia Policy Studies.  He is also a non-resident fellow at the Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School.  From 2013 to 2017, he served as Director for China, Taiwan and Mongolia at the National Security Council, under President Obama.  Previously, Hass served as a Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, where he earned the State Department Director General’s Award for Impact and Originality in Reporting.  He also has served at the U.S. Embassies in Seoul and in Ulaanbaatar, and domestically in the State Department’s Offices of Taiwan Coordination and Korean Affairs, respectively.  He received multiple Superior Honor and Meritorious Honor commendations during his 15-year tenure in the Foreign Service.  At Brookings, Hass focuses his research and writing on enhancing policy development on the pressing political, economic, and security challenges facing the United States in East Asia.  You can follow him @ryanl_hass.
    Sound engineering: Shani Aviram and Neysun Mahboubi
    Music credit: "Salt" by Poppy Ackroyd, follow her at http://poppyackroyd.com

    • 1 Std. 21 Min.

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