This series features brief discussions with leading China experts on a range of issues in the U.S.-China relationship, including domestic politics, foreign policy, economics, security, culture, the environment, and areas of global concern. For more interviews, videos, and links to events, visit our website: www.ncuscr.org.
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.
North Korea's Missile Tests: What Do They Mean? | Sue Mi Terry
President Biden will visit Seoul in May for his first meeting with newly-elected South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, as both countries face increasing mutual concerns, including North Korea's first intercontinental ballistic missile launch since 2017 in March, followed by the April test of a new tactical guided weapon to boost nuclear capability. How will these events influence Korea-China-U.S. Relations? What are the effects of Russia's invasion of Ukraine? What should we expect from President Biden's visit to Seoul? Sue Mi Terry discusses North Korea’s recent weapons tests, China’s response, and the implications for U.S.-China relations during an interview conducted on April 29, 2022.
Avoidable War: Dangers of a Catastrophic Conflict between the U.S. & Xi Jinping's China | Kevin Rudd
A war between China and the United States would be catastrophic, but, unfortunately, is no longer unthinkable. In "The Avoidable War," Kevin Rudd demystifies the actions of both sides, describing how the countries can coexist without betraying their core interests.
According to Mr. Rudd, a former Australian prime minister who has studied, lived in, and worked with China for more than forty years, the relationship between the United States and China is especially volatile. It sits atop cultural misunderstanding, historical grievance, and ideological incompatibility. No other nations are so quick to offend and be offended; the capacity for either country to cross a critical line is growing rapidly.
Mr. Rudd discusses how the United States and China can find a way to co-exist without compromising their core interests through “managed strategic competition” in an interview conducted on April 25, 2022.
U.S.-China Climate Finance Cooperation: Can We Avoid the Carbon Tsunami? | Kelly Sims Gallagher
The United States and China, as the world’s two largest economies and carbon emitters, have an opportunity to accelerate financing for low-carbon technologies, particularly in developing countries. One promising mechanism for action is climate finance; nevertheless, experts estimate an annual shortfall of $850 billion in climate-related financing in developing markets, which need it most.
In an interview conducted on April 6, 2022, Kelly Sims Gallagher discusses the importance of U.S.-China cooperation in accelerating global climate finance.
Chinese Media Coverage of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine | Xiaoyu Pu, Maria Repnikova
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the Chinese government has tried to walk a fine line of neutrality. It has abstained on UN resolutions and not condemned the Russian invasion or the slaughter of civilians. On the other hand, it has restated its support of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the UN Charter. State owned media and social media have often repeated Russia’s propaganda to the great concern of the U.S. and European governments.
Xiaoyu Pu and Maria Repnikova discuss China’s international and domestic media coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the system behind this coverage, and its implications for U.S.-China relations during an interview conducted on April 18, 2022.
Gang Chen’s Story and the End of the China Initiative
On January 20, 2022, a federal court in Boston dismissed charges against Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineering professor Gang Chen, who had been accused of concealing his affiliations with Chinese government institutions. The dropping of all charges against Dr. Chen was a major setback for the China Initiative, a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) program meant to combat economic espionage and intellectual property theft conducted by the Chinese government. Some argue that the DOJ’s efforts to counter Chinese national security threats led to racial profiling and created a climate of fear among academics and researchers of Chinese descent in the United States. On February 23, 2022, the DOJ announced that it had terminated the China Initiative.
In an interview conducted on April 13, 2022, Professor Gang Chen talks about his case and his reaction to the end of the China Initiative, what it means to him and the broader scientific community.
Gang Chen is the Carl Richard Soderberg Professor of power engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He served as the head of the MIT department of mechanical engineering from 2013 to 2018. His research interests center on nanoscale thermal transport and energy conversion phenomena and their applications in energy storage and conversion, thermal management, and water treatment and desalination. He has received numerous awards, including the National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, an American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ (ASME) Heat Transfer Memorial Award, an ASME Frank Kreith Award in Energy, and a Nukiyama Memorial Award by the Japan Heat Transfer Society, among others. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Physical Society, the ASME, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is an academician of Academia Sinica, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.
Ping Pong Diplomacy’s 50-year Legacy: The Courtside View with Jan Berris
On April 12, 1972, the Chinese national ping pong team arrived in Detroit, the first unofficial visitors from the People’s Republic of China to the United States since the establishment of the PRC in 1949. One of the many excited people waiting on the tarmac to welcome the team was Jan Berris – at that time a program associate with the National Committee, now its vice president.
Fifty years later, on April 12, 2022, Jan Berris shared stories of the historic process – from the funny to the momentous – and reflected on the enduring legacy of Ping Pong Diplomacy on U.S.-China relations.
Jan Berris has been with the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations since 1971 – beginning as program associate, moving on to program director, and vice president. She is responsible for overseeing all program activities of the Committee: this includes the preparation and execution of hundreds of Chinese delegations to the United States, American delegations to China, as well as NCUSCR’s Track II programs, and other flagship programs. Given her familiarity with the Chinese media at the time, the U.S. State Department asked her to coordinate Chinese press activities during Premier Deng Xiaoping’s February 1979 visit to the United States, and she has been the lead for the Committee’s hosting of major welcoming events for all of the most senior Chinese leaders.
Prior to joining the Committee, Ms. Berris was a foreign service officer, stationed in Hong Kong and Washington, D.C. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan.