The Fairbank Center is a world-leading center on China at Harvard University. Listen to interviews on our "Harvard on China" podcast, recordings from our public events, and audio from our archives.
How Will the War in Ukraine Impact China’s Engagement in Eastern Europe?
Over the past three decades, China has become a major trade partner and investor for Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine. The region is also an important component of the BRI New Eurasian Land Bridge, providing alternative access to Western Europe. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is shaking up China’s plans and prospects in this part of Eurasia. With the closing of borders between Russia and the EU, China’s long-term interests are arguably at risk. The war is also resulting in geopolitical shifts and hardening divisions between the West on the one hand, and China and Russia on the other. This panel discusses China’s response to Russia’s war in Ukraine and the impact that today’s dramatic developments will have on China’s presence in Eastern Europe and its BRI plans.
Professor of China and International Studies at Lancaster University and Academic Director of China Engagement and Director of Lancaster University Confucius Institute
Una Aleksandra Bērziņa-Čerenkova
Head, China Studies Centre, Riga Stradins University; Head, Asia Program, Latvian Institute of International Affairs
Director of the J. Masaryk Centre of International Studies and Associate Professor of International Relations and China Studies at Prague University of Economics and Business
Co-Founder and Director of Minsk-based Center for Strategic and Foreign Policy Studies
Senior Fellow, Program on Central Asia, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies
James Gethyn Evans
Communications Officer, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies; Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, Harvard University
This event is sponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University, and the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute.
The Political Economy of Chinese Finance in the Americas, with Stephen Kaplan
Speaker: Stephen Kaplan, Associate Professor of Political Science and Economic Affairs, George Washington University
Discussant: Laura Alfaro, Warren Alpert Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
This book explores how China’s state-led capitalism affects national level governance. China, as the world’s largest saver, has more than doubled its overseas banking presence since the 2008 global financial crisis. Compared to the West’s private-sector capital, China’s overseas financing is a distinct form of patient capital that marshals the country’s vast domestic financial resources to create commercial opportunities internationally. Its long-term horizon, high risk tolerance, and lack of policy conditionality have allowed developing economies to sidestep the fiscal austerity tendencies of Western markets and multilaterals. Employing a multi-method research strategy that includes statistical tests and extensive field research from across China and Latin America, this book finds that China’s patient capital endows national governments more room to maneuver in formulating their domestic economic policies. This book also evaluates the potential costs of Chinese financing, raising the question of how Chinese lenders will deal with developing nations’ ongoing struggles with debt and dependency.
Globalizing Patient Capital is targeted toward a broad audience within political science, economics, Latin American politics, and Asian studies but is especially relevant for scholars of the political economy of finance, globalization and development, the politics of economic policymaking, and US-China relations. By disaggregating the structure of international finance, this book also offers new insights about globalization and development, demonstrating that the type of international capital (state vs. market) can influence the extent of national-level policy discretion.
This event is part of the China Economy Lecture Series at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University, hosted by Professor Meg Rithmire.
Forecasting Personnel Changes at the 20th Party Congress, with Cheng Li
Speaker: Cheng Li, Director, John L. Thornton China Center, Brookings Institution
Moderator/Discussant: Elizabeth J. Perry, Henry Rosovsky Professor of Government and Director of the opens in a new windowHarvard-Yenching Institute, Harvard University
Cheng Li is the director of the John L. Thornton China Center and a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. He is also a director of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. Li focuses on the transformation of political leaders, generational change, the Chinese middle class, and technological development in China.
Li grew up in Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution. In 1985, he came to the United States, where he received a master’s in Asian studies from the University of California, Berkeley and a doctorate in political science from Princeton University. From 1993 to 1995, he worked in China as a fellow sponsored by the Institute of Current World Affairs in the U.S., observing grassroots changes in his native country. Based on this experience, he published a nationally acclaimed book, “Rediscovering China: Dynamics and Dilemmas of Reform” (1997).
Li is also the author or the editor of numerous books, including “China’s Leaders: The New Generation” (2001), “Bridging Minds Across the Pacific: The Sino-U.S. Educational Exchange 1978-2003” (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” (in Chinese, 2012), “The Political Mapping of China’s Tobacco Industry and Anti-Smoking Campaign” (2012), “China’s Political Development: Chinese and American Perspectives” (2014), “Chinese Politics in the Xi Jinping Era: Reassessing Collective Leadership” (2016), “The Power of Ideas: The Rising Influence of Thinkers and Think Tanks in China” (2017), and “Middle Class Shanghai: Reshaping U.S.-China Engagement” (Spring 2021). He is currently completing a book manuscript with the working title “Xi Jinping’s Protégés: Rising Elite Groups in the Chinese Leadership”. He is the principal editor of the Thornton Center Chinese Thinkers Series published by the Brookings Institution Press.
This event is part of the Critical Issues Confronting China lecture series at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University. This event is introduced and moderated by Professor Elizabeth J. Perry.
Greening East Asia: The Rise of the Eco-Development State
Ashley Esarey, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Alberta
Joanna Lewis, Distinguished Associate Professor of Energy and Environment and Director of the Science, Technology and International Affairs Program (STIA),Georgetown University
Mary Alice Haddad, John E. Andrus Professor of Government, Chair and Professor of East Asian Studies, and Professor of Environmental Studies, Wesleyan University
Stevan Harrell, Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology and School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington
Moderator: Ling Zhang, Boston College
Ashley Esarey is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta. He received his PhD in Political Science from Columbia University and was An Wang Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University. His research concerns political communication in China, elite politics, renewable energy policy, and Taiwanese politics. He was co-author (with Lu Hsiu-lien) of My Fight for a New Taiwan: One Woman’s Journey from Prison to Power. His co-edited books include Taiwan in Dynamic Transition: Nation Building and Democratization and Greening East Asia: The Rise of the Eco-Developmental State, both published by the University of Washington Press in 2020.
Joanna Lewis is Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor of Energy and Environment and Director of the Science, Technology and International Affairs Program (STIA) at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Her research examines political and technical determinants of energy and climate policy, particularly in China. She is the author of the award-winning book Green Innovation in China, and was a Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report.
Mary Alice Haddad is the John E. Andrus Professor of Government, Chair and Professor of East Asian Studies, and Professor of Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University. A Fulbright and Harvard Academy scholar, she is the author of Effective Advocacy: Lessons from East Asia’s Environmentalists (MIT press, forthcoming 2021), Building Democracy in Japan (Cambridge, 2012) and Politics and Volunteering in Japan (Cambridge, 2007), and she co-edits the new Elements in Politics and Society in East Asia series from Cambridge University Press. Her current work concerns environmental politics in East Asia, as well as how urban diplomacy is connecting and transforming policy around the world.
Stevan Harrell retired in 2017 from the Department of Anthropology and the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington. A special issue of Human Ecology on Social-Ecological System Resilience in China, co-edited with Denise M. Glover and Jack Patrick Hayes, will appear in February. He is writing an ecological history of modern China, provisionally entitled either Intensification and its Discontents or The Great Un-Buffering. He also edits the University of Washington Press series, Studies on Ethnic Groups in China.
This event is part of the Environment in Asia public lecture series at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University, organized by Professor Ling Zhang.
Governing the Urban in China and India, with Xuefei Ren
Speaker: Xuefei Ren, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Michigan State University
Xuefei Ren is a comparative urbanist whose work focuses on urban development, governance, architecture, and the built environment in global perspective.She is the author of three award-winning books: Governing the Urban in China and India: Land Grabs, Slum Clearance, and the War on Air Pollution (Princeton University Press, 2020), Urban China (Polity, 2013), and Building Globalization: Transnational Architecture Production in Urban China (University of Chicago Press, 2011). She is currently working on two new projects. The first project examines the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on urban governance in six countries, including China, the United States, Canada, Germany, Brazil and South Africa. The second project compares culture-led revitalization in post-industrial cities, with Detroit, Harbin, and Turin as case studies. Her research has been supported by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies. She has been selected as a Public Intellectual Fellow of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations (2021-2023). She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago.
This lecture is part of the Critical Issues Confronting China lecture series at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University.
Competition, Coexistence, and the Future of US-China Relations, with Evan Medeiros
Speaker: Evan Medeiros, Penner Family Chair in Asian Studies and the Cling Family Senior Fellow in US-China Relations, Georgetown University
Evan S. Medeiros is a professor and Penner family chair in Asia studies in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He has published several books and articles on East Asia, U.S.-China relations, and China’s foreign and national security policies. He regularly provides advice and commentary to global corporations and international media in his current role as Senior Advisor with The Asia Group.
Dr. Medeiros’ background is a unique blend of regional expertise and government experience. He served for six years on the staff of the National Security Council as director for China, Taiwan, and Mongolia and then as special assistant to the president and senior director for Asia. In the latter role, Dr. Medeiros was President Barack Obama’s top advisor on the Asia-Pacific and was responsible for coordinating U.S. policy toward the Asia-Pacific across areas of diplomacy, defense policy, economic policy, and intelligence. Prior to joining the White House, Medeiros worked for seven years as a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. From 2007 to 2008, he also served as policy advisor to Secretary Hank Paulson Jr., working on the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue at the U.S. Department of Treasury.
Dr. Medeiros holds a Ph.D. in international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science, an M.Phil in international relations from the University of Cambridge, an M.A. in China studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, and a B.A. in analytic philosophy from Bates College.
Dr. Medeiros is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, a member of the International Advisory Board of Cambridge University’s Centre for Geopolitics, and a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is married to Bernadette Meehan, and they have a daughter, Amelia.
This lecture is the 2021 Annual Neuhauser Lecture, presented at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University.
Hit or miss quality
Two of every five recordings are filled with ‘umm’s and ‘ahh’s by awkward speakers, or low audio quality that cuts out intermittently (and occasionally even ramps up unexpectedly! Quite the shock). Fortunately, the problematic recordings are obvious within the first two minutes, so I know to stop listening right away.