13 episodes

The transition between administrations in Washington, D.C., and the global effort to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic provide the opportunity to reassess U.S.-China relations and whether our two nations might reclaim common ground for building a more productive partnership. This podcast—a public extension of Drake University Professor David Skidmore’s Spring 2021 course on U.S.-China relations—will gather insights from diplomats, scholars, journalists, businesspeople, and others involved in the affairs of both nations. We’ll analyze sources of conflict as well as opportunities for cooperation.

U.S.-China: Searching for Common Ground David Skidmore and Kyle Munson

    • Government
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

The transition between administrations in Washington, D.C., and the global effort to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic provide the opportunity to reassess U.S.-China relations and whether our two nations might reclaim common ground for building a more productive partnership. This podcast—a public extension of Drake University Professor David Skidmore’s Spring 2021 course on U.S.-China relations—will gather insights from diplomats, scholars, journalists, businesspeople, and others involved in the affairs of both nations. We’ll analyze sources of conflict as well as opportunities for cooperation.

    The Future: Student Voices

    The Future: Student Voices

    The topic: As a final wrap-up episode we look back at everything we've heard throughout the series and what the collective wisdom suggests for the future of U.S.-China relations.



    Our guests: It's time to give the students more of a voice in this discussion. What have they remembered most from all our conversations with U.S.-China watchers? What are their hopes and fears for this crucial bilateral relationship? The 18 students of Professor David Skidmore's class weigh in with a variety of heartfelt insight.






    The series: David Skidmore and Kyle Munson produced this podcast series in conjunction with Skidmore's Spring 2021 U.S.-China international relations course at Drake University.



    Your hosts:



    David Skidmore is a Professor of Political Science at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he has taught since 1989. Skidmore’s teaching and research focuses on U.S. foreign policy and U.S.-China relations. During the 1996-97 academic year, he taught at the Johns Hopkins-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China. He also served as a Fulbright Scholar based at the University of Hong Kong in 2010-2011. He is past Director of the Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship (2002-2017) and the Nelson Institute for Diplomacy and International Affairs (2012-2017), both at Drake University. Skidmore is author, co-author or editor of six books including a monograph titled The Unilateralist Temptation in American Foreign Policy (Routledge, 2011), and has published numerous articles or chapters in various academic journals and books. His most recent research focuses on China’s Belt and Road Initiative. His editorial writing has appeared in Fortune, U.S. News and World Report, Salon, The Conversation, the Diplomat, Global Times and the Des Moines Register.



    Kyle Munson is a journalist, writer, podcaster, and content strategist who currently works in content marketing and financial services. He previously spent 24 years with The Des Moines Register/Gannett in a variety of roles, including eight years as columnist. In 2017 he was awarded a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to report on U.S.-China relations early in the Trump administration as Amb. Terry Branstad began his tenure in Beijing. That resulted in the project “Iowa in the Heart of China.” Munson also reported on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s 2012 visit to Iowa. He has volunteered and served as a bo

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    • 46 min
    Podcasting: Matt Sheehan and Holly He

    Podcasting: Matt Sheehan and Holly He

    The topic: Producing any podcast series is a journey featuring plenty of twists and turns. And producing a series on U.S.-China relations can be especially challenging considering such a vast intertwined history to be addressed, on top of all the modern divergent views, outright disputes, and key players. As we near the end of our own podcast series, “Searching for Common Ground,” Professor David Skidmore and I thought it made sense to compare notes with another duo who recently published their own U.S.-China podcast just over a year ago.



    Our guests: Matt Sheehan and Holly He are the team behind “Heartland Mainland: The Iowa China Podcast,” a 2020 production of the Chicago-based Paulson Institute’s think tank, MacroPolo. Matt is a nonresident fellow at MacroPolo who has served as a foreign correspondent in China and previously lived on the mainland for more than five years. He researches and writes on the Sino-U.S. technology relationship and ties between California and China. He grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, studied political science at Stanford, and in 2018 was shortlisted for the Young China Watcher of the Year Award. In 2019 he published “The Transpacific Experiment,” a book exploring the pre-pandemic ties and tensions between Silicon Valley and China. Holly is a research associate at MacroPolo, where she also works in web analytics and multimedia production. She previously worked as a multimedia fellow for the Texas Tribune, scripted and edited documentaries for CNN International, and worked with the Kindling Group in Chicago. She graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.



    Full episode transcript: https://david-skidmore.medium.com/kyle-munson-and-david-skidmore-interview-with-matt-sheehan-and-holly-he-961eb903d708.






    The series: David Skidmore and Kyle Munson produced this podcast series in conjunction with Skidmore's Spring 2021 U.S.-China international relations course at Drake University.



    Your hosts:



    David Skidmore is a Professor of Political Science at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he has taught since 1989. Skidmore’s teaching and research focuses on U.S. foreign policy and U.S.-China relations. During the 1996-97 academic year, he taught at the Johns Hopkins-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China. He also served as a Fulbright Scholar based at the University of Hong Kong in 2010-2011. He is past Director of the Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship (2002-2017) and the Nelson Institute for Diplomacy and International Affairs (2012-2017), both at Drake University. Skidmore is author, co-author or editor of six books including a monograph titled The Unilateralist Temptation in American Foreign Policy (Routledge, 2011), and has published numerous articles or chapters in various academic journals and books. His most recent research focuses on China’s Belt and Road Initiative. His editorial writing has appeared in Fortune, U.S. News and World Report, Salon, The Conversation, the Diplomat, Global Times and the Des Moines Register.



    Kyle Munson is a journalist, writer, podcaster, and content strategist who currently works in content marketing and financial services. He previously spent 24 years with The Des Moines Register/Gannett in a variety of roles, including eight years as columnist. In 2017 he was awarded a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to report on U.S.-China relations early in the Trump administration as Amb. Terry Branstad began his tenure in Beijing. That resulted in the project “Iowa in the Heart of China.” Munson also reported on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s 2012 visit to Iowa. He has volunteered and served as a board member w

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    • 53 min
    Business: Kit Spangler

    Business: Kit Spangler

    The topic: Often in this podcast series we focus on the big picture: Taiwan’s relationship to the Mainland, the contrasting strategies of U.S. presidents in tackling trade, or the massive influence of technological expansion. But what about the details of playing out international relations on the ground in China, as a U.S. businessperson with decades of experience? What about a frontline view of the economic and cultural forces shaping the bilateral relationship while simultaneously reflecting its larger themes? What cues can we take from this history of everyday business and other interaction between our two countries that may identify common ground or a productive path forward despite a widening political divide?



    Our guest: Business and travel between the U.S. and China has been Kit Spangler’s life. He’s a man of two languages and cultures who only this year retired from a career focused on the bilateral relationship. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, most recently he worked as China strategy and business development director for Diamond V, a company (and Cargill subsidiary) producing animal feed additives to improve livestock health and nutrition. He previously worked in a series of roles that focused on the agricultural trade—specifically dairy and livestock. He began his journey as an Iowa farmer who studied Chinese language and culture to expand his career options in the wake of the 1980s farm crisis. He has traveled throughout much of China and brings to this conversation a wealth of firsthand anecdotes about U.S.-China business relationships, agriculture, food security, trade, and citizen diplomacy.



    Full episode transcript: https://david-skidmore.medium.com/fri-4-9-3-34pm-40-32-b15e8668e9a7.



    The series: David Skidmore and Kyle Munson produced this podcast series in conjunction with Skidmore's Spring 2021 U.S.-China international relations course at Drake University.



    Your hosts:



    David Skidmore is a Professor of Political Science at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he has taught since 1989. Skidmore’s teaching and research focuses on U.S. foreign policy and U.S.-China relations. During the 1996-97 academic year, he taught at the Johns Hopkins-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China. He also served as a Fulbright Scholar based at the University of Hong Kong in 2010-2011. He is past Director of the Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship (2002-2017) and the Nelson Institute for Diplomacy and International Affairs (2012-2017), both at Drake University. Skidmore is author, co-author or editor of six books including a monograph titled The Unilateralist Temptation in American Foreign Policy (Routledge, 2011), and has published numerous articles or chapters in various academic journals and books. His most recent research focuses on China’s Belt and Road Initiative. His editorial writing has appeared in Fortune, U.S. News and World Report, Salon, The Conversation, the Diplomat, Global Times and the Des Moines Register.



    Kyle Munson is a journalist, writer, podcaster, and content strategist who currently works in content marketing and financial services. He previously spent 24 years with The Des Moines Register/Gannett in a variety of roles, including eight years as columnist. In 2017 he was awarded a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to report on U.S.-China relations early in the Trump administration as Amb. Terry Branstad began his tenure in Beijing. That resulted in the project “Iowa in the Heart of China.” Munson also reported on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s 2012 visit to Iowa. He has volunteered and served as a board member with Iowa Sister States, a nonprofit

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    • 41 min
    Biden and the pandemic: Thomas Wright of Brookings

    Biden and the pandemic: Thomas Wright of Brookings

    The topic: How will--and should--the Biden administration go about fashioning its policies across the range of issues that make up U.S.-China relations? Should we expect major shifts compared to the approach of the Trump presidency? What can we glean from the views and backgrounds of Biden's key advisers? How might domestic politics impact policy-making toward China? Just what sort of challenge does China present to the U.S. and our allies? 



    Our guest: Thomas Wright is the director of the Center on the United States and Europe and a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution. He's also a contributing writer for the Atlantic and a nonresident fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy. He's the author of "All Measures Short of War: The Contest for the 21st Century and the Future of American Power," which was published by Yale University Press in May 2017. His second book, "Aftershocks: Pandemic Politics and the End of the Old International Order," co-authored with Colin Kahl, will be published in 2021 by St. Martin's Press. Wright also works on U.S.l foreign policy, great power competition, the European Union, Brexit, and economic interdependence.



    Full episode transcript: https://david-skidmore.medium.com/kyle-munson-and-david-skidmore-interview-with-thomas-wright-3e991bd67de7.



    The series: David Skidmore and Kyle Munson produced this podcast series in conjunction with Skidmore's Spring 2021 U.S.-China international relations course at Drake University.



    Your hosts:



    David Skidmore is a Professor of Political Science at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he has taught since 1989. Skidmore’s teaching and research focuses on U.S. foreign policy and U.S.-China relations. During the 1996-97 academic year, he taught at the Johns Hopkins-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China. He also served as a Fulbright Scholar based at the University of Hong Kong in 2010-2011. He is past Director of the Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship (2002-2017) and the Nelson Institute for Diplomacy and International Affairs (2012-2017), both at Drake University. Skidmore is author, co-author or editor of six books including a monograph titled The Unilateralist Temptation in American Foreign Policy (Routledge, 2011), and has published numerous articles or chapters in various academic journals and books. His most recent research focuses on China’s Belt and Road Initiative. His editorial writing has appeared in Fortune, U.S. News and World Report, Salon, The Conversation, the Diplomat, Global Times and the Des Moines Register.



    Kyle Munson is a journalist, writer, podcaster, and content strategist who currently works in content marketing and financial services. He previously spent 24 years with The Des Moines Register/Gannett in a variety of roles, including eight years as columnist. In 2017 he was awarded a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to report on U.S.-China relations early in the Trump administration as Amb. Terry Branstad began his tenure in Beijing. That resulted in the project “Iowa in the Heart of China.” Munson also reported on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s 2012 visit to Iowa. He has volunteered and served as a board member with Iowa Sister States, a nonprofit dedicated to citizen diplomacy. He currently chairs the board of the Western Iowa Journalism Foundation.


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    • 48 min
    Citizen diplomacy: Kim Heidemann

    Citizen diplomacy: Kim Heidemann

    The topic: U.S.-China relations rest upon more than the formalized chess moves of presidents and diplomats. Far greater in scope and depth are the people-to-people exchanges in business, education, arts and culture, journalism, nonprofits, tourism, and so much more. These societal ties provide ballast for U.S.-China relations even when the political situation is at its most tense. Iowa's people-to-people connections with China are particularly strong and extend back nearly half a century, continuing a tradition in which Iowa also helped to play a moderating force with the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. How have these connections been built and sustained over time? What forms do they take? How do Iowans and their Chinese counterparts benefit from such ties? 



    Our guest: Kim Heidemann is an international programming consultant, adjunct instructor at Des Moines Area Community College, staff member with the Republic of Kosovo Consulate in Des Moines, and an expert administrator in citizen diplomacy. During her 15 years with Iowa Sister States, she traveled extensively and helped to shape the grassroots ties between Iowa and several partner nations, including China's Hebei province, as "old friend" Xi Jinping returned to visit in 2012, triggering a heightened phase of trade and cultural exchange between the two nations.



    Full episode transcript: https://david-skidmore.medium.com/kyle-munson-and-david-skidmore-interview-with-kim-heidemann-bfefce55cca5.



    The series: David Skidmore and Kyle Munson produced this podcast series in conjunction with Skidmore's Spring 2021 U.S.-China international relations course at Drake University.



    Your hosts:



    David Skidmore is a Professor of Political Science at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he has taught since 1989. Skidmore’s teaching and research focuses on U.S. foreign policy and U.S.-China relations. During the 1996-97 academic year, he taught at the Johns Hopkins-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China. He also served as a Fulbright Scholar based at the University of Hong Kong in 2010-2011. He is past Director of the Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship (2002-2017) and the Nelson Institute for Diplomacy and International Affairs (2012-2017), both at Drake University. Skidmore is author, co-author or editor of six books including a monograph titled The Unilateralist Temptation in American Foreign Policy (Routledge, 2011), and has published numerous articles or chapters in various academic journals and books. His most recent research focuses on China’s Belt and Road Initiative. His editorial writing has appeared in Fortune, U.S. News and World Report, Salon, The Conversation, the Diplomat, Global Times and the Des Moines Register.



    Kyle Munson is a journalist, writer, podcaster, and content strategist who currently works in content marketing and financial services. He previously spent 24 years with The Des Moines Register/Gannett in a variety of roles, including eight years as columnist. In 2017 he was awarded a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to report on U.S.-China relations early in the Trump administration as Amb. Terry Branstad began his tenure in Beijing. That resulted in the project “Iowa in the Heart of China.” Munson also reported on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s 2012 visit to Iowa. He has volunteered and served as a board member with Iowa Sister States, a nonprofit dedicated to citizen diplomacy. He currently chairs the board of the Western Iowa Journalism Foundation.


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    • 43 min
    Tech: Professor Tom Lairson of Rollins College

    Tech: Professor Tom Lairson of Rollins College

    The topic: Huawei, ZTE, TikTok, WeChat: The list of Chinese high-tech companies that have been characterized as threats to American national security continues to grow. But how real are such purported threats? And are efforts to digitally "decouple" from China realistic? Are there alternative ways to address security concerns? 



    Our guest: Tom Lairson is emeritus professor of political science and international business at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. Tom received his doctorate in political science and a bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky. He was also the first Ford Foundation professor of international relations at the Institute for International Relations in Hanoi, Vietnam, and founder of the Rollins in Shanghai program.



    Full background on this episode: https://medium.com/p/b68039dab91.



    The series: David Skidmore and Kyle Munson produced this podcast series in conjunction with Skidmore's Spring 2021 U.S.-China international relations course at Drake University.



    Your hosts:



    David Skidmore is a Professor of Political Science at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he has taught since 1989. Skidmore’s teaching and research focuses on U.S. foreign policy and U.S.-China relations. During the 1996-97 academic year, he taught at the Johns Hopkins-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China. He also served as a Fulbright Scholar based at the University of Hong Kong in 2010-2011. He is past Director of the Principal Financial Group Center for Global Citizenship (2002-2017) and the Nelson Institute for Diplomacy and International Affairs (2012-2017), both at Drake University. Skidmore is author, co-author or editor of six books including a monograph titled The Unilateralist Temptation in American Foreign Policy (Routledge, 2011), and has published numerous articles or chapters in various academic journals and books. His most recent research focuses on China’s Belt and Road Initiative. His editorial writing has appeared in Fortune, U.S. News and World Report, Salon, The Conversation, the Diplomat, Global Times and the Des Moines Register.



    Kyle Munson is a journalist, writer, podcaster, and content strategist who currently works in content marketing and financial services. He previously spent 24 years with The Des Moines Register/Gannett in a variety of roles, including eight years as columnist. In 2017 he was awarded a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to report on U.S.-China relations early in the Trump administration as Amb. Terry Branstad began his tenure in Beijing. That resulted in the project “Iowa in the Heart of China.” Munson also reported on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s 2012 visit to Iowa. He has volunteered and served as a board member with Iowa Sister States, a nonprofit dedicated to citizen diplomacy. He currently chairs the board of the Western Iowa Journalism Foundation.


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    • 43 min

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