2016 China Forum

In a speech given one year ago at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry described the U.S.-China relations as “the most consequential in the world today”. However, with China entering transition period, the already capricious relationship between the two powers have become increasingly intriguing. With tougher diplomatic stance and increased involvement in international affairs, China is speculated to possess the potential to create new world order that might run parallel to that created by the U.S., thus threatening its position as the global hegemon. The downward economic pressure on the world’s largest exporter and trading nation also creates turbulence in the global economy. Nevertheless, more global cooperation between the two powers is testified, as in the case of anti-terrorism, combating climate change, and Korean denuclearization. The key to properly handling U.S.-China relations lies in how the two countries could avoid strategic rivalry between an emerging power and an existing power.

One key step towards this goal is to foster mutual understanding between students of the two nations. As Madame Fu Ying, former Vice Minister of the Foreign Ministry of the People’s Republic of China, remarked, “While China has very much grown, the knowledge and understanding of China in the outside world, especially in Western countries, hasn’t quite kept up.” The same problem exists for the Chinese conceptions of U.S. On the one hand, China’s foreign policy transition has triggered the formation of “China Threat” theories, economic transition has caused mistrust in Chinese market, and environmental transition has received widespread doubt. On the other hand, the U.S. foreign policies are widely perceived as plotted containments by Chinese students and scholars. This forum intends to invite scholars, policy makers, and professionals worldwide who are engaged in U.S.-China interaction to analyze, evaluate, and predict U.S.-China relations in a critical transition period. We aim to present perspectives, believes, and incentives of the multiple sides not only to obtain a balanced view of the present complex relations, but also to draw implications on worldwide stakeholders.

Topic: The challenges of Financial Markets and the Lessons of 2015


John S. (Jack) Wadsworth

John S. (Jack) Wadsworth

Advisory Director of Morgan Stanley
Honorary Chairman of Morgan
Stanley Asia

Topic: The Future of Two Giants: Pressures, Opportunities, and Challenges

Ever since the Reform and Opening Up, many of the world’s most prestigious observers have predicted the imminent collapse of Chinese economy, and recently, the consecutive turmoil it might cast on the U.S. market. The past six months have seen alarming signals. Beholding the stock market crash, economic growth slowdown, and vicious debt cycle, London based Haitong Research group voiced a widespread concern: “So far, China in 2016 appears to be everyone’s worst nightmare come true.” Nevertheless, with the establishment of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the internationalization of RMB, China is steadily emerging as a major player in the world financial industry. The panel on economy and finance will be particularly focused on the economic and financial challenges that China faces during its economic transition and the influence of these issues on the U.S. economy and financial services industry. We will invite leaders in business to approach and address these issues.

Panel Questions:

1. What causes the Chinese stock market crash in June 2015? How does this affect China’s financial services industry and foreign investment in China? How will China respond to the problems of its securities and exchange regulation and surveillance system that were revealed by the stock market crash and how will this affect China’s financial services industry?
2. What are the major challenges that China’s economy is currently facing? How can China avoid a hard landing?
3. What are the implications and influences of China’s economic slowdown, which results from the economic transition, on the U.S. and China? How should we understand these influences?


CK (Changguang) Zheng Charles Wu Mingwei Li

CK (Changguang) Zheng

Charles Wu

Mingwei Li

7Managing Director at
Credit Suisse
International Partner at
Locke Lord LLP
Corporate Banking at Industrial and
Commercial Bank of China New York Branch

Topic: Dealing with a China in Transition


Henry Paulson

Henry Paulson

74th Secretary of the Treasury
Former Chairman & CEO
of Goldman Sachs

Topic: The Challenge of Climate Change: A Game Theory

As the threat of Climate Change becomes more pressing, U.S. and China, the world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters, have both worked to alleviate such problems. On one hand, agreements were reached on the 2014 APEC Conference and the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. On the other hand, the tradeoff between economic growth and carbon emission restraints countries’ cooperative initiatives, creating a prisoner’s dilemma. The emphasis of the panel on climate change will be placed on the collective goals of and conflicting objectives between China and U.S. on climate change. We will invite scholars, representatives from relevant NGOs, and attendees of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris to discuss the U.S. and China’ policies regarding climate change.

Panel Questions:

1. In what ways does climate change influence public health?
2. The U.S and China reached an agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions at the 2014 APEC meeting, and another agreement has recently been reached by 196 countries at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris to limit global warming to around 2 degrees Celsius and reduce fossil fuel burning. What are the impact and significance of these agreements?
3. As the U.S. and China take joint actions to tackle climate change, what are some problems and challenges that the two countries have to overcome and how do the two countries overcome these challenges together?


Weidong Wang Michael Greenstone Dali Yang Elisabeth Moyer

Weidong Wang

Michael Greenstone

Dali Yang

Elisabeth Moyer

President of the University of Chicago Alumni Club of Beijing, and attendee of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris Milton Friedman Professor in Economics and the College, The University of Chicago; Director, Energy Policy Institute at Chicago William Claude Reavis Professor of Political Science, The University of Chicago; Founding Faculty Director, The University of Chicago Center Associate Professor of Atmospheric Science, The University of Chicago

Topic: The Rise of China and U.S. Asian Pacific Policy

Recently, China as a nation, as well as its foreign policies, has undergone substantive changes. The increasing involvement in international affairs, the promotion of international cooperation, such as the Belt and Road strategy, and a firmer stance on the South China Sea dispute, have increased the presence of China in the international stage. Such transitions also accompany a series of U.S. foreign policy modification, such as creation of Asia-Pacific Rebalance strategy and Trans Pacific Partnership. The panel on foreign policy will be focused on the discussion of China’s incentives and prospects of public policy changes, and the U.S.’s opinion and response. We will invite two experts on foreign policy, one from China and one from the U.S., to explore the issue.

Panel Questions:

1. How has China’s rise affected its foreign policy? How has China’s foreign policy evolved over time, and what are its future prospects?
2. What are the incentives behind the U.S. Asia Pacific Rebalance strategy?
3. China projects its rise as a “peaceful rise” based on principles of “no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation”. What is the feasibility of “peaceful rice”, and what are the major challenges to it?
4. What are the major disputes and agreements between the two countries in international affairs?


Cinque Terre

John Mearsheimer, R

Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science,
The University of Chicago
The University of Chicago Chinese Students and Scholars Association (UC-CSSA), which is responsible for hosting this forum, is a non-profit organization and one of the most influential and well-known Chinese organization that is mainly comprised of students and scholars of Chinese descent. UC-CSSA is dedicated to promoting cultural exchanges and mutual understanding between students of the U.S. and of China. UC-CSSA plays an active role in the Chinese communities in Chicago and beyond. Besides annual events such as the Mid-Autumn Festival Gala and the Spring Festival Gala, UC-CSSA has also initiated important events, including a welcome dinner in Chicago for former Chinese President Hu Jintao, a meeting in Chicago between government officials from Shenzhen China and the University of Chicago students, and a welcome reception for the president of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. In addition, UC-CSSA has profound long-term cooperation with leading media such as XinhuaNet, People’s Daily Online, China.org.cn, The China Press, ChineseofChicago.com, Chicago China News & Digest, SinovisionNet, and World Journal.

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