LEWISBURG, Pa. — As the People's Republic of China marks its 60th anniversary, leading scholars on Chinese politics, economics, history and foreign policy will come together Oct. 1 and 2 at Bucknell University to discuss the country's past, present and future.
The conference, titled "The People's Republic of China at 60: Internal and External Challenges," is an opportunity for experts from around the world to assess and evaluate the successes, challenges and goals of China, said Zhiqun Zhu, the MacArthur Chair of East Asian Politics at Bucknell University and the conference organizer.||See complete conference schedule
"We will reflect upon what China has achieved, where China has failed and where China is headed," said Zhu, who teaches political science and international relations at Bucknell.
The conference, which is free and open to the public, will include panel discussions with 15 selected experts from around the world.
World experts David M. Lampton, director of the China Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University, will give the opening address at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, in Trout Auditorium. Douglas Spelman, deputy director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., will give the keynote talk at 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 2, in the Elaine Langone Center Forum.
A former president of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations in New York City, Lampton also served as director of China policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute and the Nixon Center and was previously a professor of political science at Ohio State University. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University and has authored or co-authored a dozen books on China, including The Three Faces of Chinese Power: Might, Money and Minds (2008), Same Bed, Different Dreams: Managing U.S.-China Relations, 1989-2000 (2001) and The Making of Chinese Foreign and Security Policy in the Era of Reform (2001).
Born in Ohio, Spelman graduated from Oberlin College with a degree in religion before receiving his master's and Ph.D. in history and East Asian languages from Harvard University in 1973. He taught Chinese history at Bucknell and managed foreign exchange programs in Taiwan and Hong Kong for Oberlin and Yale University before joining the Foreign Service 30 years ago. He was the U.S. consul general in Shanghai from 2002 to 2005. Spelman retired from Foreign Service in 2007 with the rank of minister counselor in its senior service division.
Spelman's wife, psychologist Nancy Latting Spelman, received her master's from Bucknell and a Ph.D. from Hong Kong University.
Deputy assistant secretary of state David Shear, deputy assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State also will give an address, 12:30 to 1:20 p.m., Oct. 2, in the Elaine Langone Center Forum.
The conference panelists were selected from more than 80 applicants who submitted papers on various issues facing China, such as political reform, changing demographics, energy security, gender equality, climate change and growing Chinese "soft power." The panelists will discuss those issues at the conference. Zhu plans to compile and edit the papers into a book.
Zhu said he hopes the conference will be an "eye-opening opportunity" for participants.
"This is a great opportunity for leading scholars to exchange their viewpoints," Zhu said. "There will be debates among them and questions from the audience. Hopefully everyone, especially our students, will benefit from it."
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