The U.S.-China relationship is the most complex and consequential bilateral relationship in the world today. Almost no major global issue can be addressed without their engagement; successes and failures in the relationship are likely to have major effects beyond the two countries themselves. Yet in the U.S. presidential campaigns, China is typically only mentioned as a lightning rod for criticism, on issues ranging from human rights to cybersecurity to tensions in the South China Sea. This is not a new trend; China-bashing has become something of a staple on the U.S. campaign trail, though positions and policy almost always soften after Election Day.
Why is that so? And should it be so? What is the public missing, as the would-be successors to President Obama speak about China, and U.S. policy towards that country?
Howard Fineman, Rana Foroohar and Jonathan Tepperman are three veteran reporters covering U.S. politics, business, and foreign affairs respectively, and have this in common: each is an alumnus of a special program called Understanding China – which sends senior US-based journalists for an intensive tour of China, including meetings with top officials in government, business, the arts, education and other sectors, with the aim of obtaining a more nuanced view of that country and its policies. Join us at the Asia Society for a special program moderated by Orville Schell, that looks at China today and the 2016 U.S. campaign, through the special lens of three journalists who understand the issues – here and there – particularly well.
Howard Fineman is Global Editorial Director of the Huffington Post Media Group and News Analyst at NBC. He was previously Newsweek’s Chief Political Correspondent, Senior Editor and Deputy Washington Bureau Chief. Fineman is the author of The Thirteen Arguments: Enduring Debates That Define and Inspire Our Country.
Rana Foroohar is an assistant managing Editor at TIME, overseeing economics and business concent on all platforms. She is also the magazine’s economics columnist, as well as CNN’s Global Economic Analyst, covering the intersection of economics, business, politics and foreign affairs for the network’s domestic and international operations.
Jonathan Tepperman is Managing Editor of Foreign Affairs and a former Deputy Editor atNewsweek. He has interviewed a long list of world leaders including, most recently Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Tepperman is the co-editor of several books and the author of the forthcomingSurvival of Nations: How Countries Thrive in a World in Decline, to be published in 2016.
Orville Schell (moderator) is Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society, is a long-time China observer, journalist, and former Dean and Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of numerous books on China, most recentlyWealth and Power: China’s Long March to the Twenty-first Century.
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