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R e s e a r c h , E n g a g e m e n t , I m pa c t In 2016, the 21st Century China Program officially became the 21st Century China Center, a milestone in our journey toward becoming a leading center in policy-relevant research on China and in promoting dialogue between the two countries across government, academia, business and civil society. In the past year, we continued to work closely with the Fudan-UC Center on Contemporary China to foster research collaborations and hold meaningful policy dialogues on innovation and U.S.-China relations. We hosted many visiting scholars from Chinese universities and held several academic conferences to examine China’s political systems and institutions. In the coming year, we will devote considerable energy to creating a China Data Lab, a new initiative by the center to construct an infrastructure for compiling and analyzing various types of data on China. In the meantime, our faculty also is engaged in supporting the launch of an exciting new degree program at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS): the Master of Chinese Economic and Political Affairs (MCEPA). This degree combines rigorous social science training with in-depth studies of China and offers students field research opportunities with one-on-one faculty mentoring. We look forward to welcoming the inaugural class in fall 2017. The center continues to be the hub for stimulating conversations on China, hosting hundreds of participants on our campus for public lectures, panel discussions, film screenings and research workshops that dig deep into China’s foreign policy, its domestic governance and economic dynamics. As always, your ongoing support is essential to our success. On behalf of the faculty and staff from the center, thank you!

— Susan Shirk, 21st Century China Center Chair


2016 Annual Report

N o t e w o r t h y D e v e l op m e n t s National Bipartisan Task Force on China Policy Susan Shirk and the Asia Society’s Orville Schell co-chair a national task force on U.S. policy toward China. The bipartisan group comprises 20 senior China scholars, veteran diplomats and policy experts. It conducted a wide-ranging assessment of U.S. policy toward China since 1979 to draw lessons from the past to make recommendations for the future. A final report is due to be released in February 2017, with findings and recommendations to help advise the new administration and provide a foundation for public debate on U.S.-China policy.

Collaboration with Tsinghua University Center scholars led a political economy conference at Tsinghua University on Jan. 16-17, 2016. Participants presented cutting-edge theoretical and empirical analyses on the nexus between China’s economy and politics. This conference also provided participants an opportunity to explore future joint research opportunities.

Podcast Launch: China 21 China 21 amplifies on-campus conversations on China and U.S.-China relations to a wider audience, via accessible podcast episodes that feature expert insights. Since its launch in summer 2016, the first eight episodes have totaled more than 6,000 listens, covering topics from religion policy to climate change and banking in China.

U.S.-China University Think Tank Dialogue on Bilateral Relations The center co-hosted with Fudan University’s Center for American Studies the first session of a multiyear U.S.-China University Think Tank Dialogue on Bilateral Relations. Experts from the U.S. and China engaged in deep discussions about bilateral relations based on empirical research done in the field. The inaugural meeting on June 24-25, 2016, honed in on domestic influences on U.S.-China relations. The next dialogue theme will address U.S.-China interactions in the Asia-Pacific.

Photo by: Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

21st Century China Center


S po t l i g h t o n 2 1 s t C e n t u r y C h i n a Center Scholars Molly Roberts

David Michael

Assistant Professor, UC San Diego Department of Political Science

Professor of Practice, GPS

Molly Roberts is a part of a vanguard of social scientists who leverage large amounts of data and machine learning to answer pressing questions about the motivations of government action and the ways in which citizens consume information. Roberts’s research seeks to understand opaque systems such as China’s censorship regime. She teaches statistics courses for political scientists and advises her students on “text as data” projects that use cuttingedge data analysis methods she has developed. Building on the project she started as a Ph.D. student at Harvard University, Roberts and her team have since collected millions of social media posts to produce findings that now are published in papers such as “How the Chinese Government Fabricates Social Media Posts for Strategic Distraction, not Engaged Argument” (Roberts, King, Pan, 2016) and will soon culminate in her forthcoming book. Through support from the center, Roberts is able to collaborate with other scholars to design studies aimed at understanding the experience of Chinese netizens. She also is collaborating with the San Diego Super Computer Center on campus to gather data across the globe for comparative studies on censorship, media and information consumption.

“Our center brings together UC San Diego’s renowned scholars, professionals and Chinese partners to address critical policy issues and advance the methods and scope of research on contemporary China.” — Susan Shirk


2016 Annual Report

“The journey from poverty to the middle class happens one family at a time,” recounted David Michael in his 2014 TED Talk. Michael traced the trajectory of his own mother-in-law and her family who lived through an incredible period of economic transformation in China. Michael himself spent more than 25 years in Asia and China understanding the remarkable growth of consumer markets in what he calls a “continent of middle-class cities.” He led the Greater China business of Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and served on the strategy board of China Mobile Corp. He currently serves on the board of Taiwan Cement Corp. and runs the venture capital firm Anzu Partners. One of Michael’s current courses at GPS, named Inside China’s Dynamic Industries, explores four of China’s highest growth industries: consumer goods, health care, e-commerce and high technology. The course uses case studies and analyst reports on several of China’s most dynamic companies. His other course, titled The Competing Business Systems of Developing Asia, explores how China’s state-owned enterprises, Chinese family-owned companies and Taiwanese technology firms compete against other types of businesses in Asia such as Korean chaebol. Michael co-authored the books “The $10 Trillion Prize: Captivating the Newly Affluent in China and India” and “Asia’s Digital Dividends: How Asia-Pacific’s Corporations Can Create Value from E-Business.” He continues to share his expertise through platforms such as TED and World Economic Forum sessions from Davos to Dalian, China, and also co-published a report with his BCG colleagues in 2016 titled “Global Leaders, Challengers, and Champions: The Engines of Emerging Markets.”

Promoting Research



Building relationships with scholars in China and around the globe is of vital importance to the center’s core mission. In the past year, we have hosted more than 60 scholars for a series of conferences, dialogues and research workshops.

Policy Dialogues and Conferences


“Analysis of China’s Institutions: Theory and Evidence” Jan. 16-17, 2016 | Tsinghua University, Beijing

In 2016, the center hosted the following scholars from China who conducted individual or collaborative research while in residence at UC San Diego.

“South Korea, China and the U.S.: Moving Forward” March 3, 2016 | UC San Diego Young Scholars Conference: “Social Sciences and China Studies” May 20- 21, 2016 | UC San Diego Second Annual ECNU-UCSD Graduate Conference on Modern Chinese History June 13-14, 2016 | UC San Diego U.S.-China University Think Tank Dialogue on Bilateral Relations June 24-25, 2016 | Shanghai “New Developments in China’s Policy Toward Christianity” July 11-12, 2016 | UC San Diego The Second California-Shanghai Innovation Dialogue Sept. 12-14, 2016 | Fudan University, Shanghai “The Evolution of Communist Political Systems” Oct. 8-9, 2016 | UC San Diego

P a r t n e r s h ip w i t h Fudan-UC Center o n C o n t e m po r a r y China The 21st Century China Center’s collaboration with the Fudan-UC Center—the first academic institution established by a major Chinese university in North America—continues to bear fruit. In April 2016, UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla visited Fudan University to renew and deepen the partnership between the two universities. In September 2016, both entities partnered with the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation to hold the second CaliforniaShanghai Innovation Dialogue.

Scholars in residence MAO Jie, Assistant Professor, University of International Business and Economics CHEN Wenxia, Ph.D. Candidate, School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University WANG Chengmin, Ph.D. Candidate, School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University WANG Shuo, Managing Editor, Caixin

Fulbright Scholars TANG Shiping, Fudan Distinguished Professor and Dr. Seaker Chan Chair Professor, Fudan University CHEN Shaowei, School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University

Pacific Leadership Fellows, via GPS’s Center on Global Transformation YU Keping, Dean, School of Government, Peking University Robert Hormats, Vice Chairman, Kissinger Associates Inc.

Research Fellows CHEN Shuo, Assistant Professor, School of Economics, Fudan University MENG Tianguang, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Tsinghua University; Director, Research Center on Data and Governance, Tsinghua University XIE Yue, Professor, Department of Political Science, Shanghai Jiaotong University ZHANG Han, Associate Professor, School of International Relations, University of International Business and Economics ZHANG Qi, Associate Professor, China Center on Economic Studies, Fudan University ZHOU Jianghua, Assistant Professor, Business School, Beijing Normal University

21st Century China Center




P u b l ic E d u c a t io n

The 21st Century China Center connects local and national communities through public lectures, salons, special programs and educational events. UC San Diego alumna Melanie Hart, China Policy Director for the Center on American Progress, opined on a new course on U.S.-China relations at the CHINA Town Hall on Oct. 18, 2016.

YU Keping, renowned Peking University scholar and advocate of reform, delivered the second Sokwanlok Distinguished Lecture on China on Oct. 10, 2016, discussing new developments in China’s governance system since economic reform.

Ambassador J. Stapleton Roy keynoted the fourth annual Robert F. Ellsworth Memorial Lecture on implications of China’s rapid military modernization on East Asian geopolitics, on March 22, 2016.

James Fallows of The Atlantic moderated a GPS expert panel on Jan. 22, 2016, to examine the evolving state of Chinese innovation and its government’s push to turn China into an advanced science, technology and manufacturing power within the next decade.

GPS Professor Victor Shih interviewed Ken Wilcox, emeritus chairman of Silicon Valley Bank, about the inside story of a U.S.-China joint venture on financing innovation on May 26, 2016.

Experts from the U.S. and China offered insights on China’s new regulations for managing religious activities and the implications for Christianity on July 11-12, 2016.

The center partnered with GPS’s Global Leadership Institute to launch a summer program for future leaders in U.S.-China relations, convening students from the U.S. and China in July 2016 to simulate bilateral negotiations on real-world collaborations such as climate policy.


2016 Annual Report

Julio Friedmann of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory presented on China’s environmental challenges, followed by a conversation with GPS Professor David Victor on climate change mitigation and clean energy innovation on Dec. 1, 2016.

S u ppo r t




Funding for the 21st Century China Center comes from GPS, foundations, corporate supporters and individual donors. We are especially proud to receive the support from our founders who have since our creation shared a common vision about the importance of deepening public knowledge and understanding of China. 21st Century China Center Founders


Anonymous Anonymous Rita and Richard Atkinson April and Lowell Blankfort Colene and Harold Brown Gail Kee and Javade Chaudhri Lixin Cheng James Ding Gail and Jeff Donahue Diana Lady and J. Lynn Dougan Andrew Duncan and Bess Weatherman Daphne and James Jameson Mitchell Julis Susan and Dee Lew Yingru Li and Monte Brem Zhong Yuan Li Lily and Shao-Chi Lin Peggy and Peter Preuss Cassidy and Jeremiah “Jere” Robins Cathy and Larry Robinson Margaret and Neal Schmale Marion and Kwan So Monica and Don St. Pierre Jr. Hong Huan Gai and Junling Sun Jing Wang Carolyn and Malcolm Hewitt Wiener Vivian Lim and Joseph Wong Thelma and Herbert Yuen Charles Zhang Charlie and Ling Zhang

David An Anonymous Andrea and John Bell Jeffrey S. Bennett Portia Bibb Nicholas B. Binkley Constance Mullin and Lewis Branscomb Mary K. Chandler Marjorie F. Coburn Elaine S. Darwin Martha and Edward Dennis Alice and Douglas Diamond Kristen and David Druker David Duca Barbara Enberg Phyllis and Daniel Epstein Micah B. Fisher-Kirshner Deborah Friedlaender Joy Frieman Andres Gentry Cynthia and Tom Goodman Leigh and Stanford Hartman Warren Heenan Gordon R. Knight Ken Kuang Anni and Arthur Lipper Yi and Yang Liu Deborah and Michael Morrison Anne Otterson Hua Pan Sharon and Dean Peng Susan Shirk and Samuel Popkin Ivan Shin Melesse and Robert Traylor Blake Tye Dongmei Wang Huirong Xie and Wei Wang Dongrui Lu and Ping Wei Abby and Ray Weiss

Leadership Circle Jean and Rajesh Parekh Wayne Rong Karen and Edward Tian Louis Tseng Yiru Zhou

For information on making a gift to the 21st Century China Center, please contact GPS Assistant Director of Development Kasey Carrol at or (858) 534-4850.

Armi and Albert Williams Elizabeth G. Taft Qiuqing Tai Min Wu and Yingzhi Ding Rachel York Huirong Xie Gavin and Susan Zau Li Zheng and Fan Yang

Institutional Supporters Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Anonymous Asia Research Center Asia Society Atkinson Family Foundation Bank of America Merrill Lynch Bank of Tokyo—Mitsubishi UFJ Carnegie Corporation of New York China Everbright Ltd. China PnR Chinese Enterprise Institute East West Bank Foundation Emerging Sovereign Group GLG Research GSR Ventures Jewish Community Foundation Malcolm Hewitt Wiener Foundation Inc. OMERS Capital Markets Pacific Pension Institute Qualcomm Inc. Rainbow Stone USA Sempra Energy Smith Richardson Foundation Ltd. Tohkin Group Union Bank Romulus T. Weatherman Memorial Fund Vistage Worldwide Inc. ZTE USA

J oi n t h e L e a d e r s h ip Circle Center founders are the pillars of support to the 21st Century China Center since 2012. Beginning in 2016, a new group of members formed to sustain the mission of the center and launch new initiatives. Members of the Leadership Circle pledge financial support to the center and are committed to promoting a constructive relationship between the U.S. and China. 21st Century China Center

7 S tay C o n n e c t e d China Focus, a student-run blog sponsored by the 21st Century China Center, offers high-quality, original content produced by GPS students. Read the latest articles on

Also, explore all the ways to connect with the 21st Century China Center’s global community via social media, and keep up to date with the latest events and news.


Be sure to subscribe to China 21. Each episode features expert insights and conversations about China’s economy, politics, society and their implications for international affairs. Available on Stitcher, iTunes, Google Play and Soundcloud.

O u r P e op l e Susan Shirk, Chair Lei Guang, Director Samuel Tsoi, Assistant Director Iva Kostova, Events Manager Amy Robinson, Communications Manager For a list of 21st Century China Center scholars, visit

21st Century China Center School of Global Policy and Strategy | UC San Diego 9500 Gilman Drive #0519 | La Jolla, CA 92093-0519 (858) 246-1950 |

2016 21CC Annual Report  

The 21st Century China Center at UC San Diego is a leading university-based think tank that uses original research to anchor major policy di...

2016 21CC Annual Report  

The 21st Century China Center at UC San Diego is a leading university-based think tank that uses original research to anchor major policy di...