Logo: University of Southern California

USC Students Go Backstage on U.S.-China Relations

Three-day meeting includes Chinese ambasssador and US diplomats and experts
Bob Melisso
June 21, 2010 —

What forces shape American foreign policy in general and towards China in particular? During a three-day June seminar in Washington, DC. Chinese graduate students from USC got a chance to find out first hand.

The meeting, sponsored by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the oldest American organization dedicated to promoting

1 Tian Zhang, Leiyu Mo, Ambass.Zhang. Wang Haowang And Zhaohu Fan
From left: Tian Zhang, Leiyu Mo, Chinese Ambassador Yeshui Zhang, Haowang Wang and Zhaohu Fan
understanding and cooperation between the United States and China, took place at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

USC’s contingent included graduate students Tian Zhang (Mathematics), Haowang Wang, (Electrical Engineering) and Zhaohu Fan, (Operations Research Engineering), and Leiyu Mo (a visiting scholar from Beijing Normal University in the USC Rossier School).

In a visit with Foreign Relations Committee Chair Senator Richard Lugar (R-Indiana), Fan participated in a discussion about the high level of education collaboration between the United States and China.

The event was designed to educate Chinese students from universities across the United States about how U.S. foreign policy is made. “This program is vitally important in light of China’s rapid economic development and growing significance in world affairs,” said Stephen Orlins, president of the National Committee on U.S.-China relations.

“The colloquium," said Fan, "also provided Chinese students from USC with a special opportunity to represent our schools and institution in an environment normally dominated by students from East Coast universities.”

The seminar included site visits and a chance to meet with experts during the three day Washington, DC event. At the opening session, Strobe Talbott, President of the Brookings Institution, delivered a keynote speech on the Obama administration’s China policy.

Also on hand were J. Stapleton Roy, former US Ambassador to China, China’s ambassador to the U.S., Yesui Zhang, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Joseph R. Donovan Jr.

“The U.S. Foreign Policy Colloquium is an exciting program that provides a platform to the future elite of China to listen to and exchange ideas with U.S. officials and scholars,” said Ambassador Zhang. “Their experience at this program will help them make their own unique contribution to China-U.S relations."

As part of the event, the students visited a variety of governmental, business and nonprofit institutions, includiing the Departments of Commerce, Defense and State; the Senate and House committees responsible for foreign affairs; the National Security Council and the office of the U.S. Trade Representative.