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US-China Scholarly Recoupling: The Path Forward – Streamed live on March 28, 2024 by CSIS

The CSIS, or the Center for Strategic & International Studies, is a bipartisan policy research organization dedicated to providing strategic insights and policy solutions to help decision-makers chart a course toward a better world. They conduct research and analysis and develop policy initiatives that look into political, economic, and security issues affecting the global landscape. Over the last two years, the Trustee Chair has led an initiative to avoid U.S.-China scholarly decoupling and restore ties amongst scholars, students and institutions. In 2023, CSIS and Peking University co-hosted a pair of conferences with participation from leading experts from both countries that examined the obstacles to scholarly ties and steps that could be taken to overcome these challenges and create a stronger foundation for renewed ties. This event centers around the release of a major report with contributions from over two dozen of the project participants.

Trustee Chair Scott Kennedy moderated a discussion with Scott Rozelle (Stanford University), Deborah Seligsohn (Villanova University), Yu Tiejun (Peking University), Xie Tao (Beijing Foreign Studies University), and Zhang Ran (Peking University) streamed live on March 28, 2024. The panel broadly advocated for maintaining and expanding U.S.-China scholarly exchanges, noting the mutual benefits of such partnerships, the value they add to scientific and cultural understanding, and the concerns regarding visa policies, securitization, and government actions that may hinder collaborative efforts.

This CSIS video discusses the importance of U.S.-China scholarly exchange, detailing events, reports, and perspectives advocating for collaboration despite security challenges and strategic rivalries.

Key Takeaways

  • CSIS and Peking University initiatives aim to restore U.S.-China scholarly ties, disrupted by strategic tensions and the pandemic.
  • Scholarly exchange is valued for mutual understanding and addressing global challenges collaboratively.
  • The Henry Luce Foundation provided support for the initiative’s conferences and report.
  • The report suggests scholarly decoupling harms research progress in sciences, public health, climate, and more.
  • Concerns about the safety and security of students and scholars traveling between the U.S. and China are significant but manageable.
  • Scholars from both nations call for clear definitions of national security to reduce restrictions on academic research and exchange.
  • The video addresses the necessity for transparent policies to facilitate safe and fruitful scholarly interactions.

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