CEAPS, in collaboration with the National Committee on US-China Relations, is pleased to present the eleventh annual CHINA Town Hall on October 24, 2017. CHINA Town Hall is a national conversation about China that provides Americans across the United States and beyond the opportunity to discuss issues in the relationship with leading experts. Last year, over 80 venues and 100 speakers participated in the program, along with four partner organizations in Greater China. This year's UIUC China Town Hall will feature Ambassador Susan E. Rice as the national webcast speaker and Mark Frank as the local speaker.
5:45 pm Check-in/Dinner
6:00 - 6:45 pm National Webcast: Ambassador Susan E. Rice
In addition to her foreign policy experience as national security advisor (2013-2017) and U.S. permanent representative to the UN (2009-2013), Ambassador Rice also served as U.S. assistant secretary of state for African Affairs and senior director for African Affairs at the National Security Council. Her decades of public service and critical role in developing and executing the Obama administration's policies towards China make her perspective on the relationship especially relevant as we navigate this uncertain time in the bilateral relationship.
Full bio Ambassador Susan E. Rice
6:45 - 7:45 pm Local Presentation: Mark Frank, "U.S. Race Relations in Chinese Perspective"
What do people in China think of America's complicated race relations in the Trump era? Chinese views of the United States have always been a function of both Chinese and American current affairs. Chinese revolutionaries and reformers of the early twentieth century cited American racism—including anti-Chinese legislation—as an example to be avoided while building their own republic. Chairman Mao endorsed the American civil rights movement in his condemnations of U.S. imperialism. Chinese netizens of today offer scathing critiques of racial attitudes on both the American left and the right, even as ethnic nationalism surges within China. This talk will examine Chinese perspectives on race in America over the past century within the larger context of Chinese history. I argue that an understanding of how the concepts of race and ethnicity operate differently in China is key to understanding how Chinese people view the United States.
Mark E. Frank is a PhD candidate in East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Illinois specializing in modern Chinese history. He was Fulbright fellow in China from 2015-16 and has spent nearly five years working and researching in mainland China and Taiwan. His research involves the environmental history of the southwest Chinese borderlands in the early twentieth century.