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April 9 PDAA Program Explores China’s Leadership Goals and Public Perceptions

Xi Jinping in 2015

Xi Jinping in 2015 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

(Update: 10 April 2018) As China’s economic, military and political influence grow, the world asks how it will project its influence and power internationally, and what internal forces and self-image drives China’s expansion. This timely discussion took place on Monday, April 9, 2018 at DACOR-Bacon House in Washington, D.C.

Some China observers have coined a new phrase ‘sharp power’ to complement already recognized ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ power. Two respected experts, Christopher Walker, Vice President for Studies and Analysis of the National Endowment for Democracy, and Robert Daly, Director of the Kissinger Institute for U.S. – China Relations explored these and related questions.

Christopher Walker at PDAA

Christopher Walker at PDAA lunch program, 9 April 2018 (A. Kotok)

Christopher Walker is Vice President for Studies and Analysis at the National Endowment for Democracy. In this capacity, he oversees the department that is responsible for NED’s multifaceted analytical work, which includes the International Forum for Democratic Studies, a leading center for the analysis and discussion of democratic development. The International Forum pursues it goals through several interrelated initiatives: publishing the Journal of Democracy, the world’s leading publication on the theory and practice of democracy; hosting fellowship programs for international democracy activists, journalists, and scholars; coordinating the Network of Democracy Research Institutes, a global think tank network; and organizing a diverse range of analytical initiatives to explore critical themes relating to democratic development.

Prior to joining the NED, Walker was Vice President for Strategy and Analysis at Freedom House. Prior to Freedom House, he was a senior associate at the EastWest Institute, and program manager at the European Journalism Network. Walker has also served as an Adjunct Professor of International Affairs at New York University. He holds a B.A. degree from Binghamton University and an M.A. from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Walker has testified before congressional committees and appeared regularly in the media. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including the Wall Street Journal, New York TimesWashington PostForeign Policy.com, Barron’s, The Far Eastern Economic ReviewFrankfurter Allgemeine ZeitungDie WeltThe Moscow Times, Politico.comJournal of Democracy, and World Affairs. He is co-editor with Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner of Authoritarianism Goes Global: The Challenge to Democracy (Johns Hopkins University Press, March 2016).

Robert Daly at PDAA

Robert Daly at PDAA lunch progam, 9 April 2018 (A. Kotok)

Robert Daly was named as the second director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Woodrow Wilson Center in August 2013.  He came to the Wilson Center from the Maryland China Initiative at the University of Maryland.  Prior to that, he was American Director of the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing.  Robert Daly began work in U.S.-China relations as a diplomat, serving as Cultural Exchanges Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in the late 80s and early 90s.  After leaving the Foreign Service, he taught Chinese at Cornell University, worked on television (北京人在纽约) and theater projects in China as a host, actor, and writer, and helped produce Chinese-language versions of Sesame Street and other Children’s Television Workshop programs.

During the same period, he directed the Syracuse University China Seminar and served as a commentator on Chinese affairs for CNN, the Voice of America, and Chinese television and radio stations.  From 2000 to 2001, he was American Director of the U.S.-China Housing Initiative at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Mr. Daly has testified before Congress on U.S.-China relations and has lectured at scores of Chinese and American institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution, the East-West Center, the Asia Society, and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.  He has lived in China for 11 years and has interpreted for Chinese leaders, including Jiang Zemin and Li Yuanchao, and American leaders, including Jimmy Carter and Henry Kissinger.

The program took place on Monday, April 9 at 12:00 pm at DACOR-Bacon House, 1801 F Street NW in Washington, D.C.

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