January 21, 2018
A Message From the President of SDWAC
Dear SDWAC Colleagues and Friends:
Here’s wishing you a (belated) happy 2018, a year that I hope will be prosperous and productive for each of you and for our organization, the San Diego World Affairs Council (SDWAC). We’re beginning the year with what should be an outstanding presentation on January 24, by Dr. Susan Shirk. Well known in the San Diego community, Dr. Shirk is chair of the 21st Century China Center at UCSD’s School of Global Policy and Strategy. She is not only one of the leading analysts and academic researchers on China in this country (her book China: Fragile Superpower has influenced a generation of China scholars), but also has been a foreign policy practitioner. As Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (1997-2000), she helped shape U.S. policy toward China, Taiwan and Hong Kong during the critical period leading up to Chinese accession to the World Trade Organization.
During and immediately after the 19th national conference of the Communist Party of China in October 2017, Dr. Shirk and her colleagues tracked developments in Beijing in virtually real time and since have publicly shared their analyses of the most significant Chinese political trends on several occasions. This event will be an opportunity to hear Dr. Shirk’s up-to-the-minute thinking about the ramifications of the party conference’s decisions (such as the elevation of President Xi to a status in the constitution on par with Chairman Mao) and, in typical SDWAC fashion, to engage with her in an informed dialogue after her remarks.
Notice to members: If you register for an event that is free for members, it is important to follow through and attend. Food purchases are based on the number of sign-ups for the event. If you have registered and realize before the 24th that you cannot attend, we would appreciate it if you would email us at email@example.com.
Finally, a brief note on December’s excellent speaker, Dr. Sinan Ciddi, Director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Turkish Studies. Dr. Ciddi carefully reviewed the history of and recent deterioration in U.S.-Turkish relations, which have been dominated by security concerns over the years. Of great interest were his remarks on the current domestic situation in Turkey, which is marked by massive corruption and a “drastic” government response to the failed coup of July 2016, including the mass firing of civil servants, military officers and academics and the suppression of independent journalism. More in sorrow than in anger, Dr. Ciddi concluded that, following the latest constitutional changes, there will be “no more elections in Turkey in which the outcome is uncertain.” In sum, it was a commanding and even moving presentation, one that sadly confirmed many Americans’ worst fears as to what has been going on in Turkey in recent years.
-- John Schlosser
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
San Diego World Affairs Council Presents
“China in the Wake of the Party Conference”
Dr. Susan Shirk
China’s recently concluded 19th Communist Party Conference established President Xi Jing Ping as one of the most powerful leaders since Mao, but also moved to institutionalize Xi’s political, economic and security policies. The 21st Century China Center reports, “the outcome of the 19th Party Congress has confirmed our analysis about the trend of power concentration in the hands of Xi... The shock to the Chinese political system may produce potential backlash to Xi’s rule down the road. There is no doubt that the Party will be front and center in all areas of Chinese people’s lives, including the economy... In national defense, the Party’s “absolute” control over the military is re-affirmed and modernization of the military, especially its war-fighting capability, will be a key focus of Xi’s efforts in the years to come.”
About Our Speaker
Dr. Shirk is a research professor and chair of the 21st Century China Center at UCSD. She is one of the most influential experts on U.S.-China relations and Chinese politics. Dr. Shirk’s book “China: Fragile Superpower” helped frame the policy debate on China in the U.S. as well as other countries. Her articles have appeared in leading academic publications in the fields of political science, international relations and China studies, and her views on a range of issues relating to modern Chinese politics are highly sought. She previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (1997-2000), responsible for the U.S. policy toward China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mongolia and she founded and continues to lead the Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue. Director emeritus and advisory board chair of the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, Shirk served as a member of the U.S. Defense Policy Board, the board of governors for the East-West Center (Hawaii), the board of trustees of the U.S.-Japan Foundation and the board of directors of the National Committee on United States-China Relations.
January 24, 2018
6:00-6:30 PM Registration & Reception
6:30-8:00 PM Presentation
National University, Sanford Center Auditorium
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