As the balance of energy, innovation, trade, wealth, power and influence continues to rapidly shift throughout the world, China and the US are finding themselves forced to confront a difficult process of constant adjustment. At the same time, much of what we have grown accustomed to when thinking about our own country and China over the past century is called into question.
We will not only find ourselves needing to recalibrate how we look at and treat each other, but how we look at our own political and economic systems. In short, more than at any time in our living memory, this reformatting of our relationship with China will require us to be better informed about what is going on in China, more politically astute about the strengths and weaknesses of each system and ever more diplomatically flexible about how we deal with each other.
The enormity of this challenge and the suddenness with which it has come upon us, is the subject of this "on-stage conversation" between New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and long-time China writer and Arthur Ross Director of the Asia Society's Center on US-China Relations, Orville Schell.
Thomas L. Friedman
Thomas L. Friedman is an internationally renowned author, reporter, and columnist. His foreign affairs column in The New York Times, which appears twice a week, reports on US domestic politics and foreign policy, Middle East conflict, international economics, the environment, biodiversity, and energy. He is the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes and the author of six best-selling books: From Beirut to Jerusalem; The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization; Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11; The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century; and Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need A Green Revolution – And How It Can Renew America. His most recent book, That Used to Be Us: How American Fell Behind in the World We Invented and How We Can Come Back, is co-written with Michael Mandelbaum.
Orville Schell is the Arthur Ross director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society in New York. He is a former professor and dean at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Schell is the author of 14 books, nine of them about China, and a contributor to numerous edited volumes. His most recent books are Virtual Tibet, The China Reader, and Mandate of Heaven. He is also a contributor to such magazines as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, and many others. He is a fellow at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University, a senior fellow at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a recipient of the Overseas Press Club Award and the Harvard-Stanford Shorenstein Prize for Asian Reporting.
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