CLS 2016 Delegates & Speakers
The Duke-UNC China Leadership Summit is an annual student-run conference organized by Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We invite leading experts to speak on topics of importance to Sino-US relations and create a platform for students from across the United States and China to exchange perspectives on these issues, connect with speakers, and network with one another.
This year, the conference focused on the theme "China's Soft Power in the 21st Century Global Order." Soft power is defined as the ability of a country to influence others without force or coercion. From Confucius Institutes to educational exchanges, from think tanks to the export of Chinese art and media, China’s recent push for soft power underscores its quest to establish itself as a legitimate world leader with moral and cultural authority to rival its economic and military dominance. Yet China also faces many obstacles in its bid for soft power: problems like its aggressive nationalism in its South China Sea territorial disputes and failure to liberalize domestically pose threats to China’s perceived legitimacy and popularity abroad. How does soft power play a role in China’s most vital foreign policy objectives? What are the challenges and opportunities China faces, both domestically and internationally, in its bid for non-coercive leadership?
To kick off, we hosted speaker David Shambaugh from George Washington University's China Policy Center as our Friday night banquet keynote speaker. The following two days were packed quite full! Delegates heard from the former U.S. Ambassador to Nepal and the President of the US-China Education Trust, the former U.S. Ambassador to China during the Chinese embassy bombing in Belgrade, two China Hands on Chinese internet and censorship, and the leading scholar on Chinese film and media. They also participated in seminars with a senior researcher from the Congressional Research Services, the host of OMG!Meiyu, the founder of Danwei.com, and a former editor of the Tea Leaf Nation. The conference culminated with students competing in a case competition involving the formulation of a Chinese soft power strategy for Latin America or Southeast Asia.
Our planning team is absolutely thrilled with the results of this year's conference, and we want to THANK YOU greatly for your support. By giving to the Carolina China Network, you invested in the future leaders of US-China relations. Some of these students are already back in China, working in internships and competing in language competitions. Your support is reaping a great harvest! If you are interested in donating in the future for next year's conference, we invite you to visit our China Leadership Summit project page. If you would like to read more details about this year's conference, check out our website at http://www.dukeunccls.com/.
Thank you donors and friends for making this conference possible, and we look forward to connecting with you again soon!