U.S.-China Expert Shares Research and Experiences

Collegiate Upper School students in the International Emerging Leaders - Asia Capstone and Chinese language classes met virtually this morning with Scott Kennedy, senior adviser and Trustee Chair in Chinese Business and Economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
A leading authority on Chinese economic policy, Mr. Kennedy has been traveling to China for more than 30 years. His specific areas of expertise include industrial policy, technology innovation, business lobbying, U.S.-China commercial relations and global governance.

The virtual hour together, moderated by CSIS Program Coordinator Alyssa Perez, was spent learning about the work of think tanks in general and CSIS specifically, their contributions to public policy and role as a research engine for understanding the complexities of our world. 

"Our ability to shape policy is based on our credibility," Mr. Kennedy emphasized to the students. "We have to be authentic in a bottom-up revenue model that is stressed by an environment questioning the validity of experts."

Mr. Kennedy went on to share the multiple perspectives that summarize his analysis and that of his CSIS peers on the current status of U.S.-China relations. Topics centered on the COVID-19 outbreak and ranged from thoughts on public opinion in China about how the Chinese government has handled the outbreak to the core issues between the U.S. and China as a result of the virus. In addition, the class covered how COVID-19 has impacted the economies, policies and trade between China and the U.S.

Following questions posed by students, Mr. Kennedy encouraged those interested in careers with a connection to China to look beyond just the dynamics of the U.S. and China. 

"It used to be enough to have studied the Chinese language and know a bit about Chinese culture," Mr. Kennedy said. “But now you have to be able to have a broader comparative perspective that includes other countries, places such as Taiwan, Japan and Korea, all of whom are important participants in our global conversations." 

The IEL - Asia Capstone focuses on examining the economic ties between the U.S. and China and exploring political, cultural, and ethical issues arising from an in-depth study of this topic through discussion, film, and a series of guest speakers. The seniors taking the Capstone have been studying Mandarin and learning about Chinese culture since 3rd Grade. Each is enrolled in the senior Capstone course because of their genuine interest in China, international business, economics and law.