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On October 6, 2021, the APARC China Program hosted the panel program, "Engaging China: Fifty Years of Sino-American Relations." In honor of her recently released book of the same title, Director of the Grassroots China Initiative Anne Thurston was joined by contributors Mary Bullock, President Emerita of Agnes Scott College; Thomas Fingar, Shorenstein APARC Fellow; and David M. Lampton, Professor Emeritus at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Thomas Fingar also moderated the panel.

Recent years have seen the U.S.-China relationship rapidly deteriorate. Engaging China brings together leading China specialists—ranging from academics to NGO leaders to former government officials—to analyze the past, present, and future of U.S.-China relations.

During their panel, Bullock, Fingar, Lampton, and Thurston reflected upon the complex and multifaceted nature of American engagement with China since the waning days of Mao’s rule. What initially motivated U.S.’ rapprochement with China? Until recent years, what logic and processes have underpinned the U.S. foreign policy posture towards China? What were the gains and the missteps made during five decades of America’s engagement policy toward China? What is the significance of our rapidly deteriorating bilateral relations today? Watch now: 

For more information about Engaging China or to purchase a copy, please click here.

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Was the strategy of engagement with China worthwhile? Experts Mary Bullock, Thomas Fingar, David M. Lampton, and Anne Thurston discuss their recent release, "Engaging China: Fifty Years of Sino-American Relations."


This talk will focus on the impact of the decision in 2003 to revive mediation as a key method of labor dispute resolution. In the context of changing economic and social conditions, including tighter labor markets, the Chinese state has pushed for more protection labor legislation, which has increased the number and severity of disputes. At the same time, the state has deemphasized legal channels for resolution, encouraging workers and employers to bypass adversarial litigation, reviving mediation as the preferred method of settlement. This case demonstrates the uses and limitations of “rule of law” under authoritarian rule and the contradiction of stronger laws with a resolution method that tends to deemphasize law and legal rights in favor of harmony and conciliation will be explored.

Stanford Center at Peking University

Mary E. Gallagher Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of Center for Chinese Studies Speaker University of Michigan
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