Amid upheaval in China, expert will focus on future

Dr. Cheng Li is director of China research at the Brookings Institution

Dr. Cheng Li of the Brookings Institution

The Chinese Communist Party is facing its greatest upheaval since the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.  Just as the party elite is trying to smooth the way for appointment of a new leader, one of its rising stars, Bo Xilai, has been ousted as party chief of Chongqing, China's biggest metropolis and his wife is under arrest for suspected involvement in the murder of a British businessman.

In a country where capitalism seemed to have trumped communist ideology, Bo has emerged as a prominent, popular left-wing revivalist; his fall may set the stage for a showdown later this year between advocates of capitalist growth and defenders of communist principles.

To help the Brandeis community understand the monumental struggles going on behind Beijing’s closed doors, the International and Global Studies Program has invited Dr. Cheng Li, director of China research at the Brookings Institution and prolific author on Chinese politics.

Li will speak on “China 2012: What’s Next?” at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Rapaporte Treasure Hall.  The talk is free and open to the public.  

Li is director of research and senior fellow at Brookings’ John L. Thornton China Center. He also serves as a member of the Academic Advisory Team of the Congressional U.S.-China Working Group. 

He is author or editor of numerous books, including “China’s Leaders: The New Generation,” “China’s Changing Political Landscape: Prospects for Democracy,” “China’s Emerging Middle Class: Beyond Economic Transformation”  and, most recently, “The Road to Zhongnanhai: High-Level Leadership Groups on the Eve of the 18th Party Congress,” just published in Chinese. He is the principal editor of the Thornton Center Chinese Thinkers Series published by the Brookings Institution Press.

Li has recently appeared on CNN, C-SPAN, BBC, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, NPR Diane Rehm Show, NPR News Hour with Jim Lehrer, and the PBS Charlie Rose Show.

His visit to Brandeis will help celebrate publication of a new issue of the Brandeis International Journal, which is devoted to understanding new directions in Chinese politics.  He will be joined by Brandeis Professor Gary Jefferson, an expert on the Chinese economy.

Li’s visit is supported by the Ellen Lasher Kaplan ’64 and Robert Kaplan Endowment for Economic Growth.

Categories: International Affairs

Return to the BrandeisNOW homepage