NSF: The “Rise” of China — and Its Coming “Fall”? What it Will Mean for the United States

With Richard Mueller

 

Wednesday, February 29, the Ramada, 9:00 am

China’s “rise” has been so unexpected and stunning that we are still working to understand the long-term implications for China and the rest of the world. Chinese leaders themselves are feeling their way forward as they consider how best to use their new economic, political, and military influence.

Along with China’s “rise” and many successes have come massive challenges. These include fundamental questions of national governance; the role of the Communist Party and its fear of sharing political power; corrosive income inequality; environmental degradation; pervasive corruption; social dislocation and disruption; increasing censorship and arrest of “dissidents”; and growing restiveness among minorities, particularly Buddhist Tibetans and Muslim Uyghurs.

The autumn of 2012 will also bring an unusually large political turnover among the top Communist Party ranks. Seven of nine Politiburo Standing Committee members, including President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, will step down. There is an intense behind-the-scenes political struggle.

Richard Mueller will review these developments and explain why the “rise” of China may slow and become a “fall” for at least some period of time. While grappling with these challenges, could China be forced to re-focus internally? Could the Communist Party leadership risk some confrontation with neighbors in order to stir up Chinese “patriotic” sentiment? Meanwhile, the rest of the world would worry about Chinese instability and lack of clear, effective governance.

Mueller is a 32 year career Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State, serving in multiple Asian assignments, including Beijing, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Vietnam. His concentration was on China, culminating as American Consul General in Hong Kong.

Please RSVP (ACCEPTANCES ONLY) by emailing us here or by calling 746-3222. A complete breakfast will be served. There will be a $15 dollar charge at the door for the presentation and breakfast. We recommend arriving by 8:30 to enjoy some pre-presentation food and conversation.

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