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Houston City Club
1 City Club Drive
Houston, TX  77046
United States

“U.S.-China Relations at a Crossroads”

Rotary Club of Houston - March 30, 2017

11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at The Houston City Club


Dr. Steven W. Lewis, Rice University Baker Institute for Public Policy Associate Director

Dr. Hans Stockton, University of St. Thomas Director for International Studies

Dr. Jon R. Taylor, University of St. Thomas Professor and Chair Political Science Department.

     Up until the last few years, American business executives and political leaders thought that foreign investment in China and increasing prosperity would lead to political liberalization in China.  Presidents G.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama believed trade would liberalize China and so did American opinion.  World powers looked the other way while China rapidly developed into one of the most powerful economies and militaries in the world which took advantage of every trade agreement it signed.

     But, over the last few years, the one-party Chinese Communist regimes have become even less tolerant of political dissent, instituted more political repression and a more closed political system, staging televised confessions, controlled the internet, Plus, China has engaged in numerous military provocations as it sought to increase its power in the world.

     Because China is so important to the world’s economies and poses a military and economic risk to the United States, it become important to understand what is happening in that country, in particular, the possibility of a banking crisis, the shrinking labor force, the extent of China’s debt levels, health of their property and stock markets, problems of capital outflows, whether China can rebalance its economy to become more self-sustaining, and, leadership transfers this fall. 

     So many questions:  Is China still communist?  Is it friend or foe to the U.S.?  Should we fear China’s rise, resist it or welcome it?  Can the developed world stem China’s theft of business secrets?  Can free trade prosper against China’s ownership of much of their industries? What lies ahead under President Donald Trump? Will the next administration learn to use America’s diplomatic, military, and economic resources better than the last three Presidents have done?

This program seeks to begin the discussion.           Joe Colangelo, Meeting Chair. 713-412-1875,

Dr. Steven Lewis

Steven W. Lewis, Ph.D., is the C.V. Starr Transnational China Fellow and faculty advisor for the Jesse Jones Leadership Center Summer in D.C. Policy Research Internship Program. He is also a professor in the practice and associate director of the Chao Center for Asian Studies, which he helped found in 2008. His research explores the growth of a transnational Chinese middle class; the influence of advertisements in new public spaces in Chinese cities; the development of privatization experiments in China’s localities; and the reform of China’s energy policies, national oil companies and international energy relations. Through the Transnational China Project, Lewis has organized research conferences with the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. He also has worked with the Energy Forum as the organizing researcher for the Northeast Asia Energy Cooperation Workshops, the Coastal Cities Summit surveys and U.S.-China-Middle East energy relations conferences.

Lewis has also been advisor to the Science Collaboration Across Borders initiative and served as the chief liaison between the Baker Institute, the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies and the China Institute for Contemporary International Relations. He is co-director of the Rice Ephemera Archive project of Fondren Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship, supported by the Henry Luce Foundation. He has conducted research and given briefings for The National Bureau of Asian Research; Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; the Sichuan Petroleum Administration; and the Korean Economic Institute, among others. Lewis is an associate fellow of Asia Society International, an editorial board member of Asia Policy and an academic advisor to the U.S.-China Working Group of the U.S. House of Representatives. He received his doctorate in political science from Washington University in St. Louis.

Dr. Hans Stockton

Hans Stockton is Associate Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences and Director of the Center for International Studies at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas.  He holds a PhD in Political Science from Texas A&M University.  His areas of academic specialization are democratization, elections, and security in contemporary Asia Pacific.  He has published articles in journals of political science, economics, public administration, and Asian Studies; authored multiple chapters in edited volumes on military affairs in the Asia Pacific and Taiwan’s political development; and authored two books on development and democratization in East Asia.  Dr. Stockton is a Center Associate of the Election Studies Center at National Chengchi University in Taipei.  He has served as president of the American Association of Chinese Studies (2015, 2016) and as coordinator of the Conference Group on Taiwan Studies (2012 – 2014).  He has also served multiple terms as president of the Southwest Conference on Asian Studies.  Professor Stockton has also been the Principle Investigator for multiple, successful grant awards from the US Department of Education, Japan Foundation, and Ministry of Education (Taipei).  He has been interviewed by and/or published editorials on matters related to US-China-Taiwan relations and Chinese and Taiwan political affairs in the Washington Observer Weekly, Taipei Times, Taiwan Journal, Southern Daily News, World Journal, Voice of America, e-International Relations, and Houston Chronicle.  He has provided political commentary for ABC News Houston, Fox News Houston, the Foreign Policy Research Institute, Radio Taiwan International, NTD TV, Southern Daily, World Journal, and Channel 55.5 international news.

Dr. Jon Taylor

Dr. Jon Taylor is a Professor of Political Science, Chair of the Department of Political Science, and Director of the Master of Public Policy and Administration Program at the University of St. Thomas.  He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma and has been at the University of St. Thomas since 1998.  His areas of academic specialty are in Chinese and U.S. public administration, Chinese and U.S. urbanization, and public administration ethics.

His current research focuses on urban development in Western China, the Communist Party’s online accountability system, measuring public corruption in China, and the role that indigenous Chinese political science plays within the global discipline of political science.  His most recent scholarly journal articles include Between Sinification and Internationalization: Chinese Political Science in the Post-Reform Era and The China Dream is an Urban Dream: Assessing the CPC’s National New-Type Urbanization Plan.  He regularly contributes opinion and analysis pieces to both Chinese and U.S. media.  He is a member of the Association of Chinese Political Studies, the American Political Science Association, the Chinese Public Administration Society, and the American Society for Public Administration.