About the Forum

China’s “Reform and Opening” era, over the past thirty five years, has ignited seismic changes in China’s relationships with the global community, and unleashed the latent economic prowess of the world’s most populous nation. Concurrently, these changes within China have also permanently altered the global economy and balance of power. The People’s Republic, once an isolated revolutionary state bent on constant internal political struggle, has become a cornerstone of global economic advancement and an essential player in global affairs.

All aspects of these changes have been discussed and analyzed by sinologists and Chinese scholars at successive World Forum on China Studies conferences, which have been convened biennially in China since 2004.

On May 6 and 7, 2015, the Carter Center will host the American Symposium of the World Forum on China Studies, which is the first time the event has been hosted outside of China. The symposium will focus on the new phase of reform in China that began with Xi Jinping’s assumption of senior Party and State leadership positions only two and one half years ago. The far-reaching and still emerging reform programs of the Xi administration arose from domestic challenges and opportunities resultant from earlier phases of the reform measures that were first started by Deng Xiaoping, and from far-reaching shifts in global economic and political affairs.

Over two days, a collection of thirty three eminent scholars, policy researchers and veteran diplomats from China and the United States will present their views and exchange their ideas in five panels that cover the following topics: on international affairs, economic change, political reform, social transformation and intercultural communication in China.

In addition to the many distinguished speakers gathered in Atlanta, Ambassador (Ret.) Mary Ann Peters, Chief Executive Officer of The Carter Center, and Dr. Renwei Huang, Vice President of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, will offer welcoming remarks. Following the conference, report on the proceedings will be prepared for circulation to policy-makers and opinion leaders in both nations.

U.S.-China relations are vast, complex, and significant for the entire globe. Last November’s productive summit meeting between Presidents Obama and Xi in Beijing gave grounds for optimism as to the way forward for these two nations, and President Xi’s state visit to the United States later in 2015 can be expected to offer new opportunities for forward movement in the bilateral relationship. The American Symposium of the World Forum on China Studies will contribute constructively to the intensifying dialogue between the U.S and the PRC in this important period.