- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

HKS Expands Research, Collaboration with China

| Spring 2014

During the past year, the Belfer Center and Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation have continued building on their years of work aimed at improving U.S.-China cooperation and exploring opportunities and challenges related to China.

In March, the Ash and Belfer Centers will co-host a forum to mark the 35th anniversary of the normalization of U.S.-China diplomatic relations. Led by Ash Center Director Anthony Saich, the Kennedy School is collaborating with the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries to facilitate an off-the-record discussion on the current and future state of U.S.-China relations. The objective is to discuss global issues that affect the bilateral relationship – such as changing global institutions, finance and trade, and cooperation in science and technology – and to explore specific research possibilities for future targeted workshops and policy papers.


Power and Security

The Belfer Center’s Richard Rosecrance, who heads Harvard’s U.S.-China Relations Program, worked with Huang Ping of the American Studies Program of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences to stage a U.S.-China conference in Beijing in January. The conference was the ninth in a series of meetings designed to explore challenges in U.S.-Chinese relations. The conference participants, scholars, and former officials from China and the United States, explored models of cooperation and the possibilities of disagreement between the two states. Harvard participants included Rosecrance, Belfer Center Executive Director for Research Gary Samore, Senior Fellow William Tobey, and  Harvard professor Ezra Vogel.

Also in December, Harvard Kennedy School’s Joseph S. Nye, a member of the Belfer Center’s board of directors, received an honorary doctorate from China’s Shandong University. Nye has written extensively on U.S.-China dominance issues and on China’s relations with the U.S. and its neighbors. In January, Nye spoke at the World Economic Forum on U.S., China, and Japan relations.

The Belfer Center’s Project on Managing the Atom (MTA) has ongoing projects with China. MTA’s Professor of Practice Matthew Bunn, Senior Research Associate Hui Zhang, and others in MTA focus primarily on China’s nuclear security policies and practices and on China’s plans for dealing with its spent nuclear fuel as its nuclear energy sector grows.

Several Belfer Center fellows— Tong Zhao (Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow), along with International Security Program research fellows Adam Liff, Jeehye Kim, and Nina Silove, explore a range of issues related to security and power issues.


Energy and Environment

The Belfer Center has worked with China on a range of energy and environmental issues for nearly a decade. Currently, the Center’s Environment and Natural Resources Program (ENRP), Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program (STPP), and Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group (ETIP) – along with Harvard Kennedy School’s Sustainability Science Program – are partnering with a number of Chinese institutions. ENRP and Tsinghua University, are planning a workshop on using market mechanisms to further development goals.

Kelly Sims Gallagher, senior research associate and Center board member, is working on a collaborative project with the Belfer Center and Tsinghua University called “Cooperate or Compete? (CoC).” The CoC examines the innovation capacities and strategies of the U.S. and China to identify how it is appropriate for the countries to collaborate, and when it is better to compete.  She recently published The Globalization of Clean Energy Technology: Lessons from China and is working on a new book on climate policy in both countries.

Five Belfer Center research fellows, Zhu Liu, Xiaoqi Xu, Di Xia, and Scott Moore, along with Harvard Ph.D. student Sabrina Howell, have been in China this year researching issues that include building efficiency, renewable energy options, water reforms, and efficient motor vehicles. A team of five students is partnering with the Institute of Urban Environment on developing a low carbon strategy for Shanghai that may become a model for other cities across China. ETIP’s Water/Energy Nexus (WEN) project is researching links between water and energy systems in China.

(See more here on the Belfer Center's deepening engagement with China and an initiative led by former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to explore possibilities and impacts of a new strategic China-U.S. relationship.)

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Wilke, Sharon. HKS Expands Research, Collaboration with China.” Belfer Center Newsletter (Spring 2014).

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