Bucknell to host international China conference

LEWISBURG – Bucknell University will host leading scholars and experts on Chinese politics, economics, history, foreign affairs and science and technology April 3 and 4 for the “China and Innovation: Past, Present and Future” conference.

The conference, which is free and open to the public, will include panel discussions and two keynote addresses.

“We will examine the role of innovation in China – what it has done, what it is doing now and where the country is headed in the increasingly competitive world,” said Zhiqun Zhu, associate professor of political science and international relations at Bucknell. Zhu also serves as director of the China Institute at Bucknell, which has organized this conference.

John Mearsheimer will give the opening address, “Can China Rise Peacefully?” at 7:30 p.m. April 3 in Trout Auditorium of the Vaughan Literature Building. Zheng Yongnian will give the luncheon address, “China’s Political System: Innovations and Challenges,” at noon April 4 in the Center Room of the Elaine Langone Center.

Mearsheimer, a renowned international relations theorist, is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. A graduate of West Point and five-year. Air Force veteran, Mearsheimer received his doctorate degree in political science from Cornell University. He was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University’s Center for International Affairs from 1980-82 and has taught at the University of Chicago since 1982.

He is the author of five books including “The Tragedy of Great Power Politics” (2001), winner of the Joseph Lepgold Book Prize which has been translated into eight languages; “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”(with Stephen M. Walt, 2007) a New York Times best seller, which has been translated into 21 languages; and his most recent, “Why Leaders Lie: The Truth about Lying in International Politics” (2011), which has been translated into 10 languages.

Mearsheimer has written numerous articles in academic journals and many op-ed pieces for the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times dealing with U.S. foreign policy issues. In recent years, he has attempted to use his theory of “offensive realism” to interpret and predict China’s rise as a global power and what it means for the international system.

Zheng, who is professor and director of the East Asian Institute at the National University of Singapore, has served as a consultant to the United Nations Development Programme on China’s rural development and democracy.

He is the author of more than a dozen books, including “Technological Empowerment,” “De Facto Federalism in China,” “Discovering Chinese Nationalism in China” and “Globalization and State Transformation in China.” He also has edited and co-edited nearly 20 books on China’s politics and society.

He is the editor of book series on China for World Scientific Publishing and Routledge, and he is a co-editor of “China: An International Journal.”

In addition, Zheng has been a columnist for “Xinbao” (Hong Kong) and “Lianhe Zaobao” (Singapore) for many years, writing commentaries on China’s domestic and international affairs.

Other invited speakers include scholars from Cornell, MIT, University of Pennsylvania, Virginia, Iowa, Pittsburgh, West Chester, California State and the U.S. International Trade Commission as well as senior managers from GE and IBM. The conference also will highlight research by several Bucknell faculty.

Members of the Bucknell community are welcome to join with speakers for several panel discussions on April 4 in Walls Lounge of the Elaine Langone Center. Topics include Chinese Innovation in History, beginning at 8:40 a.m.; Innovation in Business and Economics at 10:50 a.m.; Innovation in Politics and Governance at 1:30 p.m.; and Innovation in Science and Technology at 3:20 p.m.

Following the panel discussions, a reception will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Gallery of the Samek Art Museum on the third floor of the Elaine Langone Center. The reception will feature an exhibition of paintings by primary school students from Yunnan Province, collected during Bucknell University’s first service-learning trip to China last May.

“The China Institute aims to promote teaching, learning and research about China at Bucknell University. This is the Institute’s first international conference that brings leading scholars and experts to campus,” Zhu said.

“Events like this are great opportunities for anyone who wishes to learn more about China and engage in discussions and debates about China. My colleagues and I at the China Institute hope that our community, especially our students, will benefit from the conference.”