Event Details

Competition between the United States and China is one of the great forces shaping the world's post-Covid future, alongside Russia's invasion of Ukraine and growing economic headwinds near and far. Is cooperation on some issues still possible when increasingly heated rhetoric threatens to deepen distrust? Is sustained tension the way forward for these two superpowers? Or are there other options or models for bilateral engagement? Join us in conversation with U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns to consider the many factors influencing U.S.-China relations.


Please note that the Ambassador will be in Beijing and we will watch the livestream together and then continue the conversation over a networking cocktail.

Please note that this event is limited to senior-level executives and per invitation only. If you are not an existing member of The Economist Intelligence Corporate Network, but would like to learn how you can attend our events, please contact us.

Agenda

5 PM - 5:30 PM
Registration and Network
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
6:30 PM - 8 PM
Cocktails Party

Speakers

  • Ambassador Nicholas Burns (Ambassador of the United States of America to the People’s Republic of China)

    Ambassador Nicholas Burns

    Ambassador of the United States of America to the People’s Republic of China

    Nicholas Burns is Ambassador of the United States of America to the People’s Republic of China(PRC). Nominated by President Biden, he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in December 2021.

    As Ambassador, he will lead a team of experienced, dedicated, and diverse public servants from forty-seven U.S. government agencies and sub-agencies at the U.S. Mission in China, including at the Embassy in Beijing and at the American Consulates in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan, and Shenyang. He will oversee the Mission’s interaction with the PRC on the full range of political, security, economic, commercial, consular, and many other issues that shape this critical relationship.

    Ambassador Burns is on a public service leave from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government where he was Goodman Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations until 2021 and founded the school’s Future of Diplomacy Project.

    He has had a long career in American diplomacy serving six Presidents and nine Secretaries of State. Most recently, he was a member of the Foreign Policy Advisory Board of Secretary of State John Kerry (2014-2017).

    While serving at the Department of State as a career Foreign Service Officer, he was Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (2005-2008) where he led numerous negotiations, including on the U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Deal, a long-term military assistance agreement with Israel, and on Iran’s nuclear program.

    As Ambassador to NATO (2001-2005), he led U.S. efforts in Brussels on 9/11 when the Alliance invoked Article 5 of the NATO Treaty for the first time in its history. He managed the combined State-Defense Department U.S. Mission when NATO accepted seven new members in Eastern Europe and embarked on missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    He was Ambassador to Greece (1997-2001) and prior to that, served as State Department Spokesperson (1995-1997).

    He worked on the National Security Council at the White House (1990-1995) where he was Special Assistant to President Clinton and Senior Director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia Affairs and Director for Soviet Affairs for President George H.W. Bush during the collapse of the USSR.

    Ambassador Burns began his Foreign Service career in the Middle East. He worked at the American Consulate General in Jerusalem (1985-1987) where he coordinated U.S. economic assistance to Palestinians on the West Bank, at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt (1983-85) and, as an intern, at the U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott, Mauritania (1980).

    He first visited China in 1988 accompanying Secretary of State George Shultz and then President George H.W. Bush in 1989. He subsequently made visits to China with Secretaries Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright as Spokesperson, including during the handover of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the PRC in 1997.

    As Under Secretary of State, he worked with the PRC government on a diverse range of issues, including Afghanistan, North Korea, United Nations sanctions against Iran and U.S. policy in the Indo-Pacific. As a private citizen, he also created and managed an Aspen Strategy Group policy dialogue with the PRC government’s Central Party School.

    Burns co-authored in 2020 with Ambassadors Marc Grossman and Marcie Ries a major study on the future of American diplomacy. They called for fundamental reforms to strengthen the Foreign and Civil Service and to renew our country’s commitment to diplomacy.

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  • Dr Qian Liu (Managing Director of The Economist Group Greater China)

    Dr Qian Liu

    Managing Director of The Economist Group Greater China

    Liu Qian is Managing Director of The Economist Group in greater China. As an economist and business executive, Qian understands both China and the West, and has shown exceptional ability to bridge the two in the age of China rising and new globalization.

    Previously, Qian headed the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Economics Unit and China research, and chaired internal review with the European Securities and Market Authority. As an economist, Qian has deep knowledge of Chinese economy, publishes in highly regarded academic journals and business including Oxford Economic Papers, Project Syndicate, The Economist World in, and is frequently interviewed by BBC, CNBC, NPR, etc.

    Qian is also a prominent advocate for gender equality, and introduces cutting edge global economic research on gender, and promotes intelligent public debates reaching millions of people. She also serves as Vice Chair for the British Chamber of Commerce in China. Outstanding Women Award in China by Caixin. She was named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2019.

    Qian was born and grew up in China, earned her PhD in economics from Uppsala University, Sweden, and was previously a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley, and received business executive leadership training from Stanford University and attended Global Leadership and Public Policy program at Harvard University.

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  • Mattie Bekink (China Director of The Economist Intelligence Corporate Network)

    Mattie Bekink

    China Director of The Economist Intelligence Corporate Network

    Mattie Bekink is responsible for the Economist Intelligence Corporate Network’s China strategy, including programme development and client engagement across China.

    Ms Bekink has extensive experience in the public, private and policy sectors. Prior to joining The Economist Group, she was the Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission in the Netherlands. She also ran an eponymous consulting business, advising businesses, universities and non-profit organisations on China policy, strategy, public affairs, and CSR. Ms Bekink practiced law at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, has worked with the US-Asia Law Initiative at NYU Law School and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative China Program, and served in the legal department at General Motors China.

    Ms Bekink has a BA in International Relations from Stanford University and a JD from the Georgetown University Law Center.

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  • Yue Su (Economist, China at EIU)

    Yue Su

    Economist, China at EIU

    As China economist at The Economist Intelligence Unit, Yue plays a leading role in shaping the EIU’s views on China’s economy at both the national and regional level. Her research focuses on infrastructure development, regional economics, state-owned enterprises and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). She leads the regional forecasting work conducted under the EIU’s Access China service, which offers unrivalled analytical coverage of China’s provinces and cities, and is also involved in advising Chinese companies investing globally.

    Yue joined The EIU in 2013, initially as a deputy economist. During her time at The EIU she has contributed to several special reports, including the China Going Global Investment Index (2015 & 2017), Prospects and challenges on China’s “One Belt, One Road”: a risk assessment report and China’s supply-side structural reforms: progress and outlook. She has also acted as a consultant or advisor on several commissioned studies in the infrastructure field, such as on public-private partnerships in China and Asia, and is one of the authors of the BRI Quarterly report available to EIU clients.

    Yue holds a doctorate in political economy from the Central Party School/Chinese Academy of Governance. Her research focused on the aid effectiveness of multilateral development banks and analysed the factors that might disrupt the investment returns of infrastructure projects. Before joining The EIU she worked as a local government civil servant in China. Yue holds a BA in Economics from Hunan University and a Masters of Economics from The University of Hong Kong.

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  • James Heller (Consul General at U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai)

    James Heller

    Consul General at U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai

    James Heller is a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service and Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai.  His previous assignment was Director of the Office of Japanese Affairs at the State Department. In Washington, Mr. Heller has also served in the Office of Taiwan Coordination, Office of Korean Affairs, the State Department’s 24/7 Operations Center, the Office of Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus Affairs, and the Office of Multilateral Trade Affairs.  Overseas, Mr. Heller has served twice at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing as well at the U.S. Embassies in Seoul and Kyiv and with Regional Reconstruction Team Erbil in Iraq.

    Mr. Heller has a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Michigan and is a Hopkins-Nanjing Center graduate. His wife Lisa is also a U.S. Senior Foreign Service Officer. They have an adult daughter and son.

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