US and China: From Co-Evolution to Decoupling

Henry Kissinger secretly visited China in 1971 to restore US ties, and the Chinese have respected him since. With a trade war underway and US concerns about intellectual property theft, the relationship has soured and transformed: from co-evolution, described by Kissinger as pursuit of domestic imperatives and cooperating as possible to decoupling. “The parochial outlook in the United States and the growing nationalism in China is heading toward disengagement,” explains Vincent Ni, journalist and 2018 Yale Greenberg World Fellow. Ni describes this as disruptive and dangerous, forcing countries to choose sides. Ni urges Chinese and US leaders to develop new rules for 21st century trade, economics and technology while finding ways to cooperate and contribute to global public goods while coexisting militarily. As Kissinger suggested in his writings, a good relationship is essential for world peace and progress even as both nations pursue their own paths of exceptionalism. – YaleGlobal

US Free Speech vs China’s Censorship

The US-China trade clash centers on intellectual property theft. “An underlying factor is the Chinese government’s rigorous censorship of imported cultural products,” explains Ge Chen, professor of law. The US Constitution protects speech as a check against excessive government power with the First Amendment and describes the purpose of copyrights to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” After early printing technology emerged, China allowed the practice of duplicating copies in the 10th century but only with government permission. “In Sino-US trade talks at the end of the 19th century, the Qing government agreed to copyright protection for books from US publishers on the condition that the government would censor politically sensitive content beforehand,” Chen explains. Versions of the policy have been in place since, with only a few disruptions like the Cultural Revolution. Such policies attract public curiosity to banned works and associated devices, he concludes, and China’s “entrenched system of suffocating the free flow of ideas is bound to buttress the legitimacy of piracy in China and generate conflict with any tangible or intangible products carrying free speech.” He concludes strong copyright protection by China for both domestic and foreign creators would eventually promote freedom of expression. – YaleGlobal

Thomas Thurston talks about teaching transatlantic histories in the classroom.

Thomas Thurston is the Director of Education and Public Outreach at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at the MacMillan Center. Tom has led week-long NEH workshops for K-12 teachers and has organized several collaborative international institutes for teachers in Ghana, the U.S., and the UK. He also has acted as a consulting historian for several Teaching American History programs and has served as a curriculum developer for WNET’s Educational Technologies Department, including the documentary series “The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow” and “Slavery and the Making of America.”

Learn more about Thomas Thurston.

Click in and learn!

Register now for our 2019 Service Trip to Batey Libertad, Dominican Republic – space is limited!

Batey Libertad, Dominican Republic
March 8 to 17, 2019 

The Yale Alumni Service Corps is pleased to announce its upcoming service trip to Batey Libertad, a marginalized rural community in the Dominican Republic.  The service trip is timed to coincide with Yale’s spring break so that Yale undergraduates can participate in the program.

Batey Libertad is a community of between 600 and 1,000 residents located about an hour outside of Santiago, in the north of the Dominican Republic.  The community is a mix of Haitians, Dominicans and Dominicans of Haitian descent.  Most residents are engaged in non-contractual agricultural and construction work, and have little access to healthcare and other public services.  Access to clean water is limited, and there are no public sanitation systems.

We are delighted to be able to coordinate this service trip with Yspaniola, a non-profit established by Yale undergraduates and alumni ten years ago to promote quality education within Batey Libertad.  Yspaniola operates a literacy center for students in first to seventh grade and an early childhood education program for younger children.  In addition, Yspaniola provides a limited number of university scholarships for the most promising students in the community.  As part of its program, Yspaniola regularly hosts service-learning programs for Yale undergraduates, as well as programs for students from other institutions. Yspaniola’s expertise in teaching Dominican and Haitian history and culture should make the service trip a particularly rewarding learning experience for YASC participants.

More information about Yspaniola and Batey Libertad is available at
http://www.yspaniola.org

Continue reading

At F&ES, Rwanda Official Makes Case for Stronger Policy-Academic Partnership

michael jenkins forest trends yale

Last year, Rwanda became the third of 39 countries to ratify the Kigali Amendment, an amendment to the Montreal Protocol that, among other goals, set a timetable for reducing the production and usage of hydrofluorocarbons, a category of potent planet-warming gases, in cooling and refrigeration systems.

The agreement, which struck a balance between the need for these air-cooling technologies in a warming world and the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, was named for the Rwandan capital that hosted the meeting where the agreement was reached. It was approved by nearly 200 national “parties” to the historic Montreal Protocol, the 1987 international treaty that sought to reduce emissions of ozone-depleting substances.

http://environment.yale.edu/news/article/at-fampes-rwanda-official-makes-case-for-strong-policyacademics-partnership?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=This%20Week%20at%20FES%20Oct%204%202018&utm_content=This%20Week%20at%20FES%20Oct%204%202018+CID_9f0571d8a0f1f0a7f5d90677470a45ed&utm_source=Email%20Newsletter&utm_term=Read%20more

US Policy on Russia Aims for Iran

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei in 2015; US National Security Adviser John Bolton meets Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev in 2018

Russia interfered in the 2016 US presidential election. Foreign leaders and members of Congress have since focused their attention on Donald Trump’s Russia policies and may be neglecting other national security challenges. “The intense scrutiny placed on Trump and collusion has created a political atmosphere in which Russia has effectively become a boogeyman for domestic political ends,” writes Nicholas Trickett, research scholar and editor-in-chief of BMB Russia. “The Russia story provides political cover for the much scarier prospect of war with Iran.” Trump appointed hawks on Iran for two key positions: national security advisor in March and secretary of state in April. By May, the United States withdrew from the deal on containing Iran’s nuclear weapons program. So far, no policy shifts signal that the United States is going easy on Russia. Trickett analyzes the Trump administration’s subsequent moves with Russia on Syria and concludes that the Iran hawks may have figured out how to manipulate the president for their own political ends. – YaleGlobal

The West Scrutinizes Chinese Investment

Defending Western industry: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker scrutinizes trade deals; in 2016, China’s Midea acquired Kuka, Germany’s top robotics company

Protectionist stances on immigration and trade have overshadowed proposals for stricter reviews of inbound foreign investment: The United States plans reform for the Committee on Foreign Investment of the United States, which reviews projects for national security concerns, and the European Union prepares a pan-European screening mechanism. In 2017, Chinese investment in Europe totaled €35 billion, or $40.75 billion, and the US total was $29.4 billion, down from $46.2 billion in 2016. “Between the Trump administration’s ‘America first’ stance, labeling China a ‘strategic competitor’…, and a mainstream Europe actively looking to improve the EU’s toolbox for screening foreign investments, China is carrying on its old practice of ‘divide and rule’ among states while also trying to play Europeans against Americans, thanks to the current ‘trade war,’” writes Philippe Le Corre, a senior fellow with the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School and a nonresident senior fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The United States and Europe, by cooperating, would enjoy a stronger negotiating position. – YaleGlobal