DescriptionWatch this keynote lecture live here - no registration required. This lecture will address China’s search for academic and scientific talent, highlight the US role in that process, assess the recent attempts by the US to disengage from these ties and look forward to how the Biden administration is likely to respond. https://wep.kaust.edu.sa/ A core component of China’s “opening to the outside world,” initiated by Deng Xiaoping in 1978, has been the search for talent and technology. In that year, China decided to send students and scholars abroad to learn from the West and advance China’s scientific capabilities. Despite a “brain drain” in the 1980s and 1990s, since the mid-2000s, China has succeeded well beyond Deng Xiaoping’s imagination. Millions of students have gone abroad, and most have returned. China has poured immense resources into its universities and research institutes and into national programs, to bring them back, triggering what must be the largest reverse migration of talent in history. And while many of the best and brightest have not returned, even those who have remained abroad have played a major role in facilitating China’s academic, scientific and technological rise. The United States has been the major overseas actor to facilitate this rise. Foreign students, the employment of Chinese students trained in America in US academic and research institutions, and expanded research collaboration between the US and China, have aided China’s search for talent and technology. And the US has benefitted as well. However, in 2018, the US government began a major effort to decouple this scientific and academic relationship in the name of American national security and national interest.
David Zweig is Professor Emeritus, Division of Social Science, HKUST, and Director, Transnational China Consulting Limited. He is an Adjunct Professor, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, National University of Defence Technology, Changsha, Hunan, and Vice-President of the Center on China's Globalization (Beijing). Zweig was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University and has lived in Hong Kong since 1996 and was a full-time faculty member at HKUST for 25 years. He is the author or editor of ten books, and he has two online classes registered with COURSERA, one on domestic Chinese politics and one on China and the World, where (as of August 2020), he had taught over 21,000 students.
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