Will a rising China be a threat to its neighbors, like Germany in 1914? Or a benign power that will exercise influence through peaceful means, as China is purported to have done in its imperial past? Or is China’s rise an unprecedented event to which no historical analogies apply? How China’s story is told, and who tells it, has deep repercussions for U.S.-China relations.
Robert Daly is Director of the Wilson Center’s Kissinger Institute on China and the United States. Formerly, he was director of the Maryland China Initiative at the University of Maryland. From 2001 to 2007 he was American Director of the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies, in Nanjing, China. He began work in U.S.-China relations as a diplomat with the United States Information Agency from 1989 to 1991, after which he taught Chinese at Cornell. From 1992 to 1999 he worked on television projects in China as a host, actor, and writer, and helped to produce Chinese-language versions of Sesame Street and other Children's Television Workshop programs. During that same period he directed the Syracuse University China seminar and served as a commentator on U.S.-China relations and Chinese affairs for several U.S. and Chinese media outlets. In 2000 and 2001 he served as American Director of the U.S.-China Housing Initiative. He is a regular commentator on current affairs for the Chinese service of the Voice of America.