The U.S. and China: Mutual Public Perceptions, Day 2 | Wilson Center

The U.S. and China: Mutual Public Perceptions, Day 2

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Chinese and American images of each other are notoriously volatile.  Many factors are at work.  Widely different histories, contrasting cultures, dissimilar development experiences, and competing values all complicate the task of forming accurate impressions of the other.  In recent times, the legacy of the Korean War and the infrequency of direct contact from 1949 to 1979 played a large role.  While channels of communication have multiplied since then, this has not necessarily enhanced the accuracy of mutual impressions.

This volatility matters because mutual perceptions affect the way the two peoples deal with each other both officially and informally. To probe these various images, the channels through which they travel to the other side, and the specific issues which give rise to problematic mutual perceptions, the Kissinger Institute convened seventeen scholars and public figures from China and America in July, 2010.  For each channel of communication -- the media, returned scholars and students, popular culture – and for each problematic issue – religion, law, individual vs. group interests – we paired one presenter from each country. The result was an insightful collection of papers that spurred interesting and enlightening discussion.  


  • SUN Zhe

    Director, Center for U.S.-China Relations, Tsinghua University
  • ZHANG Chuanjie

    Tsinghua University
  • Cheng Li

    Former Fellow
    Director of Research and Senior Fellow at the John L. Thornton China Center in the Foreign Policy Program, Brookings Institution
  • JIANG Changjian

    Associate Professor, Fudan University
  • TIAN Wei

    China Central Television
  • James Fallows

    National Correspondent, The Atlantic Monthly
  • ZHOU Qingan

    Tsinghua University
  • Robert Daly

    Director, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States
  • Jerome Cohen

    New York University Law School
  • WANG Zhenmin

    Tsinghua University Law School
  • XU Yihua

    Fudan University
  • Richard Madsen

    University of California, San Diego
  • LIU Jianfei

    Central Party School of the Communist Party of China
  • Jamie P. Horsley

    Senior Fellow and Visiting Lecturer-in-Law, Paul Tsai China Center, Yale Law School
  • Ellen Frost

    Senior Advisor and Fellow, East West Center and Visiting Distinguished Research Fellow, Institute of National Strategic Studies, National Defense University
  • TAO Wenzhao

    Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
  • J. Stapleton Roy

    Distinguished Fellow
    Founding Director Emeritus, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States