‘Shaking the Global Order’, Series 2, Ep. 4: An Interview with Cheng Li on the Impact of the Shanghai Middle Class on China’s Foreign Policy

Hosted by Alan Alexandroff

The new book by Cheng Li - Middle Class Shanghai: Reshaping US-China Engagement, published by Brookings was an excellent moment to bring Cheng Li into the Virtual Studio to explore the influence on the rise of the Middle Class but particularly Shanghai’s middle class on China’s foreign policy. There was so much to ask Cheng Li about the impact of the middle class on the Party and the Government. We will have to bring Cheng Li back but for now a real opportunity to explore Chinese foreign policy from a unique position, the transformation of political leaders, generational change, the Chinese middle class, and technological development in China.

Cheng Li is the director of the John L. Thornton China Center and a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. He is also a distinguished fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto. And he is a director of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

Li is the author or the editor of numerous books including most recently, “China’s Political Development: Chinese and American Perspectives” (2014), “Chinese Politics in the Xi Jinping Era: Reassessing Collective Leadership” (2016), “The Power of Ideas: The Rising Influence of Thinkers and Think Tanks in China” (2017), and the just recently released, “Middle Class Shanghai: Reshaping U.S.-China Engagement”.

In 1985, Cheng Li came to the United States, where he received a master’s in Asian studies from the University of California, Berkeley and a doctorate in political science from Princeton University.

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