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UNH Hosts National China Town Hall on Sino-American Relations Nov. 16
Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski is Keynote Speaker
November 10, 2011
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DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire has been selected as one of only 50 sites in the country to host a national China Town Hall that will focus on China’s rapid development and Sino-American relations, and will feature Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security advisor and current counselor and trustee of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

“CHINA Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections” is a national day of programming designed to provide Americans across the United States and beyond the opportunity to discuss these issues with leading experts. The fifth annual CHINA Town Hall will be held at UNH at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011, in Richard’s Auditorium, Murkland Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students and the residents of New Hampshire,” said UNH President Mark W. Huddleston. “UNH has a special responsibility as the state’s flagship university to prepare its students and the broader community for engagement with other peoples and across cultures. China is one of the state’s top trade partners, and global competency is essential in the international economy of the 21st century.”

From 1977 to 1981, Brzezinski was national security adviser to the president of the United States. In 1981, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom “for his role in the normalization of U.S.-Chinese relations and for his contributions to the human rights and national security policies of the United States.”

Before his government service, Brzezinski was on the faculty of Harvard University and Columbia University. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from McGill and his doctorate from Harvard.

“Over the past three decades, the Chinese leadership has learned to compete with the global capitalist economies to become the world’s second-largest economy and most important foreign investor in American and European bonds. While China now dispenses wisdom to the ailing economies in the West, foreigners must understand that China in many ways is still a developing nation, especially in terms of its legal structure,” said China scholar Chris Reardon, associate professor of political science and director of UNH’s Asian Studies program, who will moderate the event.

In addition to Brzezinski address via webcast, the UNH event will feature on-site presentation by China specialist Jamie Horsley of the Yale Law School. Bill Hennessey, professor at the UNH School of Law and director of the UNH School of Law - Tsinghua School of Law Intellectual Property Summer Institute in Beijing, China, will introduce Horsley.

Horsley is deputy director of the China Law Center, and also holds the dual positions of senior research scholar and lecturer in law at Yale Law School. Her academic subjects are Chinese law and Chinese legal reform, and her project work revolves primarily around issues of administrative law and regulatory reform, including promoting government transparency, public participation, improved administrative procedures and dispute resolution, and government accountability.

Prior to joining Yale, she was a partner in the international law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; commercial attaché in the U.S. Embassies in Beijing and Manila; vice president of Motorola International, Inc. and director of government relations for China for Motorola, Inc.; and a consultant to The Carter Center on village elections in China.

CHINA Town Hall is underwritten by the Starr Foundation. The UNH event is co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science and the Asian Studies Program at UNH. Local funding also has been provided by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire. 

The University of New Hampshire is a leader in Asian studies in the state of New Hampshire. The university home to the state’s only Confucius Institute, a nonprofit educational institution that promotes Chinese language and culture. The university offers an undergraduate Asian Studies program that provides students with advanced Chinese language classes and a deep knowledge about Asian peoples and their experiences in the United States. UNH’s MBA programs include an intensive, 10-day international business residency program in China. During the summer, UNH hosts the STARTALK Chinese Language Summer Camp, an immersive nonresidential program for middle and high school students focused on Chinese cultural and linguistic activities, including Mandarin Chinese preparation.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.


Media Contact: Lori Wright | 603-862-0574 | UNH Media Relations