Wednesday, December 7, 2016 | 5:30 PM EST - 7:00 PM EST

National Committee on U.S.-China Relations |, New York, NY

Unresolved questions about Hong Kong’s political future, long hidden beneath the surface of the territory’s bustling commercial activity, burst to the forefront in 2014 in response to proposed electoral reforms. Since then the struggle for democracy in Hong Kong has developed into a significant challenge to Beijing’s vision for the former British colony. The Umbrella Movement, the 2015 “Fishball Revolution,” and the recent LegCo oath-taking controversy, which have drawn a lot of media attention, mark the entry of a new generation of political actors, more idealistic and committed to the realization of full electoral democracy than their elders; they also reflect popular resentment long in the making. Since the territory’s reversion to China almost 20 years ago (in 1997), economic inequality has grown, community-police relations have deteriorated, and some worry that they are losing control of their own cultural and political destiny.

An expert on China’s relations with its neighbors, Dr. Richard C. Bush is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and is director of its Center for East Asia Policy Studies. In his new book, Hong Kong in the Shadow of China: Living with the Leviathan, Dr. Bush examines both the immediate and long term causes of Hong Kong’s demonstrations, and analyzes the emergence of a pro-democracy movement galvanized by millennials’ activism. He explores the options available to Hong Kong and China, as well as what they must do to ensure both economic competitiveness and good governance. On December 7, 2016, Dr. Bush discussed his book, the Hong Kong protests, and their implications for U.S policy with the National Committee in New York City.

Richard C. Bush

Richard C. Bush is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, director of its Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies, and holder of the Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies. He joined Brookings in 2002, after serving almost five years as the chairman and managing director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the mechanism through which the United States Government conducts relations with Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic relations.

Dr. Bush began his career in 1977 with the China Council of the Asia Society. From July 1983 to June 1995, he worked on the staff of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, first on the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs (chair, Steve Solarz), and then the full committee (chair, Lee Hamilton). In July 1995, he became national intelligence officer for East Asia and a member of the National Intelligence Council (NIC), which coordinates the analytic work of the intelligence committee. He left the NIC in September 1997 to become head of the AIT.

Dr. Bush received his undergraduate education at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. He did his graduate work in political science at Columbia University, receiving an M.A. in 1973 and Ph.D. in 1978. He is the author of a number of articles on U.S. relations with China and Taiwan, as well as several books, including At Cross Purposes (2004), a book of essays on the history of America’s relations with Taiwan; Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait (2005); Perils of Proximity: China-Japan Security Relations (2010); and Uncharted Strait: The Future of China-Taiwan Relations (2013). He is also the co-author of A War Like No Other: The Truth About China’s Challenge to America (2007).