Tuesday, March 5, 2024 | 4:00 PM EST - 4:30 PM EST

David M. Lampton’s new book addresses a core critique of the management of Sino-American relations across eight administrations: that naïve American elites conflated their hopes for democracy and a globally responsible China with the actual prospects for those ends, and, in the process, traded away American interests, competitive position, and national security. The book challenges that narrative.

Developments in the U.S.-China relationship are converging in ways that are setting off major alarms; the level of hazard is unlike anything we have seen in a half-century. Living U.S.-China Relations describes the current situation and explains what has brought us to this juncture. 

In an interview conducted on March 5, 2024, David M. Lampton, in conversation with Jan Berris and Gina Tam, discusses U.S.-China ties as a relationship between two societies, not just two states, through the vantage point of the author’s lived experience over nearly six decades.


David M. Lampton

David M. Lampton

David M. Lampton is a senior research fellow at the SAIS Foreign Policy Institute and professor emeritus at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).  For more than two decades he was Hyman Professor and director of China studies at SAIS. Dr. Lampton is former chairman of the The Asia Foundation, former president of the National Committee on U.S. -China Relations, and former dean of faculty at SAIS. His many publications, academic and popular, deal with U.S.-China relations; Chinese foreign policy; Chinese leadership, politics, and power.

He received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University, all in political science. As an undergraduate, he was a firefighter. Dr. Lampton has an honorary doctorate from the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Far Eastern Studies. He is a life trustee of Colorado College and was in the U.S. Army Reserve in the enlisted and commissioned ranks.


Jan Berris

Jan Berris has been with the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations since 1971 – starting as a program associate, moving on to program director, and then vice president. She is responsible for overseeing all program activities of the Committee. This includes being actively involved in preparation and operations for the visits to the United States of hundreds of Chinese delegations (including the 1972 Chinese Ping Pong Team, the first PRC group to come to the United States), and sending hundreds of American delegations to China (she has traveled to China over 165 times since 1973, with people and groups as diverse as a tennis team and a Supreme Court Justice). It also includes developing such ongoing flagship programs as the Public Intellectuals Program, and the Committee’s Track II projects.

Ms. Berris has a B.A. in Chinese studies and an M.A. in Japanese studies, both from the University of Michigan.

Gina Tam

Gina Tam

Gina Anne Tam is an associate professor of modern Chinese history, and the co-director of Women and Gender Studies at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She has been a Public Intellectuals Program fellow at the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and a Wilson China fellow.  She is the author of Dialect and Nationalism in China, 1860-1960 (2020), winner of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Best Book Prize, and her writings have appeared in peer-reviewed journals as well as mainstream publications such as Foreign AffairsDissentLARB and The Nation. She is currently writing a book about women and activism in post-war Hong Kong. 

Dr. Tam received her B.A. in history and Asian studies from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. in modern Chinese history from Stanford University.