AAPI: A term sometimes used in the United States referring to people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent.  Sometimes used interchangeably with APA: Asian/Pacific American. 

Antony Blinken: United States 71st secretary of state (2021-), deputy national secretary advisor (2013-2015), and deputy secretary of state (2015-2017). 

APA Justice: A non-partisan platform designed to address racial profiling and to facilitate, inform, and advocate on selected issues related to justice and fairness for the Asian Pacific American community. 

Autonomous regions (of China): Inner Mongolia, Guangxi, Tibet, Ningxia, and Xinjiang. The autonomous regions have a higher population of a particular minority ethnic group: respectively Mongol, Zhuang, Tibetan, Hui, and Uighur/Uyghur.  

Beijing Xiangshan Forum: A high-level, multilateral forum discussing security and defense issues in the Asia-Pacific. It was founded in 2006 by the China Association of Military Science and was originally known simply as the Xiangshan Forum.

Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): Plan announced in 2013 to connect China with the rest of the world to create a “New Silk Road” through Chinese development and investment throughout the world, including central Asia, Europe, Southeast and South Asia, Africa, and Latin America. 

BRICS: A grouping of the economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa founded in 2010. The group has expanded to include six other countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, and the organization is now known as BRICS Plus.

CCP: The Chinese Communist Party, officially the Communist Party of China, is the founding and ruling party of the People’s Republic of China. 

Century of Humiliation: (1839-1949) Term used in China to refer to the period in the late Qing dynasty of Western and Japanese imperialism.  

Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975): Founding president of the Republic of China (terms 1950-1975). He was the former president of the KMT before China’s Civil War and the party’s relocation to Taiwan.

The “China Challenge”: Term used in the United States to present the series of challenges that the United States faces politically and economically within the U.S.-China relationship. 

The China Initiative: Led by the Department of Justice National Security Division (NSD) from 2018 to 2022, to investigate allegations of spying by Chinese and Chinese Americans in the United States. 

Chinese Student and Scholar Associations (CSSA): The official organization for overseas Chinese students and scholars at most colleges and universities outside of the People’s Republic of China.  

CHIPS and Science Act: Passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden in 2022, a U.S. government plan to invest $52.7 billion into American research, development, manufacturing, and workforce development. (Source)

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP): CPTPP is a free trade agreement among Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore, and Vietnam. 

Confucius Institutes:  Educational and cultural promotion programs, most often housed at overseas colleges and universities, currently funded and arranged by the Chinese International Education Foundation, a government-organized non-governmental organization under the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. 

Cultural Revolution: (1966-1976) The Cultural Revolution was a cultural and political movement, started by Mao Zedong, to purge China of the “four olds” (old ideas, old culture, old customs, and old habits). This campaign resulted in irreparable damage to cultural, religious, and academic institutions as well as widespread economic, cultural, and social turmoil. Fatalities range from hundreds of thousands to millions, according to various sources.  

Decoupling: Reducing or severing economic links with China-based or Chinese institutions. 

Democratic People’s Party: The DPP is a political party founded in 1986 by democracy activists opposed to the authoritarian rule and martial law in Taiwan at the time. The DPP is one of Taiwan’s two largest political parties and has held Taiwan’s presidency since 2016 in Tsai Ing-wen.

Deng Xiaoping: Deng Xiaoping was a prominent Chinese political leader widely associated with initiating Chinese “reform and opening” era, stimulating China’s economic growth of the 1980s and beyond. Deng served as the paramount leader of the PRC (1978-1989).  

Derisking: Reducing economic risks in global industries and supply chains, I.e. by relocating production out of risky areas, related to decoupling but often promoted as a more realistic business strategy. 

East China Sea: Part of the Pacific Ocean bordering China, the Korean Peninsula, and Japan. 

Fulbright Program: One of several United States cultural exchange programs with the goal to improve intercultural relations, cultural diplomacy, and intercultural competence between the people of the United States and other countries through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills. 

Great Firewall of China: A broad term for Chinese internet censorship, a digital “wall” around the Chinese internet space. 

Henry Kissinger: Served as the United States Secretary of State (1973-1977) and National Security Advisor (1969-1975) under the Nixon administration. Kissinger’s secret trip to China (1971) to meet with then-Premier Zhou Enlai became a crucial point in the birth of the modern relationship between the United States and China.  

Hu Jintao: General secretary of the CCP (2002-2012), president of China (2003-2013), and chairman of the Central Military Commission (2004-2012). 

Hukou: The citizenship registration system in China, where citizens are registered by location of their birth. One’s hukou registration determines allocation of resources, such as educational opportunities.  

Jiang Zemin: General secretary of the CCP (1989-2002), chairman of the Central Military Commission (1989-2004), and President of China (1993-2003). 

Tiananmen Square: A large square in the center of Beijing ringed by the Great Hall of the People to the west, the National Museum of China to the east, Qianmen Avenue to the south and Forbidden City to the north. It is known in the west for the student demonstrations that culminated in a violent crackdown on June 4, 1989. 

Li Keqiang: premier of the PRC (2013-2023), second-ranked member of Politburo Standing Committee of the CCP (2012-2022). 

Mao Zedong: A Chinese communist revolutionary who was the founder of the People’s Republic of China, which he led as the chairman of the Chinese Communist Party from the establishment of the PRC in 1949 until his death in 1976.   

No first use pledge: China’s commitment not to use nuclear weapons first under any circumstance. 

Non-Proliferation Treaty: Short for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, it is an international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. 

Non-traditional intelligence collectors: Students, researchers, businesspeople, or people who have non-intelligence-related jobs who act as proxies or surrogates for the intelligence service. 

Nuclear Posture Review: A legislatively mandated review that establishes U.S. nuclear policy, strategy, capabilities and force posture for the next five to ten years. 

One China Policy: The One China Policy states that the United States government recognizes the PRC as the sole, legitimate government of China. This does not imply that the United States government agrees with the PRC stance on Taiwan. (source)  

One China Principle: A position formally held by the PRC government, and “acknowledged” but not explicitly supported by the U.S. government: “There is but one China in the world, Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, and the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China.” (source)  

Opening-up and Reform Era: (1979- ) The “opening up” of the Chinese market allowed foreign investment in China with the aim to rebuild the Chinese economy under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping. 

Opium Wars: (1839- 42, 1856-60) fighting between China and Western powers over the possession, trade, and disposal of opium in China. The wars resulted in Chinese concessions to Great Britain, expanded to other western countries and Japan in the form of treaty ports (including Hong Kong) and the freedom to travel and conduct business/missionary work anywhere in China.  

P5 + 1 members: The P5+1 refers to the UN Security Council’s five permanent members (the P5) –  China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States; plus, Germany. 

Party Congress: The highest political body within the CCP that meets every five years for one week to discuss and confirm leadership changes within the Party.  

People-to-people diplomacy: non-governmental exchanges between citizens of two countries that contribute to stronger relations between the two countries 

Ping-Pong Diplomacy: (1971, 1972) The U.S. Table Tennis team traveled to China in one of the only visits of Americans to China after the establishment of the PRC in 1949. A reciprocal visit of the Chinese team followed the next year.  Ping-pong diplomacy began cultural exchange and people-to-people engagement and understanding between the United States and China. 

People’s Liberation Army (PLA): The People’s Liberation Army is the military force of the People’s Republic of China and the armed wing of the Chinese Communist Party. 

Politburo Standing Committee: This committee is responsible for top decision-making within the CCP, including issues of legislation and matters of state. 

Qin Gang:  Served as minister of foreign affairs (2022-2023), state councilor of China (2023), Chinese Ambassador to the United States (2021-2023), vice minister of foreign affairs (2018-2021), director of protocol at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2015-2018), and director of information at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2011-2015). 

The Quad: Officially the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, the Quad is an alliance between India, Japan, the United States, and Australia to establish rule of law in the Indo-Pacific.  

Semiconductor: essential part of a wide variety of electronics devices, from cellphones to weapons. Taiwan produces approximately 20% of the world’s semiconductors. 

Shanghai Communique: (1972) The Shanghai Communique was issued between the United States and China, beginning the process of diplomatic recognition between the two nations, which culminated in 1979. 

South China Sea: The area of the Pacific Ocean that borders Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Vietnam, the PRC, and Taiwan. (source)

Special Administrative Regions (SAR) of China: Hong Kong and Macao. 

Special Economic Zones (SEZ): Areas that are designed to create positive economic growth, usually through favorable policies such as less strict government oversight or more free-market oriented policies. SEZs in China may be as small as individual cities (Qingdao, Shenzhen) or as large as provinces (Hainan) and are granted greater economic flexibility and openness, especially to foreign investment and trade. 

Strategic Competition with China Act: The Strategic Competition Act of 2021 recognizes that the current moment demands a unified, strategic response to China that includes rebuilding American global leadership, investing in the U.S. ability to out-compete China, and regrounding diplomacy in the country’s core values. 

Taiwan People’s Party: Political party in Taiwan. Founded in 2019 by Ko Wen-je, who has been the party’s leader and chairman since then, the TPP is the largest third party in Taiwan competing with the larger and more established Democratic People’s Party and Kuomintang.

Taiwan Relations Act: A U.S. government act introduced in 1979 that allows for the U.S. to maintain extensive, close, and friendly commercial, cultural, and other relations between the people of the United States and the people in Taiwan, while formally recognizing the People’s Republic of China. The Act does not define formal diplomatic relations. (source)

Taiwan Strait: The body of water between the Chinese mainland and the island of Taiwan. 

TikTok: U.S. social media app for shortform videos owned by parent company ByteDance, based in China. 

The Thousand Talents Plan: The Thousand Talents Plan is a CCP program, initiated in 2008, to attract outstanding overseas young scholars/professionals to contribute to China’s academic development, especially in STEM fields. (source 1, source 2)

Two Sessions (Lianghui): Annual meetings of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) to discuss and introduce new policies.  

Wang Yi: Serves as the CCP Central Committee Foreign Affairs Commission Office (2023- ), Minister of Foreign Affairs (2013-2022; 2023-), member of the 20th Politburo.  

WeChat: A popular application, owned by Tencent, that is used widely throughout China and internationally. It includes features such as social media feeds, WeChat Pay, and instant messaging. 

WeChat ban: On August 6, 2020, President Trump issued Executive Order 13943, which stated that due to national security and data privacy concerns, anyone in the United States would be prohibited from engaging in any transaction that is related to WeChat, effectively banning WeChat from the United States. The ban was officially dropped by the Biden administration in June 2021. 

Xi Jinping: General secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and chairman of the Central Military Commission (2012-), and president of the People’s Republic of China (2013-). 

Xinjiang: An autonomous territory in northwest China, home to many ethnic minority groups, including the Turkic Uyghur people. 

Zero COVID policies: Also known as COVID-Zero, Zero COVID was was China’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It attempted to prevent COVID from entering or spreading in China through a series of rigorous control measures including frequent testing and strict quarantines. 

Zhou Enlai: First Premier of the PRC (1954-1976). 

This list is updated every six months to keep up with our educational content.