November 18, 2019

As U.S.-China strategic competition increasingly affects the lives of every American, on Monday, November 18, at 6:00 p.m. EST, the National Committee presented its thirteenth annual CHINA Town Hall, held at 80+ venues across the United States and China.

George Stephanopoulos moderated this year’s webcast discussion; he was joined by expert panelists Stephen Orlins, Melanie Hart, Yasheng Huang, and Ely Ratner.

This year, the National Committee shifted the CTH format slightly, as we felt that the current political climate warranted community discussions on the issues that are having an impact on us, our businesses, our educational institutions, our communities, our states, and our country. Following the national webcast, each of our partners hosted town hall-style discussions, with the goal of encouraging community members to talk candidly about their attitudes, concerns, and feelings surrounding the bilateral relationship. In most cases, members of the community facilitated these local conversations.

The National Committee was proud to partner with 85+ institutions across the United States and China, and would like to thank its media partner, SupChina, for their help in promoting this year’s program.

CHINA Town Hall

CHINA Town Hall

CHINA Town Hall connects leading China experts with Americans around the country for a national conversation on the implications of China’s rise on U.S.-China relations and its impact on our towns, states, and nation. The National Committee is proud to partner with a range of institutions and community groups, colleges and universities, trade and business associations, and world affairs councils to bring this important national conversation to local communities around America for the 15th consecutive year.

80+ Venues Across the U.S. and China

  • 80+ Venues Across the United States & China
    For additional event details, please consult the above map.


    Arizona State University
    Global Ties Arizona


    University of Arkansas


    University of California, Irvine
    University of California, San Diego, 21st Century China Center
    World Affairs Council Inland Southern California


    University of Colorado Boulder, Center for Asian Studies


    Wesleyan University, College of East Asian Studies
    Yale University, Council on East Asian Studies


    China Aerospace Studies Institute
    Confucius Institute U.S. Center
    Georgetown University Initiative for US-China Dialogue


    World Trade Center Tampa Bay


    Boise State University


    University of Illinois, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies


    Indiana University, East Asian Studies Center; University of Indianapolis


    Clinton Community College
    Drake University
    Muscatine Community College
    Scott Community College


    University of Kansas, Center for East Asian Studies
    Kansas State University Confucius Institute


    Louisiana State University, International Studies Program


    Baltimore-Xiamen Sister City Committee


    Assumption College
    Brandeis International Business School
    Bridgewater State University
    Harvard College China Forum
    The Governor’s Academy Economics Club
    Suffolk University Boston, Rosenberg Institute for East Asian Studies


    Michigan University of Michigan, Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies
    World Affairs Council of Western Michigan


    Minnesota Minnesota State University Mankato
    St. Olaf College
    University of Minnesota China Center
    Winona State University


    Webster University, Confucius Institute; World Affairs Council of St. Louis
    International Relations Council Kansas City; World Trade Center Kansas City


    University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    University of Nevada, Reno-College of Liberal Arts


    University of New Hampshire


    Princeton University


    Columbia University School of Social Work, China Center for Social Policy
    World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara


    University of North Carolina Charlotte, Confucius Institute
    World Affairs Council of Charlotte


    Dayton Council on World Affairs
    Midwest USA Chinese Chamber of Commerce


    University of Oklahoma-Confucius Institute


    Northwest China Council


    University of Pittsburgh, Asian Studies Center
    Bucknell University
    University of Pennsylvania, Center for the Study of Contemporary China
    Saint Joseph’s University
    World Affairs Council of Harrisburg


    Bryant University, U.S.-China Institute


    The Citadel


    South Dakota World Affairs Council


    Battle Ground Academy
    University of Tennessee


    Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations
    St. Edward’s University; Alamo Asian American Chamber of Commerce
    The University of Texas at Austin
    The University of Texas at San Antonio; World Affairs Council of San Antonio


    The Salt Lake Committee on Foreign Relations


    George Mason University
    Southwest Virginia Community College


    Middlebury College


    University of Washington
    Washington State China Relations Council


    La Crosse Luoyang Friendship Association; University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
    Madison Committee on Foreign Relations


    Duke Kunshan University
    New York University-Shanghai

Event Video

National Program Brochure

National Webcast Speakers

  • George StephanopoulosGeorge Stephanopoulos
    Chief Anchor, ABC News
    Anchor, Good Morning America & This Week with George Stephanopoulos

    George Stephanopoulos is ABC News’ chief anchor. He also serves as anchor of Good Morning America and anchor of This Week with George Stephanopoulos. As chief anchor, Mr. Stephanopoulos leads the network’s coverage on all major live events and breaking news around the world.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos has conducted interviews with a wide range of subjects – including former FBI Director James Comey, President Trump, former President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Russian Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin, four former United States Supreme Court Justices to Mark Zuckerberg, Jason Collins, Lady Gaga, George Clooney, and Reese Witherspoon. For more than two decades his range and expertise have played a pivotal role at the network, garnering three Emmys, a DuPont, three Edward R. Murrows, and two Cronkite Awards. Mr. Stephanopoulos joined ABC News in 1997 as an analyst for This Week.

    Prior to joining ABC News, he served in the Clinton administration as the senior advisor to the president for policy and strategy. He is the author of All Too Human, a No. 1 New York Times bestseller. Mr. Stephanopoulos received his master’s degree in theology from Balliol College, Oxford University, England, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University and graduated summa cum laude in political science. Mr. Stephanopoulos and his wife, Alexandra Wentworth, have two daughters, Elliott and Harper.

  • Stephen OrlinsStephen A. Orlins
    President, National Committee on United States-China Relations

    Steve Orlins has been president of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations since 2005. Prior to that, he was the managing director of Carlyle Asia and the chairman of the board of Taiwan Broadband Communications, one of Taiwan's largest cable television and high speed internet providers. Prior to joining Carlyle, Mr. Orlins was a senior advisor to AEA Investors Inc., a New York based leveraged buyout firm, with responsibility for AEA's business activities throughout Asia.

    From 1983 to 1991, Mr. Orlins was with the investment banking firm of Lehman Brothers where he was a Managing Director from 1985 to 1991. From 1987 to 1990, he served as President of Lehman Brothers Asia. Based in Hong Kong, he supervised over 150 professionals with offices in Hong Kong, Korea, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Manila and Singapore. Prior to joining Lehman Brothers, Mr. Orlins practiced law with Coudert Brothers and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York, Hong Kong and Beijing.

    From 1976 to 1979, Mr. Orlins served in the Office of the Legal Advisor of the United States Department of State, first in the Office of the Assistant Legal Advisor for Political-Military Affairs and then for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. While in that office, he was a member of the legal team that helped establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China.

    Mr. Orlins is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and earned his law degree at Harvard Law School. He speaks Mandarin Chinese and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

    In 1992, Mr. Orlins was the Democratic nominee for the United States Congress in New York's Third Congressional District.

  • Melanie HartMelanie Hart
    Senior Fellow & Director, China Policy, Center for American Progress

    Dr. Melanie Hart is a senior fellow and director for China policy at the Center for American Progress, an independent nonpartisan policy institute based in Washington, D.C. She leads the Center’s work on China and U.S.-China relations. Her most recent work focuses on developing a comprehensive U.S. strategy toward China, analyzing the domestic political factors driving Chinese foreign policy in the Xi Jinping era, tracking Chinese industrial policy in the energy and information technology sectors, and assessing China’s intentions toward the global order.

    Dr. Hart has worked on Chinese domestic and foreign policy issues for nearly two decades. Before joining American Progress, she worked in the information technology sector helping American businesses understand China’s emerging industrial policies. She also worked as a consultant on the digital economy for the Aspen Institute and on China policy issues for the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation and other policy and business advisory organizations. Dr. Hart currently serves on the board of the American Mandarin Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the professional development of current and future stewards of the U.S.-China relationship.

    Dr. Hart has a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, San Diego, and a B.A. from Texas A&M University. She studied Chinese at China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing and has worked as a Chinese-English translator for Caijing Magazine.

  • Yasheng HuangYasheng Huang
    Epoch Foundation Professor of International Management & Faculty Director of Action Learning, MIT Sloan School of Management

    Yasheng Huang is Epoch Foundation professor of international management and faculty director of action learning at Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Between 2013 and 2017, he served as an associate dean in charge of MIT Sloan’s global partnership programs and its action learning initiatives. His previous appointments include faculty positions at the University of Michigan and at Harvard Business School.

    Dr. Huang is currently involved in research projects in four broad areas: 1) a book project on “The Nature of the Chinese State,” 2) collaboration with researchers at Tsinghua University to create a complete database on historical technological inventions in China,  3) as a co-PI  in “Food Safety in China: A Systematic Risk Management Approach” (supported by Walmart Foundation, 2016-), and 4) research on venture finance, production of scientific knowledge, work of the future in China.  He has published numerous articles in academic journals and in media and 11 books in English and Chinese.

    At MIT Sloan School, Professor Huang founded and runs China Lab and India Lab, which have provided low-cost consulting services to over 360 small and medium enterprises  in China and India. Between 2015 and 2018, he ran a program in Yunnan province  to train small and medium women entrepreneurs (funded by Goldman Sachs Foundation). He has held or received prestigious fellowships such as National Fellowship at Stanford University and Social Science Research Council-MacArthur Fellowship. He was named by National Asia Research Program as one of the most outstanding scholars in the United States conducting research on issues of policy importance to the United States. He is or has been a fellow at the Center for China in the World Economy at Tsinghua University, a research fellow at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, a fellow at William Davidson Institute at Michigan Business School, and a World Economic Forum Fellow. He has served as a consultant at World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and OECD and is serving on a number of advisory and corporate boards of non-profit and for-profit organizations.

  • Ely RatnerEly Ratner
    Executive Vice President and Director of Studies, Center for a New American Security

    Ely Ratner is the executive vice president and director of studies at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), where he is a member of the executive team and responsible for managing the Center’s research agenda and staff.

    Dr. Ratner served from 2015 to 2017 as the deputy national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, and from 2011 to 2012 in the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs at the State Department. He also previously worked in the U.S. Senate as a professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and in the office of Senator Joe Biden. Outside of government, Dr. Ratner has worked as the Maurice R. Greenberg Senior Fellow for China Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, a senior fellow and deputy director of the Asia-Pacific security program at CNAS, and as an associate political scientist at the RAND Corporation.

    Dr. Ratner has testified before Congress and published widely on U.S.-China relations and U.S. national security strategy in Asia. His commentary and research have appeared in The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Wall Street JournalForeign AffairsForeign PolicyPoliticoThe AtlanticThe Washington QuarterlyThe National InterestThe Journal of Conflict Resolution, and The Chinese Journal of International Politics.

    Dr. Ratner received his B.A. from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.

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