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Foreign Policy Expert to Discuss U.S. Relations with China
Thomas J. Christensen to Speak Jan. 28 at Ohio Wesleyan University

January 6, 2009

Thomas J. Christensen, Ph.D.
DELAWARE, OHIO – Thomas J. Christensen, Ph.D., former deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and a current professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University, will discuss “Crafting a China Strategy: Some Recent Lessons for the New Administration” at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28 in Benes Rooms A and B of Ohio Wesleyan University’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave. The event is free and open to the public.

Christensen served as deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2006 to 2008, with responsibility for relations with China, Taiwan, and Mongolia. He also serves as director of the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program.

In a recent Washington Post editorial, Christensen wrote: “Few diplomatic relationships are deeper or more complex than that between the United States and China. While the Pentagon draws up contingency plans for a potential conflict with China, U.S. businesses are investing billions there, and American consumers stock their wardrobes, toy chests, garages and kitchens with products ‘Made in China.’ ”

As a result, he states, solutions for many global problems will require a continuation of the current U.S.-China diplomacy, which “has moved beyond managing problems between the two sides to focus on coordinating responses to problems around the world.”

Christensen earned his bachelor’s degree from Haverford College in Pennsylvania, his master’s degree in international relations from the University of Pennsylvania, and his doctorate in political science from Columbia University.

He has served on the board of directors and the executive committee of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2002, he was presented with a Distinguished Public Service Award by the U.S. Department of State.

Christensen’s presentation is sponsored by Ohio Wesleyan’s International Studies Program and Department of Politics and Government. Additional lectures addressing the world’s political situation also have been scheduled for Ohio Wesleyan’s spring semester and are as follows. All are free and open to the community, and all will be held in Benes Rooms A and B of the university’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center.

  • 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 – Joseph Nye, Ph.D., University Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard Kennedy School of Government, will present “The Powers to Lead.”
  • 7:30 p.m. March 18 – Mitchell A. Seligson, Centennial Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University, will present “Challenges of Democracy: A View from the Americas Barometer, 2008.”
  • 7:30 p.m. April 6 – James Fearon, Geballe Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and chair of the Department of Political Science at Stanford University, will present “An International Organization for Democracies.”

Ohio Wesleyan University is an undergraduate liberal arts college that transforms the lives of its students through a combination of rigorous academics, mentoring relationships, and real-world experiences. Featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” the private university’s 1,850 students come from 47 states and 50 countries. Visit www.owu.edu for more information.