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China Town Hall at UB Will Examine U.S.-China Relations

U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman Jr. will appear via live, interactive webcast

Release Date: October 11, 2010

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Jon M. Huntsman Jr., U.S. ambassador to China, will present a speech on U.S.-China relations via live interactive webcast Oct. 18 at UB.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- In the midst of expanding economic ties but troubling trade disputes between the United States and China, Jon M. Huntsman Jr., U.S ambassador to China, will present a speech on U.S.-China relations via live interactive webcast at a China Town Hall at the University at Buffalo.

The Oct. 18 event will take place in 120 Clemens Hall, UB North Campus. It will be free and open to the public, and its format will permit Huntsman take questions from the audience.

Huntsman's talk will be part of "China Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections," an event coordinated by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and presented simultaneously at 50 sites throughout the country.

The event at UB will begin with a reception at 7 p.m., followed at 7:30 p.m. by introductory remarks on key U.S. foreign-policy issues related to China by a panel of UB faculty and students.

The live webcast will begin at 8 p.m. to be followed by the local panelists who will discuss Huntsman's remarks and take questions from the audience.

UB panelists will be Roger Des Forges, PhD, professor, Department of History; Kristin Stapleton, PhD, associate professor, Department of History, and director of UB's Asian Studies Program; Jessie Poon, PhD, professor, Department of Geography, and director, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Study Center; and Samuel Fleming, a UB Asian studies major who spent the 2009-10 academic year studying at Beijing Normal University.

Des Forges is the author or editor of several books on Chinese history and culture, including "The Asian World: 600 to 1500" (2005 Oxford University Press) and "Chinese Walls in Time and Space: A Multidisciplinary Perspective" (co-editor, 2010, Cornell East Asian Studies Series).

Stapleton is the author of "Civilizing Chengdu: Chinese Urban Reform, 1895-1937" (2000, Harvard University Asia Center) and co-editor of "The Human Tradition in Modern China" (2007, Rowman & Littlefield).

Poon is a scholar in the field of economic geography who has been published scores of articles in refereed journals, books and book chapters. Her areas of research are trade, investment and finance; the political economy of Asia; Asian business networks; and globalization and multinationals in Asia.

"Americans have many questions and concerns about China's role in the world and the U.S.-China relationship," said Stapleton, "and the goal of this program is to give audiences across the country the chance to learn about U.S. policy in China directly from our country's chief diplomat there.

"Our local panel of experts will be able to give insights into issues that are important to Western New Yorkers," she added, "and we also look forward to hearing what members of our audience have to say about the direction of U.S. policy toward China."

Prior to assuming his current position in August 2009, Huntsman served as governor of Utah, deputy assistant secretary of commerce for Asia, U.S. ambassador to Singapore and deputy U.S. trade representative. His public service career began as a White House staff assistant to President Ronald Reagan.

The event is sponsored locally by the UB Confucius Institute, the UB Asian Studies Program and the International Institute of Buffalo. Funding for the national program was provided to the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations by the Starr Foundation.

The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations is a non-partisan public affairs organization devoted to building constructive and durable relationships between the United States and China. The committee creates opportunities like the annual China Town Hall meetings for informed discussion and reasoned debate about issues of common interest and concern to the United States, the People's Republic of China and Taiwan. UB's Confucius Institute is affiliated with UB's Asian Studies Program. The institute promotes the teaching of Chinese language and culture at UB, in local schools and throughout the Buffalo community, and provides teachers and resources to schools to help them establish or expand Chinese language programs. Major funding for the Confucius Institute is provided by the Chinese Language Council International and the UB College of Arts and Sciences.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

Media Contact Information

Patricia Donovan
Senior Editor, Arts, Humanities, Public Health, Social Sciences
Tel: 716-645-4602
pdonovan@buffalo.edu