#CFDebate: The winner is…

As Professor Susan Shirk urged us to share, “The debate that we’re having here on stage is really just a continuation of the debate that Barry and Victor have been having with each other in print and in the halls of the IR/PS building.” On behalf of China Focus, I would like to thank Professors Naughton and Shih and our two excellent teams of debaters for participating! We are really delighted to bring their insights beyond the halls of IR/PS to a global audience!

Thanks also to our co-sponsors at 21st Century China Program, Fudan-UC Center on Contemporary China, Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), and Graduate Students Association (GSA). And finally thank you to the China Focus members, IRPS staff, and the student volunteers who made this event run smoothly!


Without further ado, here are the results from the inaugural China Focus Debate. Again, the motion was: “The house believes that the Chinese economy will collapse in five years.” The debate goes to the team that sway the most votes during the course of the debate. 

Congratulations to the Proposition (Yes) Team! Victor Shih, Max Bonner, and Angela Luh are the winners of the 2014 China Focus Debate. The initial pre-debate vote was 25% Yes and 75% No, but through their impressive argumentation and mastery of statistics, the Proposition Team was able to achieve a final count of 51% Yes and 49% No in the post-debate vote. A cash prize of $100 goes to the ‘hobbyist accountant’ and his students to spend on a team dinner… or to invest in a China downturn!

victor shihmax bonnerangela luh

For those of you who missed the debate or want to relive the excitement. Here’s a link to the video and some highlights from the evening.

Please stay tuned for other China Focus events this year. We will be launching a Fudan-UC sponsored essay contest on contemporary China as well as a comprehensive calendar of UCSD China events. We also hope you will join us again next year for the next installment of China Focus Debate featuring UCSD History Professors Paul Pickowicz and Karl Gerth and the motion: “This house believes that Mao Zedong was a monster.”


Featured photo taken by Rose (Siru) Zhu.

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Jack Zhang

Jiakun Jack Zhang is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Kansas (KU). He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at UC San Diego. His dissertation examines when and why economically interdependent countries use military versus economic coercion in foreign policy disputes. In 2018-2019, he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University. Jack holds a bachelor's degree in political science and a certificate in East Asian studies from Duke University, where he served as the Editor-in-Chief of Duke East Asia Nexus and was a co-founder of the Duke-UNC China Leadership Summit. At UC San Diego, he served as the senior advisor to the 21st Century China Center’s China Focus Blog. Prior to coming to UC San Diego, Jack worked as a China researcher for the Eurasia Group in Washington, DC. Follow him on Twitter @HanFeiTzu.

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