2024 China Focus Essay Contest Winners


The China Focus editorial team is excited to announce the following six winners of the 2024 China Focus Essay Contest:

The 1990 Institute Prize

Lin Jiawen (林佳文)
Institution: Beijing Foreign Studies University
Essay Title: “重建中美人文交流: 一个亲历者的思考” (Rebuilding Sino-U.S. Cultural
Exchanges: Personal Reflections)
Language of Entry: Chinese

The Jimmy Carter Prize

Leonardo Bruni
Institution: The Sciences Po School of International Affairs and Peking University
Essay Title: “Unable or Unwilling? The Self-Imposed Limits of Chinese Conflict
Mediation”
Language of Entry: English

The 1990 Institute Prize Runner-Ups

Mustapha Dukuly
Institution: Columbia University
Essay Title: “The Future of the U.S.-China Educational Exchanges”
Language of Entry: English


Payton Morlock
Institution: University of California San Diego
Essay Title: “Kingdom in the Middle: China as an International Mediator”
Language of Entry: English

The Jimmy Carter Prize Runner-Ups

Li Sining (李思凝)
Institution: Tsinghua University
Essay Title: “积极有为且有所不为:中国作为中东冲突潜在’调停者'” (Active and
Inactive: China as a ‘Mediator’ in the Middle East)
Language of Entry: Chinese


Xie Yuchuan (谢玉川)
Institution: Beijing International Studies University
Essay Title: “参与冲突调停的中国:积极而有限的调停者角色” (China’s Role in Conflict
Mediation: Active But Limited)
Language of Entry: Chinese

We are grateful to the staff members of the 21st Century China Center, the 1990 Institute, and the Carter Center for their guidance and support throughout the process. We also wish to thank everyone who contributed to the success of this contest at every stage, from the discussion of essay topics to promotion and final evaluation. The winning essays were selected by a panel of experts from the Carter Center, UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy, and the China Focus blog editorial team.
The 2024 China Focus Essay Contest is generously underwritten by the 1990 Institute and the Carter Center. The winning essays will be published in China Focus over the coming months of 2024.


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Michelle Lai

Michelle is a second-year MCEPA student at the School of Global Policy and Strategy. She graduated from the University of Washington in 2020 with a double major in International Studies and Asian Studies. Her research interests include US-Chinese relations, Chinese international economics, and China’s international public image.

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