About Us

China Focus is the student publication of the 21st Century China Center at UC San Diego's School of Global Policy and Strategy. We aim to provide the context and originality needed for an informed discussion on China and its global impact.

Editorial Team

Rachel Lietzow

Editor in Chief

Rachel is a Master of Chinese Economics and Political Affairs student at UCSD’s School of Global Policy and Strategy, with a specialization in Chinese Politics and Public Policy. She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a dual BA in International Economics and Chinese Studies. During the summer of 2018, she interned at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute. Her research interests include China’s treatment of ethnic minorities, China-Hong Kong relations, and the Belt and Road Initiative.

Qiao Ye

Digital Media Manager

Qiao is a Master of Chinese Economics and Political Affairs student at UCSD’s School of Global Policy and Strategy, specializing in Chinese Politics and Public Policy. She graduated from China University of Political Science and Law with an LL.B in international politics. Her research focuses on Chinese state-society relations, local governance, and the integration of China’s Greater Bay Area. 

Martín Olvera

Staff Writer

Martín Olvera is a Master of International Affairs student at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy studying International Politics with a focus on South Korea. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a BA in Political Science and minor in History. His research interests include Sino-Korea relations, East Asian national security, and analyzing new military trends in the region.

Alex Schiller

Staff Writer

Alex is a Master of Advanced Studies in International Affairs student at UCSD’s School of Global Policy and Strategy, with a specialization in Security of the Asia-Pacific and China. He graduated from Appalachian State University with a dual BA in International Economics and Spanish. Prior to attending GPS, he served as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy. His research interests include Chinese military affairs, national security, and rural policy.

Board of Advisors

China Focus is affiliated with the 21st Century China Center, a think tank housed at UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy. The center’s scholars are among the world’s leading experts on China and U.S.-China relations, and they provide invaluable guidance to our editorial team.  

Susan Shirk

Chair, 21st Century China Program; Research Professor, GPS

Susan Shirk is a research professor and chair of the 21st Century China Center at GPS. She is one of the most influential experts working on U.S.-China relations and Chinese politics. Shirk’s book “China: Fragile Superpower” helped frame the policy debate on China in the U.S. and other countries. Her articles have appeared in leading academic publications in the fields of political science, international relations and China studies, and her views on a range of issues relating to modern Chinese politics are highly sought. She previously served as deputy assistant secretary of state (1997-2000), responsible for U.S. policy toward China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mongolia and she founded and continues to lead the Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue, an unofficial forum for discussions of security issues.

Victor Shih

Professor of Political Economy; Ho Miu Lam Chair in China and Pacific Relations 

Victor Shih, a scholar of the political economy of China, holds a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University. He has published widely on the politics of Chinese banking policies, fiscal policies and exchange rates and is a leading expert on Chinese local government debt. Shih previously worked as a principal for the Carlyle Group in its hedge fund arm in New York City. He is currently engaged in a study of how the coalition-formation strategies of the founding leaders had a profound impact on the evolution of the Chinese Communist Party. He is also constructing a large database on biographical information of elites in China to better understand the importance of networks in political decision-making.

Barry Naughton

Professor of Chinese Economy; Sokwanlok Chair of Chinese International Affairs

Barry Naughton is the Sokwanlok Chair of Chinese International Affairs at the School. He is one of the world’s most highly respected economists working on China. He is an authority on the Chinese economy with an emphasis on issues relating to industry, trade, finance and China’s transition to a market economy. His recent research focuses on regional economic growth in China and its relationship to foreign trade and investment. He has addressed economic reform in Chinese cities, trade and trade disputes between China and the United States and economic interactions among China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Lei Guang

Director, 21st Century China Program, GPS, UC San Diego

Lei Guang’s research focuses on state-society relations and development politics. He has studied migration, informal sector workers and political discourses in China and is currently working on projects that seek to understand the causes of social conflict in China and responses by the grassroots state. His scholarly publications have appeared in numerous edited volumes and in refereed journals, and he is an editorial board member of two leading academic journals on China: China Quarterly and The China Journal.

Samuel Tsoi

Assistant Director, 21st Century China

Samuel Tsoi is the assistant director for the 21st Century China Center at the UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy & Strategy, where he manages communications, events, and development initiatives to promote policy-relevant research and constructive discourse on U.S.-China relations. He is the producer of the Center’s China 21 podcast. Samuel is a graduate of Gordon College (BA) and the University of Massachusetts Boston (MS).

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