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

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.

Edison Hu

Digital Media Manager 

Edison is a Master of International Affairs student at the School of Global Policy and Strategy, UC San Diego.  He graduated from Sun Yat-sen University in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in International Politics. His research interests include Sino-US relations, alliance politics and deterrence.

Tianrui Huang


Tianrui is a senior student at UC San Diego studying philosophy, economics, and communication. Her research interests include social protests, China’s social policy, and U.S.-Chinese media studies. As a journalist, her works appeared in the oldest LGBT news Washington Blade, the investigative outlet Voice of San Diego, the largest journalism association Society of Professional Journalists, and Hong Kong-based online media RADII. 

Nathan Mussetter


Nathan is a first-year MIA student at the School of Global Policy and Strategy. He graduated from the University of California, San Diego, in 2023 with a Political Science – International Relations major. His research interests are U.S.-Chinese relations, Chinese technological policy, and Chinese national security.

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.

Harris Doshay

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

Harris Doshay serves as assistant director of research and writing in the 21st Century China Center at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy. Doshay earned his Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University. His dissertation, based on a year of ethnographic field work in Chinese churches, focused on China’s official Protestant Church and the ways in which individual believers experienced cooptation. Work stemming from this project has been published in Comparative Politics. He also taught writing and research skills in Princeton’s writing program.

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