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China Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections. A Two Part Program.

Part I: Is China's Reform Era Ending?
Professor Carl Minzner, Fordham Law School in conversation with Professor Ira Belkin, NYU School of Law
6:00 - 7:00 pm

Lester Pollack Colloquium Room
Furman Hall


China’s reform era is ending. Core factors that characterized it – political stability, ideological openness, and rapid economic growth – are unraveling. In part, this is the result of Beijing’s steadfast refusal to contemplate fundamental political reform. Since the early 1990s, this has fueled the rise of entrenched interests within the Communist Party itself. It has also contributed to the systematic underdevelopment of institutions of governance among state and society at large. Now, to address looming problems confronting the nation, Chinese leaders are progressively cannibalizing institutional norms and practices that have formed the bedrock of the regime's stability in the post-Mao era.


Part II: National Reflections with Henry Kissinger
7:00 - 8:00 pm
(via webcast)


Lester Pollack Colloquium Room
Furman Hall


Henry Alfred Kissinger was sworn in on September 22, 1973, as the 56th Secretary of State, a position he held until January 20, 1977. He also served as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs from January 20, 1969, until November 3, 1975. In July 1983 he was appointed by President Reagan to chair the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America until it ceased operation in January 1985, and from 1984-1990 he served as a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. From 1986-1988 he was a member of the Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy of the National Security Council and Defense Department. He has served as a member of the Defense Policy Board since 2001.

At present, Dr. Kissinger is Chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm. He is also a member of the International Council of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.; a Counselor to and Trustee of the Center for Strategic and International Studies; an Honorary Governor of the Foreign Policy Association; and an Honor Member of the International Olympic Committee. Among his other activities, Dr. Kissinger served as a member of the Board of Directors of ContiGroup Companies, Inc. from 1988-2014 and remains an Advisor to the Board, a position he also holds at American Express Company since 2005, after serving on the Board from 1984. He is also a Trustee Emeritus of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; a Director Emeritus of Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc.; and a Director of the International Rescue Committee.

Among the awards Dr. Kissinger has received have been a Bronze Star from the U.S. Army in 1945; the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973; the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the nation’s highest civilian award) in 1977; and the Medal of Liberty (given one time to ten foreign-born American leaders) in 1986. Dr. Kissinger was born in Fuerth, Germany, came to the United States in 1938 and was naturalized a United States citizen in 1943. He served in the Army from 1943 to 1946. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1950 and received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University in 1952 and 1954. From 1954 until 1969 he was a member of the faculty of Harvard University, in both the Department of Government and the Center for International Affairs. He was Director of the Harvard International Seminar from 1952 to 1969.


Carl Minzner is an associate professor of law at Fordham Law School in New York, specializing in Chinese law and politics.  He has previously taught at Washington University in St. Louis (2007-11), served as an international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (2006-07), and worked as senior counsel for the Congressional Executive Commission on China (2003-2006).  He also served as a Yale China Legal Education fellow at the Xibei Institute of Politics and Law in Xi’an.  He previously practiced intellectual property law in California for the Palo Alto firm of McCutchen & Doyle, then clerked for the Hon. Raymond Clevenger, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. His published works include articles on Chinese civil society, judicial reform, social unrest, and Communist Party management of judicial and government institutions.

Ira Belkin is the Executive Director of the U.S.-Asia Law Institute. Prior to joining the Institute in September 2012, Belkin served as a program officer at the Ford Foundation in Beijing, where he worked on law and rights issues. His grant-making supported Chinese institutions working to build the Chinese legal system, to strengthen the rule of law and to enhance the protection of citizens’ rights, especially the rights of vulnerable groups. Prior to joining the foundation in 2007, Belkin combined a career as an American lawyer and federal prosecutor with a deep interest in China, and spent seven years working to promote the rule of law in China. His appointments included two tours at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and a year as a fellow at the Yale Law School China Law Center. After graduating from NYU Law, Belkin spent 16 years as a federal prosecutor including time in Providence, R.I., where he was chief of the criminal division, and in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he was deputy chief of the general crimes unit. Before attending law school, Belkin taught Chinese language at Middlebury College. He has lectured extensively in Chinese to Chinese audiences on the U.S. criminal justice system and to American audiences on the Chinese legal reform movement. In addition to his J.D. from New York University School of Law, Belkin has a master’s degree in Chinese studies from Seton Hall University and a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Albany.

Earlier Event: October 17
Asia Law Weekly: Nicholas Howson
Later Event: October 24
Asia Law Weekly: Margaret K. Lewis