Government & Military

Liu Yandong

The Chinese bureaucrat planting grassroots connections.

chinese Vice premier

Most policy analysts are familiar with the U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue, an annual bilateral meeting between high-level leaders. Less ballyhooed but arguably just as important is the annual U.S.-China Consultation on People-to-People Exchange (CPE), started 2010, which Liu co-chairs. CPE aims to strengthen enduring connections between China and the United States in fields including culture, education, sports, and science and technology, involving cooperation among citizens, NGOs, and private sectors of the two countries. The 2015 CPE resulted in an ambitious plan to teach Mandarin Chinese to 1 million American students and pledged cooperation on a Chinese anti-domestic violence law. Americans involved in CPE often speak of Liu in glowing terms. But time will tell whether the recent enactment of China’s foreign NGO management law, which puts American NGOs in China under the supervision of its Public Security Bureau, poisons the fruits of her hard work.

(Photo credit: Chris Kleponis/AFP/Getty Images)

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