Committee of 100 Convenes China Policy Debate between Obama and Romney Campaigns

On October 24, the Committee of 100 in partnership with the China Studies Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) convened China Policy Debate: Democratic & Republican Presidential Race 2012. This was the only China policy-focused debate endorsed by both presidential campaigns.

C100 debate group photo 24OCT2012

Carla Freeman, Ben Wu, Jeffrey Bader, Aaron Friedberg, David M. Lampton, and Angie Tang.

Representatives from the Obama and Romney campaigns—Dr. Jeffrey Bader, National Security Advisory Committee member on President Obama’s re-election campaign, and Dr. Aaron Friedberg, Co-Chair of Governor Romney’s Asia-Pacific Working Group—debated six key U.S.-China issues: foreign policy, defense, security, human rights, economy, and trade. Debate co-moderators were David M. Lampton, Director of the China Studies Program at John Hopkins SAIS; Ben Wu, C100 Vice Chair for the Washington, D.C. Region; and C100 Executive Director Angie Tang, who also served as master of ceremonies.


C-SPAN live-broadcast C100’s China Policy Debate, which addressed a range of domestic and foreign policy issues.

Approximately 380 attendees from academia, business, government, non-profits, think tanks, and the U.S. and foreign diplomatic corps filled Kenney Auditorium to standing-room capacity. The live-streamed debate reached global audiences from Seattle to Shanghai with interactive inputs from the Twittersphere and blogosphere. The debate was also seen live on C-SPAN, amassing over 400 online viewers to date. On Twitter, Michael D. Mosettig (@mikemosettig), Senior Producer for Foreign Affairs and Defense at the PBS NewsHour, expressed a widespread opinion: “… Full house for #Chinadebate2012… More differences in rhetoric than policy.”

C100 members in attendance were  Bob Gee, Cheng Li, and Jeremy Wu. C100 Director of Public Relations An Ping coordinated event coverage by forty U.S. and international television and print media, including AFP, Washington Post, New York Times, World Journal, Xinhua News Agency, China Daily, Asahi Shimbun, and Kyoto News. C100 staff Mercy Kuo, Michael Jee, and Joseph Lin executed event logistics. A transcript of the debate with key highlights will be forthcoming—check the C100 website for updates.


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Benjamin Wu

President & CEO of Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation

Robert W. Gee

Political consultant and advisor / Washington D.C. Regional Chair

Cheng Li

Established author and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

Jeremy Wu

Accomplished public service executive



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