China-US Symposium


The China-U.S. Symposium is a two and a half day academic conference that aims to foster relations between the two countries and increase awareness of the importance of working with China to address global problems. The Symposium believes in building on the crossroads of ideas, nations, and people, at Tufts University. To do this, we seek to bring the communities of Tufts and Boston into close contact with the experts and practitioners of international relations of China and the United States.

The goal of the China-U.S. Symposium program is to create a sustainable and growing annual symposium that brings together the communities of Tufts College of Arts & Sciences, Tufts School of Engineering, the Fletcher School, Tufts Alumni and other professionals and experts to learn, discuss, and explore crucial issues in China-US relations. As a symposium at a university dedicated to the study and practice of international relations, we work to embody and strengthen the mission of Tufts.

The China-U.S. Symposium began as a half-day lecture commemorating the life of David Rawson, a member of the Tufts Class of 2007 whose life tragically ended in the summer after graduation. David graduated Cum Laude with a degree in International Relations. He participated in many programs in the Institute for Global Leadership and studied abroad in Hong Kong during the spring semester of his junior year. David was a talented tenor with the Tufts Chamber Singers for four years, acted in drama performances, and wrote for Tufts campus student publications. He was in the process of applying to the U.S. Navy Officer Candidate School, intending to become a Naval Intelligence Officer.

Beyond these considerable accomplishments, David possessed a warmth, integrity, and selflessness that made him a truly beloved member of the campus community. Throughout the years, the half-day event have grown into a multi-day gathering of professionals and students who share David’s intellectual curiosity, enjoyment of life, and fascination with international relations, China, military affairs, and economics. In honor of David’s life, the Symposium is marked by the David Rawson Memorial Lecture. Previous Lecturers include: Ambassador J. Stapleton Roy, Rear Admiral Eric McVadon, USN (Ret.), Mr. Zhiwen Tang, Mr. David Helvey and Mr. Joseph Fewsmith.

As a leading university in International Relations, Tufts University seeks to benefit from developing and organizing its academic resources, organizations, and students interested China-U.S. relations. There are strong international, Chinese, American, and Asian communities at Tufts who, along with departments focused on economic, environmental, military, and political issues, will benefit from more collaboration in collectively examining China-US relations. As a symposium, we look forward to helping students with a sincere interest in China-U.S. relations explore their interests more deeply.

The collaboration, cooperation, and friendships we work to foster at Tufts, are a small part of the vital interactions between two nations that will shape the future of global events for decades to come. As a certain level of mistrust still exists between these two countries, a paradigm shift towards cooperation must be encouraged. By fostering such collaboration in the process of planning and realizing the symposium, our ultimate goal is to promote “a dedication to globalism and active citizenship and a commitment to humanitarianism and diversity in its many forms”, as the Tufts Mission Statement asserts. We hope the symposium will better prepare Tufts students to venture into the world and take on the challenges of international relations.

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