The mission of the China Program at Stanford University’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC) is to facilitate multidisciplinary, social science-oriented research on contemporary China, with a dual emphasis on basic and policy-relevant research. We are also committed to preparing Stanford students for broader and deeper interactions with China. Through this combined focus on research and teaching, we aim to influence current and future generations of leaders in their disciplines to engage with China with nuance, depth, and understanding. The aim of the China Program is to provide empirically-driven research and fact-based inquiry into contemporary China and U.S.-China relations.
To this end, we conduct collaborative research with scholars and experts from across China and North America; provide education and training opportunities to students and emerging scholars; share our research findings and policy recommendations in academic and general-interest publications; and convene academic and public forums on pressing China-related issues.
Established in 2007 under the directorship of Professor Jean Oi, the China Program was tasked with leading Stanford’s initiative to strengthen its contemporary China offerings on campus and expand its research and educational opportunities in China. As part of this effort, Professor Oi also spearheaded the creation of the Stanford Center at Peking University (SCPKU), which serves as a platform in China for the Stanford community and as a bridge of research and engagement on both sides of the Pacific. We leverage the unique opportunities at SCPKU to advance Stanford as a premier U.S. hub for the study of contemporary China.
The China Program is one of several research programs housed at Shorenstein APARC in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI). Learn more about our history in coverage of our tenth anniversary.
In addition to our ongoing public forums and academic workshops and conferences, we organize two longstanding, annual speaker series that educate broader audiences and shed light on complex challenges facing China and U.S.-China relations:
The Oksenberg Lecture series, which the China Program cosponsors with Shorenstein APARC, honors the legacy of Professor Michel Oksenberg (1938–2001). A China expert and senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Oksenberg served on the National Security Council when the United States normalized relations with China and was a passionate advocate of nuanced engagement with Asia. In tribute, the Oksenberg Lecture recognizes distinguished individuals who have helped advance understanding between the United States and the nations of the Asia-Pacific, particularly China.
The Colloquia Series is a speaker series that brings together global leaders, policymakers, and leading scholars to Stanford to examine a timely topic related to China. Our recent colloquia series focused on such themes as Biden’s America, Xi’s China: What’s Now & What’s Next?, The PRC at 70, and The Future of China's Economy.
Interdisciplinary from the very beginning, the Program began with a small, dedicated nucleus of China scholars that has grown into a larger team of faculty who hold joint appointments and affiliations with departments across the university, including sociology, political science, and economics, experts who have served in key diplomatic and governmental positions around the world, and visiting scholars. This unique combination creates an ideal environment where research and policy unite to provide rich perspectives on China’s domestic issues and international behavior.