Migration and Citizenship
Gi-Wook Shin
News Type

This essay originally appeared in Korean on January 3 in Sindonga (New East Asia), Korea’s oldest monthly magazine (established 1931), as part of a monthly column, "Shin’s Reflections on Korea." Translated by Raymond Ha. A PDF version of this essay is also available to download


Kanwal Rekhi is regarded as a pioneer of the Indian diaspora in Silicon Valley. After studying at IIT Bombay, Rekhi completed his graduate studies at Michigan Tech and moved to San Jose in 1982, where he co-founded Excelan. The company went public on Nasdaq in 1987. It was the first time that immigrants from India had created a company and succeeded in listing it on a U.S. stock exchange.[1]

Since having found success as an entrepreneur, Rekhi has sought to give back to the diaspora community and his home country. In 1992, he co-founded The IndUS Entrepreneurs (TiE), a non-profit that supports Indian entrepreneurs seeking to create startups. Rekhi explained to me that “there were many young Indians who wanted to start businesses, but they lacked the know-how and the networks.” TiE was intended to fill that gap. Rekhi also made a sizable donation to his alma mater, and he has advised the Indian government on policy issues. Moreover, he has supported the work of various universities in the United States, including Stanford.

The Story of India’s Diaspora

Rekhi belonged to the first generation of Indian immigrants to establish a foothold in Silicon Valley. Countless others, including Google CEO Sundar Pichai, have since followed in his footsteps. Upon graduating from the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), these individuals pursued further studies in the United States, where they successfully created startups or climbed the ladder to become C-level executives at major companies. They also maintain and cultivate close ties with their home country. Indian immigrants have been integral to Silicon Valley’s explosive growth, and they are now also contributing to India’s rise as a major economic power. India has now overtaken the United Kingdom, its former colonial ruler, with the fifth-largest GDP in the world.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Indian diaspora now has greater influence and impact in Silicon Valley than the Chinese diaspora.
Gi-Wook Shin

The Indian diaspora has made its presence felt beyond the economic sector. Numerous graduates of the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) practice medicine in the United States, and renowned scholars of Indian heritage serve on the faculty of elite American universities. For instance, Stanford selected Dr. Arun Majumdar to serve as the inaugural dean of the Doerr School of Sustainability, which opened its doors in the fall of 2022. Majumdar completed his undergraduate studies at IIT Bombay and obtained his PhD from UC Berkeley in 1989. His career has spanned the public and private sectors, and he now spearheads Stanford’s first new school in 70 years—an ambitious effort to “tackle urgent climate and sustainability challenges facing people and ecosystems worldwide.”[2] It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Indian diaspora now has greater influence and impact in Silicon Valley than the Chinese diaspora.

Moreover, India plays a central role in Washington’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, which has become the focal point of American foreign policy. New Delhi was the leader of the non-aligned movement during the Cold War, but it is now building closer ties with liberal democracies around the world. Unlike China, India is not locked in a strategic competition with the West. High English proficiency among Indians also facilitates relations and exchanges at all levels. It is also worth noting that there are now influential politicians of Indian heritage in major countries, including Kamala Harris in the United States and Rishi Sunak in the United Kingdom. India prides itself on being the most populous democracy in the world, and its stature in the international community is only likely to grow in the coming decades.

Despite these developments, Korean public sentiment toward India is largely negative. There is broad awareness of the legacy of historical figures like Mahatma Gandhi and cultural achievements such as the Taj Mahal. However, many Koreans still perceive India as a poor and chaotic country with rigid and obsolete customs, including the caste system. There are substantial cultural, social, and historical differences between Korea and India, but it is time for Korea to cast aside any prejudices and take a clear-eyed view of India. It is encouraging to see the Yoon Suk-Yeol administration stress in its recently announced Indo-Pacific Strategy that Korea “will advance [its] special strategic partnership with India, a leading regional partner with shared values.” The document also rightly notes the importance of “enhanced economic cooperation” between the two countries.[3]

[India’s] overseas diaspora also plays a unique role in catalyzing economic growth. Korea should learn from the successes of India’s diaspora and build closer ties with such networks.
Gi-Wook Shin

In this context, it is especially vital for Korea to pay attention to the rise of the Indian diaspora in the United States and beyond. They are a force to be reckoned with in the global market. Unlike the state-driven development models of East Asia, India has pursued a market-driven policy since liberalizing its economy in 1991. The country’s overseas diaspora also plays a unique role in catalyzing economic growth. Korea should learn from the successes of India’s diaspora and build closer ties with such networks.

The Rise of Japan, China, and India

Japan was the undisputed leader of the Asia-Pacific in the 1980s, and China has taken on this mantle since the dawn of the 21st century. As China closes its doors amidst its intensifying strategic competition with the United States, India is emerging as the new regional leader. A close examination of the rise of these three countries reveals crucial differences. The contributions of the overseas diaspora to economic development, as noted above, are a distinguishing factor.

Let us begin with Japan. Relying on a well-educated workforce and meticulous training within companies, Japan built upon proprietary technology from the West to achieve incremental innovation. Sony’s worldwide success in consumer electronics, for example, can be attributed to sophisticated engineering and attention to detail in product design, not to significant advancements in the underlying technologies. Furthermore, Japan took great advantage of short-term overseas training programs to learn and utilize advanced technologies to further its own economy. This strategy enabled Japan to increase its economic heft without suffering a “brain drain,” to the point of challenging U.S. dominance over the global economy in the 1980s. There were, however, disputes with the United States over intellectual property rights (IPR).

Throughout this process, Japan’s diaspora did not play a visible role. Many Japanese abroad had already assimilated into their countries of residence, and the few that contributed only provided low-skilled labor. Japanese Americans, for example, have largely assimilated into American society despite the traumatic experience of forced internment during World War II. Contact with their home country was fairly limited. Some Japanese immigrants who settled in South America later returned to Japan, but most of these returnees were low-skilled laborers. After experiencing hardships and discrimination, however, they went back to South America once again after the 2008 global financial crisis.

China took a different path. The Chinese diaspora has a long history centered on Southeast Asia, and its role in enabling China’s reform and opening by providing much-needed capital is well known. In the 1980s, China adopted an “open door” policy and enabled large numbers of students to study abroad. It also proactively pursued a policy of “brain circulation” by inviting these students to return to China and contribute their talents to the country’s development. No country has sent more students abroad than China. With rapid economic growth in the 2000s, over 80% of these students returned. These individuals are called haigui (sea turtles) in China.[4] In Beijing’s Zhongguancun, China’s Silicon Valley, there are a plethora of programs and facilities tailored to haigui. They have not only spearheaded China’s technological innovation, but also made important contributions to the economy, scientific research, and higher education.

China’s pursuit of “brain circulation” has seen some success, but it also created friction with the United States. After studying and gaining work experience in the United States, Chinese talent returned home and directed their know-how toward accelerating China’s rise. However, U.S. authorities began to suspect that China’s talent policy was being misused for industrial espionage, especially in advanced technologies. For example, the Pentagon stated in 2018 that China’s Thousand Talents Program was a “toolkit for foreign technology acquisition.” U.S. intelligence officials added that the program was “a key part of multi-pronged efforts to transfer, replicate and eventually overtake U.S. military and commercial technology.”[5]

India has taken yet another path, although it resembles China’s experience in some respects. Like China, India experienced an enormous brain drain. It is second only to China in the number of overseas students. In terms of highly skilled emigration, it has seen the largest outflow of any country. Unlike Chinese talent, Indian immigrants tended to settle down in host countries, where they have built successful careers. During the 1980s, over a third (37.5%) of IIT Bombay graduates went abroad, and 82% of these individuals stayed abroad.[6] Between 2004 and 2016, 30% of grantees in Optional Practical Training (OPT), a temporary employment visa for F-1 students in the United States, were students from India.[7] Many of these students arrived in America after receiving a rigorous education in STEM or medicine in India. Their native fluency in English is also an important asset. Since India itself is extremely diverse in terms of religion, ethnicity, and culture, prior experience with diverse settings also gives Indian students an advantage for studying and living in America.

Indian talent… abroad… create “brain linkages” through extensive interaction with their home country. They bring young talent from India to overseas universities and companies, support start-up entrepreneurs in India, and connect global companies to India's…high-quality workforce
Gi-Wook Shin

Even if Indian talent mostly stays abroad, they create “brain linkages” through extensive interaction with their home country. They bring young talent from India to overseas universities and companies, support start-up entrepreneurs in India, and connect global companies to India’s low-cost, high-quality workforce.

Immigrants from India make up the bulk of H-1B visa recipients in the United States. In fiscal year 2021, 74% consisted of Indian nationals.[8] Unicorn companies formed with diaspora support are appearing left and right in Bangalore, the hub for India’s high-tech industry. The total investment in Bangalore’s tech sector has jumped from $550 million in 2010 to $2 billion in 2017, spread across 6,000 start-ups.[9] This amount is projected to reach $30 billion by 2025.[10] Furthermore, unlike China, India is not currently engaged in disputes with the United States or other major economies over talent policy or IPR in advanced technologies.

Modi’s Visit to Silicon Valley

In 2015, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to a crowd of 20,000 at the Shark Tank in San Jose. Many in the diaspora community gathered for the occasion. Modi asserted that “what looks like brain drain is actually a brain deposit.”[11] He also met with leaders of the Indian diaspora during his visit, including Sundar Pichai (Google) and Satya Nadella (Microsoft), and secured support for the government’s “Digital India” initiative.[12] Naren Gupta, a member of India’s diaspora and the co-founder of Nexus Venture Partners, played an instrumental role in planning the visit. Modi’s tour of Silicon Valley encapsulated the power and influence of the Indian diaspora in America. It also revealed the strength of the brain linkages that the community had built with its home country.

The Indian diaspora is a force to be reckoned with in Silicon Valley. Of all engineering and tech start-ups formed in America by immigrants between 2006 and 2012, 33.2% were created by individuals of Indian origin.[13]This exceeds the total number of companies created by entrepreneurs from China, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Israel, Russia, and Korea combined. Indian immigrants are also filling executive-level positions in major American IT companies. Those of Indian origin make up “just about 1% of the U.S. population and 6% of Silicon Valley’s workforce.”[14] However, they have an outsized impact. Immigrants from India to the United States tend to be highly educated, with over 70% possessing at least a bachelor’s degree.[15] This is markedly higher than the corresponding proportion for the U.S. population, which reached 37.9% in 2021.[16] Various factors help explain the Indian diaspora’s success in the United States: high levels of technical competence, a robust professional network, and strong communication skills based on native English fluency and familiarity with Western culture.

Moreover, Indian immigrants are very much willing to acquire citizenship in their host countries. In recent years, the number of Indian nationals who acquired U.S. citizenship through naturalization has been almost twice the number of Chinese nationals who were naturalized.[17] Indians reportedly do not have qualms about renouncing their Indian citizenship. Modi’s 2015 speech in San Jose, referenced above, clearly reflects how those in India view the overseas diaspora. Regardless of one’s citizenship or place of residence, there is a prevailing mentality of “once an Indian, always an Indian.” Leaders in India’s modern history, including Nehru and Gandhi, were also members of the diaspora. The tightly knit diaspora community gives rise to robust and mutually supportive professional networks, which helps elevate the presence of Indian immigrants in host countries. This is certainly the case in the United States.

Unlike China, India does not have a government-led policy to attract talent. Nevertheless, members of the overseas diaspora can temporarily return to India and engage in various activities with relative ease. There are also institutions that facilitate such endeavors. One is the legal status of “non-resident Indians” that is given to Indians who reside overseas for over 183 days in a given year. This status accords short-term diaspora visitors with legal and economic rights similar to that of resident citizens.

Since 2003, the Indian government has also officially recognized Non-Resident Indian Day (Pravasi Bharatiya Divas) on January 9, which commemorates the day of Gandhi’s return from South Africa to Mumbai in 1915. To mark the occasion, the Indian government presents an award to individuals in the diaspora community who have made significant achievements in their respective fields. Past recipients include Satya Nadella and Kalpana Chawla, an Indian American astronaut who posthumously received the award as the first person of Indian origin to go to space. By taking such steps, the Indian government promotes and strengthens solidarity between India and its diaspora, no matter where its members reside.

The New Argonauts

Members of the Indian diaspora are actively building ties to their home country. In 2021, they sent $87 billion in remittances to India. China’s diaspora came second with $53 billion.[18] This includes money earned by Indian immigrants in the United States, China, and other countries. Overseas Indians in the business sector not only invest in start-ups and real estate in India, but also give policy recommendations to their home government and provide support for higher education. They also organized charity fundraisers to assist COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, responding to the devastation that the pandemic wreaked across the country. According to my own analysis, 42% of 97 major Indian diaspora organizations in the United States maintain close ties with India. As a whole, they are even more active than Chinese diaspora organizations.

The IndUS Entrepreneurs (TiE), founded in Silicon Valley, is one of the best examples. It was established in 1992 with the goal of facilitating networking between entrepreneurs from South Asia, providing mentoring for the next generation, and incubating and investing in start-ups. As of 2020, TiE had 61 branches across 14 countries, with 20 offices in the United States and 23 in India, and boasted a membership of 15,000. To date, it has supported around 10,000 start-ups founded by entrepreneurs of Indian origin. The total valuation of these start-ups is approximately $200 billion. With offices in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai, TiE has acted as a conduit for successful Indian businesspeople in Silicon Valley to interact with their home country. These individuals emphasized the importance of entrepreneurship to youth in India. They acted as role models, mentors, and investors at a time when there was little support to be found elsewhere. TiE continues to serve as a vital link between Silicon Valley and India.

The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), founded in 1982, plays an essential role in creating brain linkages in the field of medicine. AAPI has 80,000 doctors and 40,000 students, residents, and fellows as members. It fosters closer ties between its members and pursues opportunities for cooperation with Indian medical schools. Since 2007, it has hosted an annual global healthcare summit in India. AAPI also operates 19 clinics across India and established a charitable foundation to provide medical relief. During the height of COVID-19, AAPI sent medical supplies and held various activities to help India overcome the pandemic. It is said that those in the diaspora community view such actions as a responsibility, not just as a charitable activity.

Furthermore, the Indian diaspora is heavily engaged in supporting higher education back home. Consider IIT Kharagpur, which opened its doors in 1951. Vinod Gupta graduated from this school, found success in the United States, and helped launch the Vinod Gupta School of Management at his alma mater in 1993. Arjun Malhotra, another IIT Kharagpur graduate, was involved in the creation of the G. S. Sanyal School of Telecommunications and the M. N. Faruqui Innovation Centre. In another example, leaders from the diaspora community joined forces in 2014 to establish Ashoka University, a private school modeled after American liberal arts colleges, a rarity in a higher education landscape dominated by public universities. Ashok Trivedi, one of the school’s founders, earned his bachelor’s and master’s at the University of Delhi before pursuing an MBA at Ohio University and subsequently co-founding IGATE, an IT services company. As these cases illustrate, leaders in the Indian diaspora community donate to their alma maters and even create new schools altogether. They also facilitate academic exchanges between prominent U.S. and Indian universities, including student exchange programs.

AnnaLee Saxenian, a professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Information, has referred to these immigrant entrepreneurs who maintain ties with their home country after building successful careers overseas as the “new argonauts.” Just like the Argonauts of Greek mythology who set sail across the Mediterranean in search of the Golden Fleece, these individuals have crossed oceans aboard their own Argo to seek success in the 21st century. Kanwal Rekhi emphasized to me that “the diaspora led India’s independence movement in the past, but now it is playing an important role for India’s economy.”

India lags far behind China in… national power, [but] has a much younger population and its rate of economic growth will likely exceed China’s for the foreseeable future. India is the only country [whose] supply of highly skilled labor in the tech sector exceeds domestic demand.
Gi-Wook Shin

Will India Surpass China?

In a previous essay in this series, I argued that “China will not surpass the United States in our time.”[19] We could ask, in a similar fashion, whether India could overtake China in the future. While there are significant challenges on the road ahead, India could become a formidable competitor for China if current trends continue. At present, India lags far behind China in terms of overall national power. India has a much younger population, however, and its rate of economic growth will likely exceed China’s for the foreseeable future. India is the only country where the supply of highly skilled labor in the technology sector exceeds domestic demand. In addition to IITs and AIIMS, there are excellent engineering and medical schools across all regions of India. These institutions are an important source of talent for the global economy.

China is gradually closing its doors as the Sino-U.S. competition intensifies. In terms of its economy and trade relations, it is at risk of falling into a quagmire similar to Japan’s “Two Lost Decades.” Beijing must also contend with strong anti-China sentiment, especially among developed countries, and it must overcome the challenges that come with diplomatic isolation. India does not face the same geopolitical risks. As one of the four corners of the Quad, New Delhi is pursuing a foreign policy that includes various forms of cooperation with countries across the Indo-Pacific region in both economic and security issues. At the same time, the power and influence of the Indian diaspora only continues to grow. In an October 2022 op-ed on the subject, Tyler Cowen notes that Rishi Sunak is only one example of a much wider phenomenon. “It is now impossible to deny what has been evident for some while,” he says. “Indian talent is revolutionizing the Western world far more than had been expected 10 or 15 years ago.”[20]

To be sure, India faces a complex set of challenges at home. Poverty remains widespread, along with ethnic and religious conflicts. The Modi government has taken an authoritarian turn in its pursuit of Hindu nationalism, and there are serious governance challenges associated with corruption in both government and the private sector. Ajantha Subramanian, a professor of anthropology at Harvard, has pointed out that successful members of the Indian diaspora in Silicon Valley largely come from the upper castes. Some criticize these individuals for amplifying caste-based inequality overseas through their exclusive professional networks in ways that are no longer as prevalent in India. While accounting for such criticism and taking an honest look at India’s domestic issues, it would also be unwise for Korea to discount the importance of India and its diaspora in the coming decades.

To Become Asia’s Small Giant

A few years ago, I gave a lecture on Korea’s development at a leading university in New Delhi. I was deeply impressed by the passion and enthusiasm of the students who came to listen. There is growing interest in India about the story of Korea’s remarkable economic development, as well as K-pop and Korean dramas. Unfortunately, this has not always been reciprocated. In 2017, a bar in Itaewon, an area of Seoul famous for its multicultural atmosphere, drew controversy when it denied entry to a student from India.[21] In 2009, in another incident, an Indian research professor and a female Korean companion were harassed by a fellow bus passenger.[22] Such inexcusable acts of discrimination are ultimately rooted in prejudices and negative stereotypes about India in Korea.

Building closer ties with India is a foreign policy imperative under the Yoon administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, but high-level policies alone will not be enough. It is vital for civil society to enhance mutual understanding by strengthening… people-to-people ties.
Gi-Wook Shin

I once had the opportunity to speak to Indian engineers who work in Korea. They told me that while they enjoyed working for Korean companies such as Samsung or SK, prejudice among Koreans toward India often made life difficult.[23] Building closer ties with India is a foreign policy imperative under the Yoon administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, but high-level policies alone will not be enough. It is vital for civil society to enhance mutual understanding between Korea and India by expanding cultural exchanges and strengthening people-to-people ties. The private sector also has an important role to play, as they can augment efforts by government-run Korean cultural centers and public entities such as the Korea Foundation.[24]

Indian talent could play an important role in Korea’s economic future. Korea will soon face significant labor shortages due to “a crisis on three fronts: a plummeting birth rate, an aging population, and a serious brain drain.”[25]On the other hand, India has a relatively young population and a large, highly skilled workforce. According to one estimate, “India is projected to have a skilled-labour surplus of around 245.3 million workers by 2030.”[26] There is also a natural synergy between the two economies. India excels in software, whereas Korea’s strength lies in hardware. If China provided opportunities for Korean manufacturers to export intermediate goods, India could provide the talent that Korea’s economy will increasingly rely on in the coming years.

Cowen argues that “India is by far the world’s most significant source of undiscovered and undervalued talent.” Anyone who is concerned about “the future of their own nation” in today’s world, he adds, “really should be focusing on India.”[27] Korea would do well to heed his advice.

While seeking ways to strengthen cooperation with India, Korea should also strive to build closer ties with the Indian diaspora and its networks. East Asian countries, including Korea, adopted a state-centered model of economic development. India took a different path, and its overseas diaspora has played a unique role in driving India’s economic growth. The ever-increasing influence of India’s new argonauts extends beyond Silicon Valley. Australia and Germany have sought to attract Indian talents and draw on their professional networks. The same goes for countries in the Middle East, including the United Arab Emirates. Korea could form closer partnerships with the extensive global networks of India’s diaspora community as it seeks to attract Indian talent and pursue new economic opportunities.

During the Cold War, Korea looked east toward the United States and Japan. As the Iron Curtain fell in the 1980s, Korea pursued Nordpolitik by normalizing ties with Moscow and Beijing. It is now time for Korea to look south. Even as Southeast Asia grows in importance, Korea must keep its eyes fixed on India. If Korea aims to become Asia’s small giant in this turbulent era, it would be wise for Seoul to use prevailing geopolitical currents to its favor.

[1]This essay draws on ongoing research by the author, which will be published in an upcoming book tentatively titled Talent Giants in the Asia-Pacific Century: A Comparative Analysis of Japan, Australia, China, and India.

[2] Amy Adams and Anneke Cole, “Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, University’s First New School in 70 Years, Will Accelerate Solutions to Global Climate Crisis,” Stanford University, May 4, 2022, https://news.stanford.edu/2022/05/04/stanford-doerr-school-sustainability-universitys-first-new-school-70-years-will-accelerate-solutions-global-climate-crisis/.

[3] Republic of Korea Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Strategy for a Free, Peaceful, and Prosperous Indo-Pacific Region, December 28, 2022, 17, https://www.mofa.go.kr/eng/brd/m_5676/view.do?seq=322133.

[4] The terms “sea turtle” () and “return from overseas” () are homophones for each other.

[5] Anthony Capaccio, “U.S. Faces ‘Unprecedented Threat’ from China on Tech Takeover,” Bloomberg, June 22, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-22/china-s-thousand-talents-called-key-in-seizing-u-s-expertise.

[6] S. P. Sukhatme and I. Mahadevan, Pilot Study on Magnitude and Nature of the Brain-Drain of Graduates of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (Bombay: Indian Institute of Technology, 1987).

[7] Neil G. Ruiz and Abby Budiman, “Number of Foreign College Students Staying and Working in U.S. After Graduation Surges,” Pew Research Center, May 10, 2018, https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2018/05/10/number-of-foreign-college-students-staying-and-working-in-u-s-after-graduation-surges/.

[8] Lubna Kably, “Indians Bagged 3.01 Lakh H-1B Visas During Fiscal 2021–74% of the Total,” Times of India, April 14, 2022, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/indians-bagged-3-01-lakh-h-1b-visas-during-fiscal-2021-74-of-the-total/articleshow/90845244.cms.

[9] Indian Tech Start-Up Ecosystem: Approaching Escape Velocity (Noida: NASSCOM-Zinnov, 2018), 6; Manish Singh, “Indian Tech Startups Raised a Record$14.5B in 2019,” TechCrunch, December 30, 2019, https://techcrunch.com/2019/12/29/indian-tech-startups-funding-amount-2019/.

[10] “HNIs to Invest $30 Billion in Indian Tech Startups By 2025: Report,” Economic Times, June 17, 2021, https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/startups/hnis-to-invest-30-billion-in-indian-tech-startups-by-2025-report/articleshow/83607846.cms.

[11] “Narendra Modi’s Speech at the Shark Tank, Silicon Valley As It Happened,” Wall Street Journal, September 27, 2015, https://www.wsj.com/articles/BL-IRTB-30506.

[12] Chidanand Rajghatta, “Silicon Valley Stars Sign on to PM Modi’s ‘Digital India’ Vision,” Times of India, September 27, 2015, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech-news/silicon-valley-stars-sign-on-to-pm-modis-digital-india-vision/articleshow/49129060.cms.

[13] Vivek Wadhwa, AnnaLee Saxenian, and F. Daniel Siciliano, Then and Now: America’s New Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Part VII (Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, 2012), 3, https://www.kauffman.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Then_and_now_americas_new_immigrant_entrepreneurs.pdf.

[14] Nikhil Inamdar and Aparna Alluri, “Parag Agrawal: Why Indian-born CEOs dominate Silicon Valley,” BBC News, December 4, 2021, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-59457015.

[15] Jens Manuel Krogstad and Jynnah Radford, “Education Levels of U.S. Immigrants Are on the Rise,” Pew Research Center, September 14, 2018, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/09/14/education-levels-of-u-s-immigrants-are-on-the-rise/.

[16] United States Census Bureau, “Census Bureau Releases New Education Attainment Data,” February 24, 2022, https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2022/educational-attainment.html.

[17] U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2020 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics, 2022), 53–54, https://www.dhs.gov/immigration-statistics/yearbook/2020.

[18] “With $87 Billion, India Top Remittance Recipient in 2021: UN Report,” Economic Times, July 20, 2022, https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/nri/invest/with-87-billion-india-top-remittance-recipient-in-2021-un-report/articleshow/93012012.cms.

[19] Gi-Wook Shin, “Walking a Tightrope,” Shorenstein APARC, November 16, 2022, https://aparc.fsi.stanford.edu/korea/news/walking-tightrope.

[20] Tyler Cowen, “Rishi Sunak Shows the Growing Influence of Indian Talent in the West,” Bloomberg, October 28, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-10-28/rishi-sunak-shows-growing-influence-of-indian-talent-in-west.

[21] Ock Hyun-ju, “Itaewon Bar Accused of Discriminating Against Indian,” Korean Herald, June 7, 2017, https://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20170607000796.

[22] Park Si-soo, “Indian Accuses Korean of Racial Discrimination,” Korea Times, August 3, 2009, http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2009/08/117_49537.html; Paul Kerry and Matthew Lamers, “Setting a Precedent on Racism,” Korea Herald, March 30, 2010, https://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20091106000044.

[23] Gi-Wook Shin and Joon Nak Choi, Global Talent: Skilled Labor as Social Capital in Korea (Stanford University Press, 2015).

[24] For more information about the Korea Foundation, see the organization’s “About Us” page at https://www.kf.or.kr/kfEng/cm/cntnts/cntntsView2.do?mi=2126.

[25] Gi-Wook Shin, “Demographic Headwinds,” Shorenstein APARC, December 15, 2022, https://aparc.fsi.stanford.edu/news/demographic-headwinds.

[26] “India to Have Talent Surplus of 245 Million Workers by 2030: Study,” Economic Times, May 7, 2018, https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/india-to-have-talent-surplus-of-245-million-workers-by-2030-study/articleshow/64064096.cms.

[27] Cowen, “Rishi Sunak Shows the Growing Influence of Indian Talent in the West.”


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On February 24, 2021, the China Program at Shorenstein APARC hosted Dr. Thomas Wright, director of the Center on the United States and Europe and a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution. Professor Jean Oi, William Haas Professor of Chinese Politics and director of the APARC China Program, moderated the event.

The program, entitled "U.S.-China Relations in the Biden Era," explored the future of US-China relations based on experience from past administrations. Under former President Trump, U.S. relations with China evolved into outright rivalry. In his talk, Dr. Wright discussed whether this rivalry will continue and evolve during a Biden administration by analyzing the roots of strategic competition between the two countries and various strands of thinking within the Biden team. According to Wright, the most likely outcome is that the competition between the two countries will evolve into a clash of governance systems and the emergence of two interdependent blocs where ideological differences become a significant driver of geopolitics. Cooperation is possible but it will be significantly shaped by conditions of rivalry. Watch now:

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Min Ye speaking

Domestic or International? The Belt and Road Initiative Is More Internally Focused Than We Think, Says Expert Min Ye

Domestic or International? The Belt and Road Initiative Is More Internally Focused Than We Think, Says Expert Min Ye
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The Pandemic, U.S.-China Tensions and Redesigning the Global Supply Chain

The Pandemic, U.S.-China Tensions and Redesigning the Global Supply Chain
Photograph of Xi Jinping and Vladmir Putin walking in front of two lines of armed Chinese soldiers

Military Competition with China: Harder to Win Than During the Cold War?

On February 10th, the APARC China Program hosted Professor Oriana Mastro to discuss military relations between the US and China, and why deterrence might be even more difficult than during the Cold War.
Military Competition with China: Harder to Win Than During the Cold War?
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Dr. Thomas Wright examines the recent history of US-China relations and what that might mean for the new administration.

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Stanford Korean studies expert Gi-Wook Shin has been named the William J. Perry Professor of Contemporary Korea, an endowed professorship established jointly by the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and the School of Humanities and Sciences (H&S). Shin is a professor in the Department of Sociology, senior fellow at FSI, director of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) at FSI, and the founding director of the Korea Program within APARC.
“Gi-Wook is richly deserving of this appointment,” said FSI Director Michael McFaul. “He is a remarkable colleague and scholar who established a unique Korean studies program at Stanford and, within a relatively short period of time, built it into a leading research hub on contemporary Korea and U.S.-Korea relations. Grounded in the social sciences, the program’s approach to exploring issues of vital importance to policymaking in the United States and Korea from cross-regional and comparative perspectives is at the forefront of FSI’s efforts to foster global engagement through research and teaching.”
The William J. Perry professorship of contemporary Korea was established thanks to a generous gift from Jeong H. Kim, a technology entrepreneur passionate about education and public service, in honor of Professor William Perry, his mentor and friend, who played a significant role in encouraging Kim’s entrepreneurship. Perry is the Michael and Barbara Berberian Professor (emeritus) at Stanford and senior fellow at FSI. An expert in U.S. foreign policy, national security, and arms control, Perry was the 19th U.S. Secretary of Defense, serving during the 1994 crisis on the Korean peninsula. He has long worked inside and outside of government toward a peaceful resolution to the conflict on the Korean peninsula, an effort that he continues today as director of the Preventive Defense Project at FSI. Having witnessed the growth of the Korea Program under Gi-Wook Shin’s leadership, Kim decided to endow a professorship on contemporary Korea, which was named after Perry upon his retirement.
A prolific scholar, Shin is the author and editor of more than twenty books and numerous articles. Some of his recent books include Strategic, Policy and Social Innovation for a Post-Industrial Korea: Beyond the Miracle (2018); Superficial Korea (2017); Divergent Memories: Opinion Leaders and the Asia-Pacific War (2016); Global Talent: Skilled Labor as Social Capital in Korea (2015); and Troubled Transition: North Korea’s Politics, Economy, and External Relations (2013). Due to the wide popularity of his publications, many of them have been translated and distributed to Korean audiences. He frequently contributes expert commentary and analysis on the two Koreas and U.S.-Korea relations in both American and Korean news outlets. 
Shin is currently leading a multi-year research cluster that advocates for a “New Asia” of social, cultural, and economic maturity. It includes several projects that analyze a host of issues, such as flows of talent across national boundaries and talent management practices and policies harnessed by leading Asia-Pacific countries to compete in the new global knowledge economy; migration and diversity programs and policies of Asia-Pacific universities, corporations, and governments, and their impact on innovation and creativity; and the interests and policy environments of the two Koreas and their neighbors in relation to the North Korean nuclear problem, the U.S.-DPRK dialogue, the U.S.-ROK alliance, the rise of China, and Korean reunification.
“I am honored to become the William J. Perry Professor of Contemporary Korea,” said Shin. “As a Korean American scholar, my mission has been to strengthen the bonds between the two countries to which I am most attached. It has been a blessing to work together with collogues, friends, and partners at Stanford and in the United States and Korea to deliver on that mission through the Korea Program research, education, and outreach. I am proud of our accomplishments to date and look forward to addressing the challenges ahead and building on our record of achievement.”
Previously Shin held the Tong Yang, Korea Foundation, and Korea Stanford Alumni Chair of Korean Studies. His appointment as the William J. Perry Professor of Contemporary Korea concludes a long search for a candidate to fill the position. “We are thankful to Gi-Wook for his patience throughout the search process,” said McFaul. “This professorship is especially important at a time when changing regional relations and geopolitical developments around the Korean peninsula are front and center to U.S. and international interests.”

Media contact:
Noa Ronkin, Associate Director for Communications and External Relations
Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research center


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What explains variation in access to citizenship rights in China? Why do some governments extend citizenship to migrants while others do not? This talk details the structural barriers to accessing citizenship rights in China through the household registration system, hukou, which treats domestic migrant workers as foreigners in their own country. Over the last twenty years, city governments erected local citizenship regimes, controlling who is allowed to become full citizens locally while keeping unwanted populations out. In this talk, Prof. Vortherms details the sub-national variation in these policies and explains the connection between economic growth and citizenship acquisition. When the local economy is exposed to foreign market forces, local governments are incentivized to open citizenship to high-skilled workers, who have greater marginal benefits for the local economy in the presence of foreign production. Protectionism leads to stricter policies for low-skilled and chain migrants, while lower local fiscal capacity can increase opportunities for buying citizenship through investment. This talk tests these hypotheses on an original database of local naturalization policies in 249 cities in China, and concludes with a discussion of the prospects and implications of recent reforms to the household registration system.

Portrait of Samantha Vortherms
Samantha Vortherms is a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University's Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Irvine. Her research focuses on comparative political economy, development, social welfare, and survey research. Her current book project, Localized Citizenship in China, examines sub-national variation in access to citizenship rights in China. Prof. Vortherms research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Fulbright Program, and the Social Science Research Council. Before her time at Stanford, she received a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and two Master’s degrees in International Relations and Public Policy at the University of Chicago.

Samantha Vortherms <i>Postdoctoral fellow, Stanford Shorenstein APARC, Assistant Professor of Political Science, U.C. Irvine</i>

The development community has increased its focus on higher education over the past two decades, recognizing that education can contribute to building up a country’s capacity for participation in an increasingly knowledge-based world economy and accelerate economic growth. The value added by higher education to economies—job creation, innovation, enhanced entrepreneurship, and research, a core higher education activity—has been highlighted by an important body of literature. 

Yet experts remain concerned that investing in higher education in less-developed countries may lead to a “brain drain”--highly educated students and professionals permanently leaving their home countries. In the 2016 Kauffman report on international science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students in the United States, for instance, 48 percent among a randomly sampled survey of 2,322 foreign doctoral students in the United States wished to stay there after graduation, with only 12 percent wanting to leave and 40.5 percent being undecided. In fact, high percentages of foreign students in the United States with doctorates in science and engineering continue to stay in the United States, creating a brain drain problem for the sending countries. 

Because students tend to move from developing to developed countries to study, brain drain is more problematic for developing countries. In addition, given accelerated talent flows around the world and the increasing integration of less-developed countries into global value chains, the negative impact of brain drain could be further amplified. As demonstrated by the studies reviewed in this paper, the migration of high-skilled professionals from developing countries may indeed create brain drain for them, but at the same time can significantly enhance the social and economic development of their home countries, regardless of whether or not they decide to return home, thus complicating what used to be seen as a straightforward case of brain drain. 

From Brain Drain to Brain Circulation and Linkage examines how brain drain can contribute to development for the sending countries through brain circulation and linkage. It provides an overview of the conceptual framework to map out high-skilled labor flows, identifies empirical cases and policies in Asia that demonstrate high-skilled migrant professionals actually make significant contributions to their home countries (beyond monetary remittances), summarizes key social and economic enabling factors that are important in attracting and motivating migrant high-skilled professionals to return or engage with their home countries, and concludes with policy implications and suggestions for further research based on these findings.





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Gi-Wook Shin
Rennie Moon
616 Serra StreetEncina Hall E301Stanford, CA94305-6055
(650) 724-5594 (650) 723-6530
Antje Missbach joins the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Center (Shorenstein APARC) during fall 2017 from Monash University, Melbourne, where she serves as a senior research fellow at the School of Social Sciences. Her research interests focus on socio-legal dimensions of irregular migration in Southeast Asia; trafficking in persons, human smuggling and related transnational crimes in the Asia-Pacific region; global asylum policies and refugee protection as well as diaspora politics and long-distance nationalism. During her time at Shorenstein APARC, she will work on a number of issues regarding formal and informal refugee protection in Indonesia and the wider region. Antje is the author of Troubled transit: asylum seekers stuck in Indonesia, (2015) and Politics and conflict in Indonesia: the role of the Acehnese diaspora (2011) and the co-editor of Linking people: Connections and encounters between Australians and Indonesians (2015 with Jemma Purdey). She regularly writes opinion pieces for The ConversationInside Indonesia, and Jungle World. She holds a Ph.D. from The Australian National University, Canberra and a Magister from Humboldt-University in Berlin, Germany.
Visiting Scholar
2017-2018 Lee Kong Chian NUS-Stanford Fellow on Contemporary Southeast Asia
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A new book published by the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) explores the future of China’s urbanization. Addressing the complex challenges facing Chinese cities will require updated institutions and unparalleled innovation, researchers say.

China’s growth in cities has been unprecedented over the past decade, and the urbanization policies the government put in place, while achieving notable successes, continue to face systemic obstacles that challenge the effectiveness of central and local governments. How the government will resolve the complex sets of conflicting interests will considerably shape Chinese society and politics for decades.
That is the premise of a new book co-edited by Karen Eggleston, senior fellow in Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; Jean C. Oi, the William Haas Professor in Chinese Politics; and Yiming Wang, deputy director general and senior research fellow at the State Council Development and Research Center.
In the book Challenges in the Process of China’s Urbanization, eleven chapters authored by 21 authors feature urbanization challenges ranging from property rights and affordable housing to food security and the environment.

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“Urbanization is not merely a process of financial engineering or rational decision-making, but a complicated ‘dance’ of power and politics,” the editors write in the introductory chapter.
The book is one of two publications that emerged from a conference in May 2014 at the Stanford Center at Peking University, that was part of a joint five-year research initiative between the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) – a government agency in China that formulates and implements strategies of national economic and social development.  
Wang, who was the deputy chief of staff at the NDRC and executive director of its Institute of Macroeconomic Research, facilitated ongoing scholarly exchanges, including workshops and conferences as well as joint fieldwork in China. At one point, the NDRC came to the Bay Area to interview local government officials about urbanization and affordable housing policies.  
Eggleston and Oi responded to a few questions about the book.
What patterns are shaping urbanization in China?
Oi: A primary pattern shaping China’s urbanization is the movement of people from rural areas to megacities – Beijing, Shanghai and elsewhere.  There also is movement from poorer to richer areas within the countryside. Rural to urban migration has been taking place in China since the 1970s, but the difference now is that the government is encouraging it. The Chinese government has an officially sanctioned program that is advocating migration. A second pattern shaping China’s urbanization is administrative redistricting. Redistricting is a government-led process that changes the administrative makeup of a municipality. For example, areas originally designated as ‘rural’ can be redistricted to qualify as ‘urban.’ Additionally, smaller cities can become larger by absorbing surrounding areas. Counties can also be combined into districts.
Why are cities and counties pursuing redistricting?
Oi: One of the main factors driving redistricting in China is the perks and power that are linked to the size of an administrative unit. Government officials in charge of smaller cities or counties have incentives to become larger. The larger the municipality, the more power and resources the municipality has. Smaller cities that become larger cities gain resources; yet on the other hand, counties that become part of a district lose certain local-level rights. Municipalities are essentially competing with each other. The book dives into the incentive structures at play and other political economy issues embedded in the urbanization process.
What kind of disciplinary approaches are undertaken in the book?
Eggleston: One of the book’s strengths is its array of disciplinary approaches. Drawn primarily from the social sciences, the book includes theoretical and empirical analyses of evidence gathered from case studies and fieldwork. 
Oi: The book is a true collaboration of scholars from the United States and China. About half of the chapter authors are officials from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), including our co-editor, Yiming Wang, who was NDRC deputy-secretary when we did the work for the volume. Each chapter attempts to offer a balanced perspective of the policy implications of China’s urbanization experience at both national and local levels.

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Karen Eggleston, FSI senior fellow and director of the Asia Health Policy Program, speaks on a panel about demographic change and health at the conference, "Challenges in Process of Urbanization: China in Comparative Perspective," Stanford Center at Peking University, May 2014.

What do you hope the book will achieve?

Oi: The book offers an analysis of the intricacies of and potential solutions to problems related to the process of China’s urbanization. We hope the book taken as a whole gives a sense of the magnitude of these problems, why there are no easy solutions, as well as what will be needed to address them going forward.  Some of the solutions are not just about money. 
Eggleston: The book aims to sketch an interesting picture of the varied aspects of China’s urbanization. Each chapter looks at a select issue, for example, land financing, spatial growth and housing security, and sets it in the broader context of urbanization. We purposely decided not to cover everything that falls under the banner of urbanization. Most of the topics could very well be made into a whole book alone. We hope the book will enliven conversation amongst scholars, policy influencers and China and urbanization enthusiasts.

What do “people-centered” solutions to urbanization challenges in China include?

Eggleston: “People-centered” is the term used in China’s official urbanization plan, the New National Urbanization Plan, published in 2014. We defined the term “people-centered” to include what makes life in urban areas attractive. “People-centered” urbanization emphasizes well-being and the factors that lead to a good livelihood, including access to public goods. For example, from a health perspective, cities around the world were historically less healthy locations to live in during the industrial revolution, before basic knowledge of how to control infectious disease with clean water and other population health measures. Now, cities can be healthier places to live in compared to rural areas. The Chinese government has a successful record of building basic infrastructure, but faces many challenges in harnessing the requisite resources to innovate and truly achieve people-centered development.


"In trying to reach a public goal like low-income housing, the Chinese government is trying to set up an incentive system so that the goal can be reached not just with taxpayer money but also by bringing in the private sector to build housing in a way that includes affordable units and doesn’t lead to segregation."  

     — Karen Eggleston; FSI senior fellow, Asia Health Policy Program director

An issue highlighted in the book is China’s household registration system. Why is it an issue and what is being done to address it?
Oi: Because China’s urbanization has been so rapid, institutions have not yet fully caught-up. There is a disjuncture between the institutions that exist and those that are actually necessary. One pressing example is the household registration system. Citizens who live in rural areas have a different kind of residency status than citizens in urban areas. Everyone has rights, but rights differ depending on where primary residence was originally listed. A Chinese citizen is only able to enjoy all of his or her rights where he or she is registered. So migrants tend to lose out as soon as they move away from their home locality. However, the central government has started to make changes to this system. For example, children of migrants now have access to public services such as primary education. Some localities have begun to implement a points-based system wherein families accumulate points over time and, after reaching a certain level, become eligible for citizenship in that place of residence.
Can you describe the state of housing in Chinese cities?
Eggleston: Affordable housing is a key issue of urbanization across the world, not just in China. So, the glass is half-full or half-empty depending on how you look at it. China has been remarkably successful in avoiding the development of large urban slums common in lower income countries with rapid urbanization. That said, problems associated with housing are not going to go away quickly. The macro nature of China’s population amplifies the problem, and coincides with a dramatic increase in housing prices. Continued government investment in affordable housing will help address scarcity, and could help tackle interrelated problems such as assisted living for the elderly population in China.
Oi: The central government began to offer affordable housing in 2007 with the intention of providing housing for the neediest portion of the population. In theory, it works, but in reality, it has faults. Supply and demand sometimes isn’t in sync. For example, quotas were used as a way to decide the location of its affordable housing, but some cities found that housing units remain unused. The local government builds a number of affordable housing units but then discovers no one wants them because commercial housing is less expensive or factories provide dormitory space. Part of this mismatch in supply and demand is rooted in the issue of resident permits. In most cases, the neediest portion of the population is typically migrants but they are not eligible for affordable housing in the cities where there is most need for low cost housing such as Beijing or Shanghai. As a result, migrants often live in inadequate housing in city centers – small, windowless spaces with many people living together in one room. 
One of the chapters in the book focuses on food security. As Chinese migrants continue to move from rural to urban areas, are fears of declining food security founded?
Eggleston: Food security is an important issue. In the book, one chapter written by 9 co-authors applies rigorous methods to understand whether urbanization threatens food security in China. They found that fear of declining food security is mostly overblown. Continued government investment in agricultural production such as irrigation systems can help address those fears, and help enable sustainable food production.

urbanization embed image 2

Jean Oi, FSI senior fellow and director of the China Program, (Center), and Xueguang Zhou, FSI senior fellow and professor of sociology, (Left of Center), take a tour of housing developments during fieldwork with the National Development and Reform Commission in August 2012. Oi is speaking with one of the village leaders about a "new rural community" concept developed in a housing development in Chengdu, where this photo was taken.

Another chapter in the book references pollution. Beijing has faced unprecedented levels of air pollution lately. Does it coincide with urbanization?

Eggleston: Although issues of pollution and “green growth” merit separate book-length treatment and are not central to this book, pollution illustrates the broader issue of concentrations of industry and people living in one area. Everyone has to share public space. Both a migrant and someone working at the top levels of government in Beijing breathe the same air. Things that are less visible like water quality are avoidable by some of the population, but air pollution is not, and therefore, quickly reveals how hard it is for the government to efficiently fix a problem. Policies to mitigate pollution often take awhile to have an effect, and in the mean time, people begin to doubt government accountability. Local governments have made strides within the past few years in revising evaluation structures so that officials are incentivized to react to public problems like air pollution. Historically, an official’s performance was based largely if not solely on GDP growth of his or her municipality, but it has since expanded to include other factors such as health insurance enrollment.
Infrastructure spending has been a driver of China’s economic growth. Has China’s rush to build quickly come at the expense of safety?
Oi: Economic growth is intimately tied to the process of China’s urbanization. Growth of cities has been driven by the ambitions of local officials who want to see their municipalities expand. But the question remains over how they’re going to finance rising needs for and costs of public goods. Each municipality receives funding from the central government and it’s based on the quantity of citizens – a number that excludes migrants. Any migrant is then – administratively speaking – a burden on the system. Municipalities have to determine how they’re going to fund public goods. This is where fiscal politics comes in. China’s fiscal system is really the most important institution in need of reform. Each chapter of the book touches upon the issue of public funding in some way.
Eggleston: China is generally known for its investment in infrastructure projects, but the goal of rapid growth can seemingly clash with a concern for safety. One of the main themes of the book is to think carefully about the incentives that govern the process. I think that theme certainly rings true with regard to infrastructure and safety. Put simply: if officials and contractors do not have incentive to prioritize safety, then safety problems are going to arise. The Chinese government efforts to develop and improve specific regulatory structures should continue, as several authors point out in different chapters of the book.


"Economic growth is intimately tied to the process of China’s urbanization. Growth of cities has been driven by the ambitions of local officials who want to see their municipalities expand. But the question remains over how they’re going to finance rising needs for and costs of public goods."  

     — Jean C. Oi; Stanford professor of political science, China Program director

How can a balance be struck between public and private sector led projects that address urbanization challenges?
Oi: The Chinese government is increasingly looking to establish public-private partnerships as a way to deal with urbanization challenges. Affordable housing is one area that could experiment further with the public-private model. Instead of going to local governments, the central government is now talking directly with housing developers. They say to the developers “we’ll give you permission to develop a housing estate, but within that housing estate, you’re going to have to set aside ‘X’ number of units for affordable housing.” Depending on the city, this approach has had mixed effects. Some high-end housing developers don’t want to include affordable housing because the price per unit could drop as a result.
Eggleston: It’s critical to think about public-private partnerships in the context of urbanization-related policy goals. I think we’re bound to see them grow. The government has an opportunity to harness the innovation of the private sector through such partnerships.
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Lisa Griswold
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Ian Johnson, a veteran journalist with a focus on Chinese society, religion and history, is the 2016 recipient of the Shorenstein Journalism Award. The award, given annually by the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, is conferred to a journalist who produces outstanding reporting on Asia and has contributed to greater understanding of the complexities of Asia. He will deliver a keynote speech and participate in a panel discussion on May 1, 2017, at Stanford.

“Ian Johnson is one of those rare writers who has not only watched China’s evolution over the long haul, but who is also deeply steeped in the culture and politic of both Europe and the United States as well,” said Orville Schell, the Arthur Ross Director at the Asia Society of New York’s Center on U.S.-China Relations and jury member for the award. “This cross-cultural grounding has imbued his work on China with a humanistic core that, because it is always implicit rather than explicit, is all the more persuasive.”

Ian Buruma, the Paul W. Williams Professor of Democracy, Human Rights, and Journalism at Bard College and jury member for the award, added further praise, “Ian Johnson is one of the finest journalists in the English language. He writes about China with extraordinary insight, deep historical knowledge and a critical spirit tempered by rare human sympathy. His work on China is further enriched by wider interests, such as the problems of Islamist extremism in the West, specifically Germany, where he lives when he is not writing from China.”

The Shorenstein award, now in its 15th year, originally in partnership with the Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard, was created to honor American journalists who through their writing have helped Americans better understand Asia. In 2011, the award was broadened to encompass Asian journalists who pave the way for press freedom, and have aided in the growth of mutual understanding across the Pacific. Recent recipients of the award include Yoichi Funabashi, former editor-in-chief of the Asahi Shimbun; Jacob Schlesinger of the Wall Street Journal; and Aung Zaw, founder of the Irrawaddy, a Burmese publication.

Johnson has spent over half of the past 30 years in the Greater China region, first as a student in Beijing from 1984-85, and then in Taipei from 1986-88. He later worked as a newspaper correspondent in China, from 1994-96 with Baltimore's The Sun, and then from 1997-2001 with the Wall Street Journal, covering macroeconomics, China’s social issues and World Trade Organization accession.

Johnson returned to China in 2009, where he now lives and writes for the New York Times and freelances for the New York Review of Books, the New Yorker and National Geographic. He also teaches and leads a fellowship program at the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies.

Johnson has also worked in Germany, serving as the Wall Street Journal’s Germany bureau chief and senior writer. Early on in his career, he covered the fall of the Berlin Wall and German unification, and later returned to head coverage on areas including the introduction of the euro and Islamist terrorism.

Johnson has been twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and won in 2001 for his coverage of the Chinese government’s suppression of the Falun Gong spiritual movement and its implications of that campaign for the future. He is also the author of two books, Wild Grass (Pantheon, 2004) which examines China’s civil society and grassroots protest, and A Mosque in Munich (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010). His next book, The Souls of China: The Return of Religion after Mao (Pantheon, April 2017) explores the resurgence of religion and value systems in China.

Additional details about the panel discussion and the award are listed below.

About the Panel Discussion and Award Ceremony

A keynote speech will be delivered by Shorenstein Journalism Award winner Ian Johnson, followed by a panel discussion with Orville Schell, the Arthur Ross Director at the Asia Society of New York’s Center on U.S.-China Relations, and Xueguang Zhou, professor of sociology at Stanford; moderated by Daniel C. Sneider, associate director for research at Shorenstein APARC.

May 1, 2017, from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. (PDT)

Bechtel Conference Center, Encina Hall, 616 Serra Street, Stanford, CA 94305

The keynote speech and panel discussion are open to the public. The award ceremony will take place in the evening for a private audience.

To RSVP for the panel discussion, please visit this page.

About the Shorenstein Journalism Award

The Shorenstein Journalism Award honors a journalist not only for excellence in their field of reporting on Asia, but also for their promotion of a free, vibrant media and for the future of relations between Asia and the United States. Originally created to identify American and Western journalists for their work in and on Asia, the award now also recognizes Asian journalists who have contributed significantly to the development of independent media in Asia. The award is presented annually and includes a prize of $10,000.

The award is named after Walter H. Shorenstein, the philanthropist, activist and businessman who endowed two institutions that are focused respectively on Asia and the press - the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford and the Joan Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics and Public Policy in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

Past recipients of the award include: Yoichi Funabashi, formerly of the Asahi Shimbun (2015); Jacob Schlesinger of the Wall Street Journal (2014), Aung Zaw of the Irrawaddy (2013), Barbara Demick of the Los Angeles Times (2012), Caixin Media of China (2011), Barbara Crossette of the New York Times (2010), Seth Mydans of the New York Times (2009), Ian Buruma (2008), John Pomfret of the Washington Post (2007), Melinda Liu of Newsweek (2006), Nayan Chanda of the Far Eastern Economic Review (2005), Don Oberdofer of the Washington Post (2004), Orville Schell (2003), and Stanley Karnow (2002).

A jury selects the award winner. The 2016 jury comprised of:

Ian Buruma, the Paul W. Williams Professor of Democracy, Human Rights, and Journalism at Bard College, is a noted Asia expert who frequently contributes to publications including the New York Times, the New York Review of Books and the New Yorker. He is a recipient of the Shorenstein Journalism Award and the international Erasmus Prize (both in 2008).

Nayan Chanda is the director of publications and the editor of YaleGlobal Online Magazine at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. For nearly thirty years, Chanda was at the Hong Kong-based magazine, Far Eastern Economic Review. He writes the ‘Bound Together’ column in India’s Business World and is the author of Bound Together: How Traders, Preachers, Adventurers and Warrior Shaped Globalization. Chanda received the Shorenstein Journalism Award in 2005.

Susan Chira is a senior correspondent and editor on gender issues and former deputy executive editor and foreign editor at the New York Times. Chira has extensive experience in Asia, including serving as Japan correspondent for the Times in the 1980s. During her tenure as foreign editor, the Times won the Pulitzer Prize four times for international reporting on Afghanistan, Russia, Africa and China.

Donald K. Emmerson is a well-respected Indonesia scholar and director of Shorenstein APARC’s Southeast Asia Program and a research fellow for the National Asia Research Program. Frequently cited in international media, Emmerson also contributes to leading publications, such as Asia Times and International Business Times.

Orville Schell is the Arthur Ross Director at the Asia Society of New York’s Center on U.S.-China Relations and former jury member for the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting. Schell has written extensively on China and was awarded the 1997 George Peabody Award for producing the groundbreaking documentary The Gate of Heavenly Peace. He received the Shorenstein Journalism Award in 2003.

Daniel C. Sneider is the associate director for research at Shorenstein APARC, writing on Asian security issues, wartime historical memory and U.S policy in Asia. He also frequently contributes to publications such as Foreign Policy, Asia Policy and Slate. Sneider had three decades of experience as a foreign correspondent serving in India, Japan and Russia for the Christian Science Monitor and as the national and foreign editor of the San Jose Mercury News and a syndicated columnist on foreign affairs for Knight-Ridder.

For more information about the award, please visit this page.

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