China Town Hall to Offer Insight, Answers

December 3, 2009

President Obama’s November trip to China focused many Americans’ eyes and ears on that country and our cooperation on global financial recovery, energy and climate, and relationships with North Korea and Iran, and more. Mary Baldwin University (Mary Baldwin) and Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) have teamed to host an upcoming national forum that provides a unique opportunity for Shenandoah Valley residents to learn about China’s relationship with the United States, and to have their questions answered by leading China specialists.

Mary Baldwin professors Lallon Pond and Daniel Métraux will share their expertise and first-hand experiences in China during the China Town Hall December 8 at BRCC. The conference also features China scholar Anthony Kane of the American Councils for International Education, and Kurt Campbell, assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific affairs.

“Developments in China, and America’s response to these developments, have a direct impact on the lives of just about everyone in the United States,” said Stephen Orlins, president of the National Committee on U.S./China Relations.

Métraux, professor of Asian studies at Mary Baldwin and editor of The Southeast Review of Asian Studies, will serve as emcee at BRCC, one of 40 sites nationwide hosting the seminar. The event will open with a presentation by Kane, “China Rising: What Should We Think?” followed by a live webinar with Campbell, who will discuss the latest developments in U.S./China relations. The program wraps up with Campbell’s responses to questions from audience members around the country.

Pond, associate professor of business administration, has long been involved with international students and activities at Mary Baldwin. She recently returned from a two-week trip to Beijing, Xi’an, Chongqing, and Shanghai as one of 15 scholars selected for a Fulbright-Hays seminar designed to enhance their instruction. Nell Tiller, Spanish instructor at BRCC, was also in the group. The China Town Hall is one of several ways the pair plans to share their discoveries.