A Liberal Silent Majority in China? A Big Data China Event
Scott Kennedy: Good afternoon, or good morning or good evening, wherever you are in the world today. Thank you for joining us online. My name is Scott Kennedy, and welcome to this collaborative event between CSIS and Stanford University.
Last year, we launched a new project with Stanford Center for China’s Economy and Institutions called “Big Data China” and today we will discuss the first product of this collaboration.
From my point of view, the purpose of this partnership is to make sure Washington, D.C. is as smart as possible when it comes to China. There’s greater interest than ever on what’s going on in China and its relationship with the rest of the world.
When I arrived at CSIS a little over seven years ago, we had three to four people who worked on China full time. Now we have at least 10 or more who work on China every single day and dozens of others who follow China on a regular basis, and China is the talk of the town.
But our sources of information are the least they’ve been in a very long time because we’ve been cut off from being able to travel. Everyone is trying their best, reading anything that they can get their hands on and anything they can find off the internet. But we are trying to – but we are not in the position that we should be in in terms of our understanding of China.
This project aims to add to our sources of knowledge by introducing some of the world’s most cutting-edge, most sophisticated scholarly research on China. Often, that work is inaccessible because it’s hidden behind mountains and mountains of data, lengthy text, and academic jargon.
It should be complicated. China’s a complicated place, and these experts, these professors, are writing for an audience of other experts. Our job in this project is to help make this work, the debate in which it occurs, and China more accessible to explain the analysis and to highlight what we think are the top policy takeaways for policymakers.
That’s what we’re trying to do. Our plan is to have a feature like the one that we’ve just published and that we’re going to discuss today every couple months. In a second, I’m going to hand things over to the head of the Stanford team, Scott Rozelle. But first I just want to issue a few other thank-you’s.
First, to Jen Pan and Yiqing Xu, the two scholars who’ve done amazing work and entrusted this project in us with translating it for a policy audience. Also, to Scott Rozelle’s other colleagues at SCCEI – Matt Boswell, Jennifer Choo, and others who have helped this project from the beginning and every step along the way. Ilaria Mazzocco here at CSIS, my fellow translator and co-author of the feature that we just published, she arrived last September, and we immediately threw her into the deep end. And she definitely knows how to swim. She’s worked tirelessly on this project from beginning to end, and it’s really an honor to have her on our team.
My other trusty chair colleagues, Alyssa Perez and Maya Mei, who put in a lot of time on many elements of this collaboration. And CSIS’s iLab – our iDeas Lab. Matthew Funaiole, the director, Laurel Weibezahn, who’s the multimedia producer, Christina Ham, who is the web designer, and others that helped put this all together. To the four experts who join us today, I’ll introduce them in a little while when we get to the start of that conversation, but I’m really grateful for them contributing to the debate that’s generated this work, as well as the conversation today.
And to the audience for joining. You can submit questions via the event page where it says “ask live questions here.” And we want to hear from you. And we want to have you be part of today’s discussion.
So let me turn things to my partner, Scott Rozelle. He works largely on rural issues, but on many aspects of China. And he’s entrusted this city slicker, and I stay within what he must consider to be a closed-loop system, apart from much of regular China that he encountered through his career. So I’m grateful to be partnering with him. Scott, thank you for everything you’ve done. And let me turn the floor over to you, sir.
Scott Rozelle OK. Well, thank you, Scott. And thank you everyone else that you just thanked. (Laughs.) This is sort of a cumulation of a lot of hard work and stop and go to produce this. And we’ve seen the feature, and it’s very, very good. And this is really going to try today to try to really condense it and give it out to the audience that you sent.
So Stanford Center on China’s Economy and Institutions, we’re really Stanford’s newest center. And it’s co-directed by Hongbin Li and myself. And we started it basically for three reasons. We want to teach more at Stanford, so that’s one. But, two, it’s really doing the type of research that Scott talked about. It’s data-based, empirical work, high-quality research on China. And that’s what we promise, is anything that comes out of our center, from us, and it’s economists and other social scientists, the political scientists, and the sociologists, and the communications departments that do work on this, scientists and public health people that do this, that what we produce is going to be data-based. And trying to, exactly what Scott said, to inform the world of what’s going on in that very, very important economy across the Pacific.
The other thing that’s very new to us and that we’re starting is our External Relations Program, so our third objective. And the highlight of this is today’s feature with CSIS. And we’re just – I’ve known Scott for many, many years. And that we now are able to work together on this is – and direct it towards the constituents of CSIS in Washington and around the country, is fantastic. And the last thing is we also have – the other part of our external relations program, we have SCCEI – we’re called Stanford Center on China’s Economy – we abbreviate it by saying SCCEI. We have SCCEI China briefs that come out every two weeks. And they’re the same thing. They are the data-based, high-quality academic paper that’s translated for the U.S. business community and the U.S. policymaking community. And if – they’re going to be on our website here, but also contact me if you want to get those for you or your organization.
So that’s all. We look forward to doing a lot more with you, Scott. So are we headed down to introduce our speakers?
Dr. Kennedy: Well, indeed. Indeed. Would you like to introduce Jen and Yiqing to everybody, since they’re part of your team?
Dr. Rozelle: Sure.
Dr. Kennedy: All right. Go ahead, sir.
Dr. Rozelle: Yeah. So I want to introduce really quickly Jennifer Pan. She’s Associate Professor of Communications at Stanford, and a very good friend of ours. An affiliate of SCCEI and really just a spectacular scholar. Her research focuses on political communications and authoritarian politics. And she’s all of what SCCEI is about, and about what Big Data China is about. Jennifer uses experimental and computational methods with large-scale data sets on political activity in China and other authoritarian regimes to answer questions how autocrats perpetuate their rules, how political censorship, propaganda, information manipulation work in a digital age, and how preferences and behaviors are shaped as a result.
She graduated as an undergrad from Princeton and received her Ph.D. from that university over on the east coast. I think it’s called Harvard. (Laughs.) That’s a Stanford joke. And so we’re so happy to have Jennifer here.
And with Jennifer, one of her frequent co-authors and our colleague at Stanford is Yiqing Xu. He’s an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Stanford. And Professor Xu’s primary research is very much like Jennifer’s from the purely political-science point of view. He covers political methodology, Chinese politics, and their intersection. He received a Ph.D. in Political Science from MIT, an M.A. from Peking University, and a B.A. from Fudan University in Economics.
Professor Xu’s work already, as a young assistant professor, has won several professional awards, the best article from the American Journal of Political Science in 2016, and the Miller Prize, two of them, in 2018, 2020, for the best work appearing in Political Analysis.
These two are at the heart of what we’re trying to do – figure out what’s happening in China so we can make better decisions down the road.
Scott, it’s all yours to moderate. I’ll be here to jump in if you need any help.
Dr. Kennedy: Terrific. Well, thank you so much. This is wonderful.
I want to turn the floor over now to Jen and Yiqing and give – so they can give everyone a taste of this research that they’ve been working on. I want to say, you know, being a former professor myself, I know how darn difficult it is to get a mountain and multiple mountains of data and figure out how to make sense of it and present it in a form which both academics and folks outside the academy can understand. And I’m really grateful for the partnership with you all. I have learned a ton.
All of us at CSIS have learned a ton over the last several months becoming familiar with your work. And we hope that the feature that we’ve published does your work justice. But we want you all to, in your own words, to explain what you do. And then we’ll then carry on with the rest of the conversation.
So Jen and Yiqing, over to both of you.
Jennifer Pan: Great. Thank you so much for having us. It’s really great to be here.
There has been a lot of great work on Chinese public opinion in the past decades. And everything we’re talking about today is informed by that work.
To start, I want to talk about the question we set out to answer with this research, and that question is whether people living in China have coherent belief systems. We also refer to this as ideology.
So what do we mean by a coherent belief system? We consider two factors. First, do people’s preferences cluster together in a predictable way? So, for example, let’s say you have someone who supports the laissez-faire economic policies such as private ownership of land. We then say this person’s preferences are predictable if they also oppose state ownership of firms, which is another type of support for laissez-faire economic policies. But if, on the contrary, they support private ownership of land but they also support state ownership of enterprises, we would say their preferences are less predictable. So that’s the first factor.
The second factor is whether preferences are stable over time. So if someone said they supported private ownership of land three months ago, we’d say their preferences are stable if they say the same thing again today.
Altogether, just to summarize, we would say someone has a coherent belief system if their preferences cluster in this predictable way and those preferences are stable.
In addition, we’re also interested in the structure of preferences. I know that’s jargony. But what we mean by that is whether preferences reduce to a one-dimensional left-right scale. And we would say preferences do reduce to one dimension if people who hold a particular view on one set of issues – let’s say on economic issues they tend to support positions like higher tax rates for the wealthy – preferences would be one-dimensional if they hold similar views when it comes to a totally different issue area. So, for example, on social issues they tend to support positions such as same-sex marriage.
So in the U.S. we often think that there is a one-dimensional, liberal/conservative scale. In a country like China, what we’re wanting to know is whether there might be a one-dimensional pro-/anti-regime scale.
Yiqing Xu: All right, so we want to share three key empirical findings based on the data we collect in the past few years.
First finding is that we find people in urban China do have coherent belief system, also may call ideology, as Jen has defined. Broadly speaking, there are clusters of preference in three issue domains: preference in the political domain and preferences in economic domain and then nationalism. These basically mean that there are people living in China who prefer liberal political institutions and those who prefer the more authoritarian control or the current political status quo. There are also people who prefer free-market policies, free-trade policies, and those who like more state intervention in the economy and more protectionism maybe. There are also people who support more nationalistic policies, more hawkish foreign policies, and those who do not.
So in this slide you’re seeing right now, so we plot the relationships of preferences/ideologies in these three issue – those three dimensions. For example, in the plot on the left, the x-axis is measure of political liberalism/authoritarianism constructed using over a dozen specific policy questions, some of which you’ve seen in the report. On the y-axis in the first plot is a measure of pro-market preferences, also based on over a dozen policy questions. Similarly, we also construct a measure of nationalism and plot its relationship against political liberalism and pro-market preferences in the second and third plot.
Then we conduct some statistical analysis. Interestingly, what we find is that these preferences in these three domains cannot be reduced to one-dimensional left/right scale, as Jen alluded to earlier. This may be something that people in the United States may be more familiar with. In other words, these are correlated but distinct dimensions or aspects of preferences. What this means is that for people who hold more politically liberal views, they’re on average more likely to support pro-market policies and oppose nationalistic hawkish foreign policies. But these are only averages; there are still plenty of people who may be supporting China’s current political system or authoritarianism but favor pro-market policies. As you can see, there’s some dots on the top-left quadrant in the first figure.
Our second finding is that these preferences, as we measure them, are relatively stable over time. What this means is that when we measure – when we ask the respondents the same questions at different points in time, they answer in similar fashions.
Dr. Pan: The third key result we want to share is the finding that respondents with higher levels of income and education are more likely than those with lower levels of income and education to hold views that are politically liberal and pro-market, and they’re also less likely to hold nationalistic views.
So here in the figure on the left, you can see four income brackets with higher income brackets on tops. The average level of political liberalism is higher for those that are in those higher-monthly-income brackets. And similarly, in the figure on the right, again, we have these four income brackets, and again, the average level here of pro-market preferences are higher for those with monthly – with higher monthly incomes.
What we’ve just shown you are results based on surveys among urban Chinese residents. We’ve also conducted similar research among Chinese college students, both in studying in China as well as those studying in the U.S. In this set of figures, the preferences of students in China are light blue and the preferences of Chinese students in the U.S. are – sorry, the ones in China are light red, the students in the U.S. are light blue. The first column is preferences on political liberalism: stronger preferences for liberalism on the right, stronger preferences for the status quo are on the left. Now, you can see that Chinese students who study in the U.S. are on average more politically liberal than those at top universities in China.
The second column, the one in the middle, is preferences related to the economy. Here, those who prefer pro-free market policies are more on the right. Those who support more state intervention in the economy are on the left. And what you can see is that Chinese students in the U.S., in the blue, are more pro-free market than those in China.
In the last rightmost column, this is preferences around nationalistic policies. Here, more support for nationalistic policies are on the right and those who are less nationalistic are on the left, and you can see that college students at these top universities in China are much more nationalistic than Chinese students who are studying in the U.S.
This set of figures also shows the stability of preferences that Yiqing talked about earlier. The pattern I just described of Chinese students who study in the U.S. are, on average, more politically liberal, pro-market, less nationalistic than those in China. That was true pre-COVID. So all the figures in the top row are pre-COVID, and this pattern also holds post-COVID. All three figures in the second, the bottom row, are from the fall of 2020, post-COVID.
Dr. Xu: So, finally, we want to highlight a few things about our data, our method, and maybe also some caveats.
First, for the general population survey I mentioned, we used several online survey platforms to recruit respondents from urban China. So very few respondents in our sample came from rural China, so results, really, cannot be generalized to cover entire China or rural China.
Second, we used the so-called quota-sampling strategy. A statistician may say, oh, this is not as ideal as probabilistic sampling, which I agree, but the latter is, unfortunately, unfeasible right now in China using this survey mode. This means that we set quotas in our survey in gender, age, educational level, geography – i.e., Chinese provinces – such that the sample we collect mimic the urban population in China.
So please bear in mind that our sample are not representative of the entire China – the Chinese population – but our respondents do come from relatively diverse social, economic, and geographic backgrounds because we used this quota sampling strategy.
Finally, there’s always a possibility that respondents are not willing to reveal their true preferences or true beliefs, or not willing to pay enough attention to the survey when they’re being surveyed. So we addressed this by asking multiple questions about specific policies, as we have discussed, or by embedding some of the attention filter just to maintain the quality of the survey.
Keeping those caveats in mind, our results, as you’ve already seen, do reveal that respondents we surveyed hold a wide range of different beliefs, some of which are, obviously, not consistent with the official positions at that time. Yeah. Thank you.
Dr. Kennedy: Terrific. Terrific. Fascinating, and I hope people watching who have not read your academic work or our feature on the CSIS website now get an understanding of why we’re interested in this work and why it needs a wider audience.
Your work, first of all, is built on a foundation of a lot of previous work, and it’s part of that ongoing conversation that academics and scholars have with each other. There’s never the truth, but there’s part of this conversation, and it’s really important to know where that conversation is.
The second is what you’re saying is very policy relevant. If people have one view about what public opinion in China is versus another, that says a lot about whether China’s policymakers feel constrained or not constrained by certain types of approaches. It might affect how the U.S. and others around the world try and interact or speak to China and the broader Chinese community.
There’s a lot of potential consequences and implications for this work, and it’s for those two reasons that we decided to have this first feature focus on this research.
Let me turn now to the panel, who have been participating in this scholarly conversation and this policy conversation for several years, to get their reactions to your work and the context in which it’s occurring, both the academic context as well as the policy context.
Let me introduce each of them first and then I’m going to ask each of them a few questions to get the ball rolling and then before we then open things up to the audience who’s watching.
So, first, will be Bruce Dickson. He is Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University. His research and teaching focus on political dynamics of China, especially the adaptability of the Communist Party, and the regimes it governs. He has written a series of books analyzing the political and policy views of Chinese entrepreneurs, government officials, and other members of society. His latest is, “The Party and the People: Chinese Politics in the 21st Century,” which came out last year from Princeton University Press.
Then we’ll hear from Carla Freeman, who is a Senior Expert for China at the U.S. Institute of Peace. She previously spent over a decade at Johns Hopkins SAIS, where she was Director of the Foreign Policy Institute. She specializes in China’s foreign policy, nontraditional security issues, and U.S.-China relations. Recently she published a work on comparative study of China’s policies in the high seas and outer space, which won the China Quarterly’s 2020 Gordon White Prize. And one of the reasons I wanted to invite here today, in addition all of that fantastic work, is I know she’s also paid a great deal of attention to China’s role in global economic governance, which is covered in some ways in this research.
Suisheng Zhao is Professor and Director of the Center for China-U.S. Cooperation at the Joseph Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. He is the Founder and Editor of the Journal of Contemporary China, which is one of the best journals in the field, whether you’re – on any issue related to contemporary China. He’s also the author and editor of more than two dozen books, including “A Nation-State by Construction: Dynamics of Chinese Nationalism.” His forthcoming book from Stanford University Press – it’s a small world – is titled “The Dragon Roars Back: Transformational Leaders and Dynamics of Chinese Foreign Policy.”
And Jessica Chen Weiss is Professor of Government at Cornell University and a Political Science Editor at The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog. And this year she is serving as a Senior Advisor on the Policy Planning Staff at the State Department. She is the author of, “Powerful Patriots: Nationalist Protest and China’s Foreign Relations,” which came out from Oxford University Press in 2014. And she is currently working on another book, “A World Safe for Autocracy: The Domestic Politics of China’s Foreign Policy.”
I think we’ve got the best panel assembled to talk about these issues, both from a scholarly perspective as well as a policy one. So let me turn to Bruce Dickson, who also was one of my advisors when I was a Ph.D. student at GW. And it’s great to reconnect on this – at this event. So, Bruce, I wanted to ask you two questions, since you have as much experience as anybody doing survey research in China. First, how hard is it to do surveys in China, basically? Just very simple question, but maybe a very difficult answer.
And second, Jen and Yiqing in their work find that the more educated and more wealthy Chinese are, the more liberal they tend to be. That is, they want less government intervention in the economy, prefer a more open political system, and are more hesitant to want to have China use force to settle various disputes. Now, these things – again, those are just averages. And there’s tons of variation. And I don’t want to go too far in saying how firm these relationships are. But they do find differences, as they mentioned in the presentation, that wealth and education matter. And on first glance, this seems a little bit inconsistent with some of the work that you’ve done, maybe published several years ago, about the relationship of views with folks’ wealth and education. And so, are the findings that you’ve had in the surveys you’ve done align with what they find? Has Chinese public opinion changed since they started doing their surveys? Or are there other ways to explain this because of different methodologies, or things like that?
So first question was really simple. The second one was way too long. So sorry for throwing all of that at you at once. But great to have you here.
Bruce Dickson: Yeah, thanks. Thanks, Scott, for inviting me here, and for Scott and Scott for pulling this together. And most of all, thanks to Jen and Yiqing for giving us such interesting things to talk about.
So the first question, how difficult is it to do surveys in China? It’s always been difficult, and even more so in the past four or five years. The traditional approach where you draw a random sample of the population to be generalizable to the full population, and you go knocking on doors and do face-to-face interviews, those are very expensive and in recent years almost impossible to do. So increasingly people are turning to online surveys like the ones that Jen and Yiqing have been talking about here. And the drawback that Yiqing was describing is that it’s harder to get it generalizable to the full population. You often get the urban online population, which is generally younger and better-educated. And still important findings, but it’s a question of how generalizable it is that they addressed.
Even when surveys were easier to do, though, there was another shortcoming, which is that many of the most interesting questions simply can’t be asked in China. So, for example, how popular is President Xi? We really don’t know because you can’t ask about leaders by name in China. In the U.S., you know, every week there’s a new poll about President Biden’s approval ratings, and there’s nothing equivalent for that in China because it’s seen as just being too sensitive and simply off limits. Other sensitive areas – like Tibet, the government policy toward the Uighurs, towards Taiwan – again, are seen as being too sensitive to ask in part because it would not be approved by local officials, and you need to get official approval in order to do the surveys. But they’re also sensitive to the people who are doing them, the respondents, and they might just choose not to answer them because it’s simply too sensitive and they don’t want to in any way get themselves in trouble.
The second question is so much more interesting, really where the meat is, and I think the differences here is less about the answers they come up with than the question that they’re asking. So there’s been a number of studies, including ones that I’ve done, that try to measure the levels of regime support in China, measured in different ways, and in trying to find what explains – what contributes to regime support, what detracts from it. And where Jen and Yiqing look at regime support their findings are very similar to what other people have found, that liberal values are negatively related to regime support, that nationalism is very positively correlated. Their party membership is not a real good predictor of people’s political values and a variety of other issues. But they’re not trying to offer a new theory of regime support. They’re revealing something that we didn’t know before, and that’s what makes it more interesting and more original, was that ideology in China or the variety of shared values in the country is multidimensional and not two-dimensional as in the United States.
So here, in the U.S., attitudes about a whole variety of key policy issues – whether abortion, gun control, race and gender equality, nowadays vaccines and mask mandates – cluster pretty well together. So if I know whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, I can pretty well predict what you’re going to feel about those different policy issues. But not so in China. From their research, it turns out there’s five or six different dimensions that are only moderately correlated with one another. So, for that reason, even though people with liberal values may have critical attitudes toward the regime, they’re not necessarily opposed to it because they have values in other dimensions that lead them to support the status quo.
For example, they may have pro-market attitudes and they see the government is pushing economic reforms, they’re benefitting from those economic reforms, and so these two dimensions cancel each other out. Or, in less likely situations, you may have someone who has democratic political values but is also a strong patriot, in which case, again, they may cancel each other out. The different dimensions don’t really map onto each other real well, which means the government’s not facing a coalition of people who are opposed to the status quo.
So rather than changing previous research, they’re shedding new light on something that we haven’t thought about very much before. That’s what makes their work so fascinating and why it needs to be better understood, because we often have this perception or misperception of China being monolithic both in the attitudes of elites as well as society. And anyone who looks at public opinion finds that’s simply not the case.
Dr. Kennedy: Terrific. That’s very, very, very helpful on both questions, and really appreciate that.
We’re going to give Jen and Yiqing a chance to react to all four panelists at one time. But I’m going to now turn to Carla Freeman.
A couple of questions for you, Carla. And again, thanks for joining us. First is just, you know, how surprised are you with these research findings that they have come up with? And what stands out the most? And what do you think – you know, what would Washington – what do you think Washington – do you think Washington’s going to be surprised by the same things you’re surprised in?
The second question is what do their findings say about how similar or different views are between China’s leadership and the rest of society, say, on economic issues? I mean, the leadership has launched this common-prosperity drive, emphasized achieving technological independence. Is there anything in these survey results that shed light on how welcome or opposed urban Chinese would be to the direction Chinese economic policy is going?
So over to you. Sorry for throwing so much at you again.
Carla Freeman: No, thank you, Scott, and also Ilaria and Scott Rozelle for including me in this important discussion, and also giving me the opportunity to give some attention to Jennifer and Yiqing’s really important work.
And to put it simply, just to respond, the findings are not entirely surprising to me. And I don’t think they’re really all that surprising. They feel right. I think they’ll feel right to anyone who’s spent extended periods of time in urban China in recent years. But they are definitely pushing against what seems to be – and I haven’t seen a survey – a growing tendency in Washington of viewing China and viewing Chinese citizens as a monolith, with all of its citizens kind of reading out of a nationalist Xi Jinping ideological playbook. They’re telling us that Chinese citizens have diverse perspectives on politics, economics, and they may be more or less nationalistic. It’s a very complicated picture.
On that front, I think the survey data raises some important questions about how links between China and economically and politically liberal societies through normal diplomatic relations and the low barriers to the flows of goods and ideas that are associated with globalization may temper the potential for the spread of jingoistic nationalism or the embrace of jingoistic nationalism and the risk of conflict associated with that. And I might add, that could be the case not just in China but all over the world.
A couple of points that did raise questions for me was, first of all, the idea – the finding that students studying in the United States, even in 2020, amid the rise of anti-Asian, anti-Chinese attacks, remained less nationalistic than those in China. That seemed counterintuitive. That was really interesting for me. I’d like to understand that better.
Again, as the feature that you and Ilaria produced analyzing the data points out, I mean, it could be because you’re capturing views of students that are just predisposed to being less nationalistic, those students studying here. But it also may suggest that international education is associated with a more cosmopolitan outlook. And that’s really interesting.
That gets to a second question the discussion that you present of the data raised for me – this is less analytical on my part – was that the surveys create a picture of Chinese students in top universities that’s a bit different, say, as the one that – the profile that Professor Yan Xuetong recently painted in a widely circulated set of online comments that is instilled with a sense of uncritical national superiority, inherently biased against the West.
Again, the survey gives us a sense of a group that is much more complicated than that; maybe nationalistic or patriotic, but also potentially more critical in thinking and more liberal in outlook.
The data the surveys yield that also raised questions for me – I started to think about the impact of the strengthened emphasis on ideological training and education, the sujang of this century in particular, and how it’s actually impacted Chinese elites. People are not uniformly nationalistic. So that raises questions about how patriotic education has actually been taught so far and how the new and reportedly quite controversial emphasis on teaching Xi Jinping thought in schools may change the way that Chinese – the nationalists – Chinese nationalism and the way Chinese see the world.
A couple of other things. Really striking for me was the finding about social stability and free speech. On one level, it’s not surprising to me, the notion that respondents with higher incomes and higher levels of education were more likely to than respondents with lower-income levels, lower levels of education, to hold views that were liberal and pro-market. And I, of course, haven’t done the research I need to verify this, but I think that’s fairly consistent with international patterns.
Having higher income, having more choice, that seems to correlate to a desire for efficacy in shaping your own life and having an influence on policy choices, and maybe a preference for a more responsive government. And certainly, these are all values I’ve seen myself in educated, higher-income Chinese citizens. So the findings seem consistent, for me, with a population that’s come of age in an era in which Chinese citizens have had an opportunity to engage in globalization, whether that means tapping into global markets as entrepreneurs, or professionals within China, or studying, and traveling, and working outside of China.
And I don’t want to take too much time, but I think it’s also worth thinking about the fact that you have, you know, this incredibly – this population, a huge population of web users. And you have – Sina Weibo, I think, has a userbase of 500 million people. That’s a lot of online chatter. And there - lots of reports and personal anecdotes about the frustrations that Chinese netizens have with the seeming arbitrariness of censorship. So there again, it doesn’t really surprise me that their support for free expression, in the sense of less of that kind of arbitrary censorship. But given the strong emphasis on – in Chinese political rhetoric on social stability as vital to prosperity, I mean, that surprised me. It suggests that maybe the collective memory of the – of the trauma of social instability in China has faded, which is really interesting.
And then very quickly, you asked about the new economic drive for ommon prosperity. And I think the survey data definitely raises questions about how China’s educated, urban dwellers are going to respond to that, the direction of the party’s new economic policies under this common prosperity frame. I don’t think the data rule out that there’s going to be public support for policies that are going to crackdown especially on rich people, that are seen as corrupt or benefitting excessively from special permissive environment thanks to political connections.
But I don’t – it suggests that people are not going to be happy with an economy where redistributionist policies are seen as impeding individual opportunities, or benefitting some groups over others, or policies even in which strategic state-owned enterprises are seen to squeeze out economic opportunity. And, you know, you’ve already seen reports about the debate in China over how you’re going to actually narrow the income gap without stifling entrepreneurial activity. So redistributionist policies are hardly ever easy. And it looks like it’s going to be a real challenge for the Chinese leadership, these survey data suggest, despite the ideological campaign that is – that’s framing it.
So it raises a lot of questions, big questions. It’s one thing to derive legitimacy from positive performance. It’s another to derive legitimacy from policies that can be construed as limiting opportunities for some and reducing them for others. I’ll stop there. Thanks, Scott.
Dr. Kennedy: Carla, just terrific. Really, really helpful insights and very good questions.
Let me turn now to Suisheng Zhao. And, Sam, it’s great to have you here. It’s great to see you. I really look forward to seeing you in person soon. That used to be a regular thing I would look forward to. And I’m really delighted that you’re with us today. Just as I’ve given Carla and Bruce two questions, I’m going to ask you two questions. And I know you’ll have no trouble with either of these, even though they’re hard.
First, you know, your research – at least as I remember it and, again, correct me if I’m wrong – tends to find that the Communist Party can push Chinese public opinion toward nationalist populism. But it seems like Jen and Yiqing find that Chinese public opinion is relatively enduring and that many in the Chinese public want to avoid going to war. Is there – again, I asked Bruce a similar kind of question – are there differences between your work and theirs, or are we missing things? Am I missing something?
Second is: Let’s say we took the results from this survey, this feature, and presented them to Xi Jinping and the politburo standing committee. Hopefully, they’re watching. It’s a little bit late in China for them to be up, but let’s say they’re watching or they’re going to watch the recording. How do you think that they would react to these kind of findings? Do you think they’d go, oh, we already know all that, no big deal; there’s, you know, multi-dimensional ideological views, et cetera? Or would they go, oh, my god, we’ve got a problem in the Chinese public in how they look at economics, politics, foreign policy? You know, how do you think the politburo would react to these kinds of findings?
So, again, thank you for being with us and look forward to your comments.
Suisheng Zhao: Thank you, Scott, for having me. And I also missed the old time – good old time we can meet in person. And also thank the other Scott for putting this event together with you.
These two questions are – I put in other way: First, if the findings are accurate, from my own perspective? Second is, so what?
On the first question, I think pretty much “A” grade reflecting those in private thinking of the Chinese intellectuals and Chinese high-income people. And also, I want them to be “A” grade because I really want to see China to move toward liberal democracy. But still I have some questions about these findings.
Two questions here: First, you present – this research presents pretty much endurable liberal tendency of Chinese urban, high-income people. But from what I have read and also my own research, I find that the picture’s much more mixed than these one direction, although you’re talking about in your tendency, which I think they are those kind of tendencies. But these tendencies does not naturally move toward liberal direction. For example, I just – in my own class I teach Chinese politics class. One section I teach is authoritarian resilience. One of the articles I used in my class is Tang Wenfang’s 2018 article called “The ‘Surprise’ of Authoritarian Resilience in China,” also a surprise, because he also uses survey data, including Asian Barometer and quite several popular polling survey datas to prove just opposite to what you have presented.
He presented five surprises. One is that the Tiananmen Square demonstration was not a democracy movement; in fact, it’s “anti-reform” because it’s anti-inflation and unemployment and the corruption are those brought about by reform. That kind of tendency continued in last 30 years has also been very consistent.
Second, he find that the support of the government, the red, has been consistently high, higher than many other countries. And the third, he find that interpersonal trust is very high, and also, fourth, which led to the fifth, is that the – people think the government responsiveness to the society demand is high so that’s why we see all those protests; he called it political activism. And these trends is very – are very mixed, but according to his data, has been consistent. But his surprises, just like your surprises, are also – endure, according to his data.
The second issue I have is that you look at those high-income people and elite university students. I think these people are tend – tending to be liberal is anticipated. Other studies use different method. In fact, Jessica Weiss published an article in my own journal last year looking at age. And also, I published quite a few articles looking at age. They found younger generations are more hawkish than the older generation, my generation and also younger people, because these people have been grow up in the patriotic education, which worked so far, and also because these people have grown up in relatively affluent environments. China was rising. They were very proud of China’s national accomplishments. Not only that, data research even – and Carla mentioned that Yan Xuetong’s speech also proved that. He talk about even Tsinghua University, those students, they were arrogant and they were very proud of China’s accomplishments.
For his criticism of those Tsinghua students, you look at those online follow-ups, they all – I don’t know who are those people. I assume those are not from Tsinghua University, perhaps some of them from Tsinghua. They were very angry at Yan Xuetong that Yan Xuetong is out of line and out of tone with current China situation. So those kind of – or those anecdote, you can see these young people in China, they have – being somehow more hawkish even on the war issue. And Scott asked about going to war with Japan, with Southeast Asian countries, also taking back Taiwan, all those issues.
So this picture, I think, is very mixed. Why this has been mixed? And also, why these younger people are more hawkish?
Among many other explanations is the success of Xi Jinping’s patriotic education. In fact, I wrote quite a few articles about patriotic education. I just published an article in Washington Quarterly last week talking about the transformation of Chinese nationalist feelings from affirmative – try to affirming positive us – now try to assert against negative others. And this transformation has been brought up by Xi Jinping’s patriotic education. This is very different from Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao period patriotic education. Among the differences is Hu Jintao really tried to build legitimacy under positive us, but now Xi Jinping has target at negative West and universal values and many other issues.
And also, another very important aspect is the information control. It’s been very successful to control information. Although we see Chinese students still come to the United States, but they’re a very small amount. And the information flow has been really controlled. I talk to my own Chinese daughters. They don’t even dare to tell the truth what they saw in the U.S. to people back to China. So, among all these changes really has changed dynamics.
The second question, about if Xi Jinping listening to this report what his response is – response is, I don’t think he will listen. No one dares to talk to him about that. Even for this event, I don’t think his people – maybe his people would have opportunity to watch, but I helped to post this event to the WeChat, try to ask people from Beijing, China, to watch this. They all told me they cannot get into CSIS website. That’s what they told me: We cannot watch it. So the information control.
And also, Xi Jinping himself has built himself into a screened leader and a scare – fearful leader. Has prevent anyone to talk to him not only about basic liberal ideas; anything you talk about the disagreement with his point will be punished. As we all say – (speaks in Chinese) – absolutely against center, you will be punished. So nobody now dares to tell him the truth, especially these type of truths, and he has established himself as a dictator.
So in that kind of so-what question, I would say that although we see these liberal tendencies, they really don’t matter that much at this moment because, as your title of this event said, silent. What’s silent? Silent mean private, and also it mean exit. If you are willing to participate in policy, you voice. You are not silent. You talk publicly. These views, you – when I talk with people in China, even relatives, they tell me that’s exactly what you find. But they will not talk publicly in a public without those who have criticized – even Yan Xuetong, those type of views, very nationalistic, very hawkish. So, in that case, I don’t think this type of research or these type of findings will have a significant impact upon China’s policy direction, at least under Xi Jinping.
Finally, I want to say, Scott, in your – that article – I really like it – you posted – this one, based upon these finding and your policy recommendations – I really think that’s the right direction to go. Have those liberal people, although they are silent, in mind in dealing with China is the right direction because we really want to help them, help these silent people to become going public. The only way to do that is America lead by example, to fix our own problems, to make our own house in order first.
I’ll stop here.
Dr. Kennedy: Sam, thank you. Terrific, Suisheng. Really tour-de-force reactions and comments among many, many lines.
Let’s turn now to Jessica. And I wanted to ask a couple of questions that take into account both your academic work in this area on nationalism and in light of your current position at the State Department.
So if you were called on to report to your colleagues within the State Department, and we, certainly, hope that you are – we hope that this – that they are watching and they want to hear about what we’ve said today and the research – what would be the things that you’d identify as the most important analytical findings that Washington should understand that’s been produced from Jen and Yiqing’s work and that we try to highlight in the feature?
And the second would be what do you think the implications would be for American policy towards China that the State Department, others in the U.S. government, ought to consider? Are there things – what kind of choices would then be presented to them and say, given this, you need to think about, you know, how you frame what we say or what we do, or something else? Where does the rubber meet the road on the policy side of this?
Sam has said in China they’re just going to put it under the table and not bring it up. Let’s say that’s not going to happen here. Let’s say we’re going to deal with what the data shows us. What should we be thinking about?
So over to you, Jessica.
Jessica Chen Weiss: Well, thanks so much, Scott, and to both of you Scotts, really, kudos on this initiative. There’s such incredible work on China being done by academics right now. But, in my view, too little of it really is apparent in the public debate and discourse about China. And so this is a really terrific effort to bridge the gap and so vital, along with similar efforts underway at the Washington Post Monkey Cage blog but also, you know, for example, I know I’ve listened – just this morning, I refreshed my listening of – Yiqing appeared on Kaiser Kuo’s Sinica podcast. You know, so there’s just a lot of really good work you do in this space and I’m so glad that you’ve launched this initiative.
Before I make any remarks, I should note that these are my own views and don’t represent those of the State Department.
So, first, you know, I think that the main point, which you make loud and clear, is that Chinese public opinion matters. I think that point itself is crucial – that, you know, some of the value of the public opinion work that you and others are doing, you know, really reveals and illuminates the humanity inside of China. It’s not a monolithic blob.
This should seem obvious, you know, but not all 1.4 billion Chinese citizens think alike and nor are they unthinking automatons brainwashed by the CCP. They are willing to voice opinions. They’re very savvy about finding space, even though it’s shrinking, for independent thinking. And, you know, even though they may be silent in the public square, they’re still willing in these kinds of surveys, face to face or online, to express some opinions where we can, you know, discern differences from the party line.
As far as the impact, you know, I think elevating our focus on the Chinese public, you know, really suggests that the policy messages that the U.S. government or other governments craft really ought to keep in mind that citizens in the PRC are not either, you know, purely victims or pawns of the Chinese Communist Party. You know, they have their own views, their own desires, and their own legitimate wants, just as Americans do. That’s why I do worry a little bit about the tagline, “A Liberal Silent Majority,” because I worry there are some who might exaggerate the implications. Because I think nothing in what your found suggests that the PRC is on the verge of collapse or a groundswell of opposition that could jeopardize Xi Jinping’s continued rule.
Below that level of generality, I think a really important takeaway from Jen and Yiqing’s research is that PRC citizens, while patriotic, are not spoiling for war. But at the same time, I think nationalism provides the backdrop for understanding, you know, the PRC’s sensitivity to public versus private pressure. And we know from, you know, theirs as well as others’ research, you know, that U.S. efforts to criticize domestic abuses inside the PRC can backfire, especially if tinged with racism, rallying support behind the CCP, and reducing support for liberalism. In fact, that’s one of the reasons that under this administration you will hear me use the word PRC a lot, as opposed to China or Chinese. It’s an effort to make very clear that the concerns are with the government’s actions rather than some Chinese entity, to move away from the racial piece of it.
Now I think it’s important to note, and I want to maybe push you a little bit to think about, not necessarily in this research but going further, while these attitudes might be relatively stable in peacetime, and that Beijing might expect domestic criticism for launching an unprovoked war, I think that’s different from the kind of support the government might expect in a crisis. And I think it’s, in fact, in a crisis that we might expect the government to be most sensitive to public opinion, as well as to proactively seek to manage it. I know that you’ve done really great work looking at the COVID outbreak, and kind of the spikes of both support and criticism that you saw then.
Taking that to, you know, a hypothetical, you know, militarized crisis, for example, in the Taiwan Strait, I think we need to be careful not to read too much into the—kind of the stable baseline opposition or lack of support for war, because, you know, in a moment like what would happen and how—with propaganda and the messages that citizens received about what outsiders were doing to potentially provoke a conflict, how would that shape public support, is really a big and open question.
I think another sort of outstanding set of questions, moving away from thinking about crises to more what you were establishing, which is the trends over time. And I know you’ve got some longitudinal projects ongoing. So as U.S.-China relations become more intense, and not just U.S.-China, but China’s relations with many developed countries in the West and across the developed world, you know, you’ve seen a continued movement toward at least partial decoupling in tech and finance. The question is, will we see the Chinese public or, you know, private entrepreneurs becoming more nationalistic and supportive of the government in the face of international criticism?
Because if you think that these attitudes continue to move together, I’m not sure which is going to move which. Is it going to be the nationalism that drives the lack of support for market liberalism, political liberalism? Or is it going to be a lack of, you know, need to kind of do – you know, draw more on internal circulation to combat what’s happening internationally? Is that going to drive more support? I don’t know how the causal direction goes, but regardless if you think they’ll continue to move together in the way that you’ve documented, what does that mean over time?
And so, you know, and of course unraveling the causal direction may be important because it might have really important policy implications. So that if, you know, what the United States or others want to ultimately see from the PRC is movement toward more liberal economic and political policies, then more confrontational or competitive actions, as they’re often termed, on national security grounds may actually be putting those other objectives further beyond reach.
Sitting back on that, you know, ultimately, I think helping policymakers, you know, recognize, again, the diversity of opinion inside China is really crucial to resisting this kind of growing fatalism around China’s trajectory under Xi Jinping. You know, and illuminating the humanity inside China at a time when there are these ever-growing barriers to people-to-people as well as commercial exchange. Your research really helps break down – or, see across, as you say, those barriers, and is so important. So thank you so much for sharing it with us and the world.
Dr. Kennedy: Thank you, Jessica. That was super helpful. Super helpful. And I hope you’re enjoying your time in Washington. And your being here really matters a lot for the scholarly community’s ability to share, because you’re at the front, bleeding edge of this research. And so really appreciate you participating today.
Let me turn things back now to Jen and Yiqing to give you all a couple minutes just to pick some of the comments that have been offered – to get your initial reactions. We could go on for really hours and hours here, but just sort of, like, sort of the topline, initial reactions to some of the things that Jessica, Suisheng, Carla and Bruce have said. So over to both of you.
Dr. Pan: Yeah. Thank you so much to all of the panelists. I think the reactions and your comments are really fantastic. I want to talk about a few points I think which all of you touched on, to a certain extent.
The first is that we are focused on measuring underlying preferences. We find that they’re diverse and multidimensional, so that means the respondents, who do not support liberal political institutions – and there are those who do – we don’t think that these underlying preferences are the same as policy mood or media campaign effects, that can shift attitudes suddenly, but usually for shorter duration. So in communication, in political communication, in the U.S., developed Western democracies, there’s been a ton of research that shows you can move what people think for 24 to 48 hours. That’s why you get a lot of ads the day before an election happens. But they tend to move back. And so there’s a distinction between what happens there and these underlying preferences.
Second, our finding that these underlying preferences are stable was not actually a result we expected ahead of time. And to be honest, we were pretty surprised that despite these huge changes that have happened in our lives over the past two years, the preference clusters remain stable. And we were especially surprised for the college students, because college is a formative time, it’s a time where we expect preferences to change. But we haven’t observed that. So this study is still ongoing and we’ll see, but thus far the stability, it has been surprising to us.
And so the last thing I would just say, I just want to emphasize, is that we do not observe any pro/anti regime slip. That these preferences are not reducing to one dimension which could then be pro/anti regime. And what does that – what is the implication of that? One implication is that the lack of a split could constrain Chinese government policymaking. So I say this because, well, we know that the Chinese government consistently gathers information on public opinion and public sentiment. So I’m assuming they know something about the multidimensionality of these preferences.
And what that means is – let me just give you an example. If China adopts, let’s say, a protectionist economic policy, that might upset those who have strong pro-free market preferences, but not fully satisfy the inclination toward nationalism. I think then the open question is what happens when the external environment, let’s say, economic circumstances, change? How will that – will that, or how will that move preferences in other issue domains, whether that be nationalism or political views? So I think that’s an open question.
So again, I want to thank all the panelists. And I think Yiqing has some additional points to make as well.
Dr. Xu: Yeah, thanks, Jen. I just wanted to add two points really to the very inspiring comments. The first one relates to both Bruce and Jessica’s points. I think multidimensionality of preference may also give the regime additional room for manipulation, or to rally support. You see this very – that the regime is very actively stirring up nationalism when some of the economic policies are not popular. And so it is still ongoing research, and it should be more thoroughly researched about the relative saliency of issues at different time points and how people make tradeoffs between different issue areas. We also are interested in doing that. I think this is a strategy right now being used by the – by the Chinese regime.
The second, to respond to Carla and Suisheng’s question, do the Chinese students become more nationalistic? So research by panelists here and others have shown that this is the case. This actually is a very difficult question, because age and cohort, where you have cross-sectional data is always colinear, right? You cannot tell whether it’s age effect or it’s a cohort effect. And that’s why we’re collecting more data and longitudinal data multiple ways, following people over time, to see whether there is a so-called cohort effect, whether people born later are actually more nationalistic than people who were born in the ’80s.
We have some preliminary finding showing that this actually is the case because of the education – changing the curriculum and education campaign.
That said, as Jen mentioned, these are – we have seen surprises well after we observed the data. One is diversity. The other is stability. There are students who come to us and write back to us, or in a survey we have open questions, exhibit their anger towards U.S. policy, especially under the Trump Administration at the early stage of COVID. But there are also who write to us to express their interest in this type of research and they want to know more about the politics.
I think this may be the silence part of the student population. I don’t know whether that’s a majority, although – though, in the CSIS report, it’s a question mark. It’s a question. But it’s really hard to answer using our own research because, bear in mind, the liberal, authoritarian, or nationalistic, non-nationalistic, label, these are all relative. It’s very difficult to say what are the – what’s the threshold beyond which you say, oh, this is a liberal, or, this is a conservative, because there’s no parties or electoral competition to organize preferences in the context of China.
These are the several comments I want to give. But thank you so much for the comment – for the comments. Really, really helpful.
Dr. Kennedy: Thank you. Thank you, both of you, and thanks to everybody.
We have received a ton of questions while sitting here from folks watching, and we’re not going to be able to get to all of them. I just wanted to ask – throw a couple out there, and I know we’re really running short on time.
But if I could just ask any of you, Jen and Yiqing, or the others. One is about rural China. This is urban China surveys. Are there obvious expectations that we should think, well, urban – rural Chinese are going to be more, quote/unquote, “conservative,” more nationalistic, or is that a black box? Or are there surveys that would help us put urban China in context?
The other is other types of – you know, as was mentioned, the Chinese use Weibo. They do search online. Are the findings that come in this survey research consistent with how we see the Chinese talk on Weibo, the way they use the internet, and other forms of expression? Or are we really seeing differences based on the method we use to look at Chinese and that it’s – we have to balance what we see in surveys with what we see in other methods?
I think this is helpful for folks, whether they’re academics or just watching China or they’re trying to make American policy, trying to understand what’s happening in rural China and the other ways in which we see Chinese communicate with each other. So I welcome thoughts on either of those two.
Dr. Pan: Maybe I could say something on the second question. Maybe Scott Rozelle can say more – (laughs) – on the first question.
So on the second question of social media and internet, we’ve been – we’ve done research looking at Weibo data. I’ve done research using WeChat data. Right now, we have a project looking at Douyin, which is the Chinese brand name for TikTok, which, I would say, has a faster-growing user base than Weibo and reaches a more rural, lower economic population.
And so what we’ve done thus far shows that there are similarities in that there are these diverse opinions, but we don’t see them all the time, and I think Jessica mentioned this research that we did around the emergence of COVID. So we gathered hundreds of millions – analyzed hundreds of millions of Weibo posts from January to April of 2020. That’s a time period when something is happening. There’s no established framing for how people should understand those events. That was the case all over the world. That was the case in China. And what we find is that when faced with the same exact event, people express very different ideas and opinions toward it.
So with – for example, with the high lockdown, there were some who supported it wholeheartedly. These are the stringent measures we have to take. There are others who are highly critical, saying: How did we get to this place that we have to impose these stringent measures? So you see this – quite divergent views happening at the same time in response to new events where the government has not provided an existing frame or way of talking. And so I think in these crisis moments or in these – in these – and it’s not just COVID, but other things come up on social media as well in China where you see the similarity of the diversity of viewpoints.
Dr. Kennedy: Others want to chime in? Go ahead.
Dr. Zhao: So I’d like to hear what other panelists will say, but for the first question, if you asked me to bet, I will say probably yes because we see a very clear correlation between educational level and more so-called cosmopolitan preferences. So I would not be surprised to see that people with lower level of education are more supportive of the political status quo and more nationalistic. That’s simply my guess.
Dr. Kennedy: OK. Other thoughts? Give folks a – Bruce?
Dr. Dickson: Yeah, I’ll say a quick thing about using social media to kind of gauge public opinion in China, especially when it’s such a nationalistic rhetoric that often is most prominent on the social media. There’s an even bigger issue of how generalizable views on social media are even compared to surveys, because often the most extreme views, the loudest views, the bravest ones that are expressed, at a time when it’s difficult to go to China for interviews, scholars and for journalists, it’s natural to rely upon social media to get some nice, juicy quotes. But I think there’s a real issue about how much we can rely on it, just as social media in the United States is not a really good barometer for public opinion here either.
Dr. Kennedy: Indeed. Indeed.
This has been just fascinating, and it proves the value of what we’re trying to accomplish here. And figuring out China is critical for all of us, whether you deal with China on a day-to-day basis, whether you watch the Olympics, whether you’re a policymaker thinking about energy and climate change. And we hope that the partnership that we’ve established with Stanford will help enlighten the policy community and others. I’ve already learned a lot. I know that our audience has, as well.
Is there a consensus on all of these – our views about China’s public? I think we could say we all agree that there are diverse views in China. Precisely what the distribution of those views are, exactly what makes – explains the differences across them, we’re still working that out. But Jen and Yiqing’s work move us down the road to better understanding the sources of those patterns and that diversity.
Is the regime on the edge of collapse or opposition because there’s diverse views in China? I think the consensus here is no, that’s not the case. You can have a quite diverse public opinion and the regime can still feel relatively secure, though they have a lot of work to do. They do it every day with patriotic education that Sam mentioned and in other ways as well, but they have to pay attention to it. Even if Xi Jinping doesn’t want to get the memo, they are paying attention because it’s critical – and not just to polling, but to other sources.
What does this mean about relations with the United States and the possibilities of conflict? I think it’s still an open question because, as you’ve said, views about norms and ideology don’t necessarily transfer directly to what they think of any specific individual country. And of course, as we change over time, those two things aren’t necessarily in lockstep with each other.
So there’s a lot to get our arms around with this – with this work. And I want to again thank Jen and Yiqing for letting us try and explain some of their work to the policy community. And we hope the policy community doesn’t just read the feature that we’ve published that Ilaria Mazzocco and I worked on together as well, but they go read your original work, and they can follow you more, and that they follow the work of Bruce, Jessica, Carla, and Suisheng, and others in this area. It’s a very rich debate.
A lot of people talking about the pandemic talk about the science – the science says X, the science says Y. That’s typically not how science actually works. Social science is an ongoing conversation. We are never fully firmly settled on anything, especially a place as complex as China. But I do think we have a little bit closer sense of the country that we’re dealing with because of this work, and I hope through the further work that we do with Scott Rozelle and his colleagues at SCCEI and Stanford and with others that Washington will as well. And I think that will translate into better-informed and hopefully better-quality U.S. policy, and hopefully maybe even better U.S.-China relations or China’s relations with the rest of the world.
So I want to thank all of you for contributing your work over many years as well as participating today. I want thank again my team at CSIS, our colleagues at SCCEI, and for the audience who are tuning in today and will continue to pay attention. We will be back in touch with everyone soon with our next feature. In the meantime, enjoy the work that we’ve put on our website. We will also add a transcript of today’s events and hopefully also some of the links to the research that have been mentioned today that is part of the conversation that we’re all participating in.
So, again, thank everybody so much. Whether you’re in the United States, Europe, Asia, have a good afternoon, night, or morning. Take care.