Daniel Lynch is currently an Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California, and is a member of the Executive Committee at theUSC U.S.-China Institute. Lynch is the author of three books on China: China’s Futures: PRC Elites Debate Economics, Politics, and Foreign Policy (2015), Rising China and Asian Democratization: Socialization to Global Culture in the Political Transformations of Thailand, China, and Taiwan (2006), After the Propaganda State: Media, Politics, and Thought Work in Reformed China (1999). He has also published many scholarly articles in such journals as China Quarterly, International Studies Quarterly, Pacific Affairs, and Asian Survey. Lynch earned his PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan.
This year it became obvious even to optimists that China’s economy is perched on the edge of a precipice. China’s leadership can either re-energize growth by following through on promises to deepen reform, or else face years of sluggish growth — partly because the economic downturn is coinciding with the reduction in the size of China’s workforce and aging of its population. At the same time, China has pursued a new assertiveness in its foreign policy in Asia-Pacific, and its One Belt Old Road initiative will involve hundreds of billions of USD in spending across Eurasia. Why does the leadership project such a high degree of confidence on the world stage even as the basis of China’s rise — its economic development — is under such severe threat? Dr. Lynch addressed this puzzle in the course of discussing his new book China’s Futures: PRC Elites Debate Economics, Politics, and Foreign Policy. After offering his own observations, he invited attendees to join together in thinking through the implications of these difficult-to-read developments: what they suggest about where China and its rise might be headed from here.