The Paulson Institute today kicked off its new event series, Decoding China, with a talk and interview with Institute Fellow Matt Sheehan at the Chicago tech center 1871. The new event series is open to the public and will continue to focus on tech-related topics in contemporary China. The series is co-sponsored by the University of Chicago’s Harris School for Public Policy.
Sheehan, author of the new book The Transpacific Experiment: How China and California Collaborate and Compete for Our Future, presented to a sold-out audience on his reporting and analysis of the myriad ties that have formed between California and China. The two sides have become increasingly intertwined in recent years, Sheehan noted, mentioning he felt that the relationship between California and China represents a microcosm of the broader US-China relationship. Sheehan’s book stories fit the tech-focused series aptly—from Silicon Valley to Hollywood to California’s research universities, technology is driving the relationship now more than ever before.
Sheehan also fielded questions from Institute Think Tank Director Damien Ma, covering China’s presence in Hollywood (“Chollywood”), Chinese real estate investment in California, tech workers moving from China to the US and back, and what he sees for the future of US-China ties. “I believe that California is a harbinger for what’s to come in the US-China relationship,” said Sheehan. “That’s where grassroots ties are the richest.”
Next month’s Decoding China event will feature a documentary screening and conversation with Chinese-American filmmaker Hao Wu, director of the award-winning film “People’s Republic of Desire.”