Here at our CUSEF blog, we share news, updates and stories about China and the United States – the two world’s most significant nations. We wish you not only to have a glimpse of what’s going on between the two, but an in-depth knowledge of what brings them to where they stand today.

News Highlights
COP25 and the Fight Against Climate Change
2020-01-07
Officials and activists alike called for action at 2019's COP25. [Photo credit: France24]
Officials and activists alike called for action at 2019's COP25. [Photo credit: France24]
From December 2-13, 2019, the international community gathered in Madrid, Spain, to discuss the next steps toward combating climate change at the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Yet, he results of COP25 left many disappointed as broad collaborative agreements at the international level were scant, especially with critical decisions regarding carbon market and carbon emissions being delayed until the upcoming climate conference in Glasgow. More action was seen among non-governmental institutions, international coalitions, and activist groups, such as the Global Catholic Climate Movement and the Climate Ambition Alliance. These organizations and movements highlighted a key shift in the global response to climate change: from a significantly top-down driven approach to a more grassroots crusade initiated particularly by the youth. Through the emergence of climate strikes and social media campaigns, youth activists have taken on a broader responsibility in the fight against climate change, becoming a powerful voice for the larger public’s desperate need to make the environment a governmental... Read More
News Highlights
The Subtle Art of Panda Diplomacy
2020-01-06
People from all walks of life watched Bei Bei enjoy his last breakfast at Washington D.C.’s National Zoo. [Photo Credit: Amanda Voisard/for The Washington Post]
People from all walks of life watched Bei Bei enjoy his last breakfast at Washington D.C.’s National Zoo. [Photo Credit: Amanda Voisard/for The Washington Post]
Born in 2015, the now 240-pound panda drew stories of attachment and compassion as he prepared for his departure to the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda in Chengdu (he later traveled to a branch of the Center, the Bifengxia Panda Center). The attachment to Bei Bei, expressed both by the zookeepers in person and the broader U.S. public through the hashtag #ByeByeBeiBei, exemplifies the subtle importance of “panda diplomacy,” the compassionate emotions that accompany a shared experience between the two nations. Bei Bei has become this generation’s new symbol of the quainter side of international diplomacy, creating a community of people from all over the world who are invested in his growth and journey. While bringing attention to the plight of the pandas as they combat extinction, the sharing of pandas between China and the U.S. highlights the countries’ capacity to sustain continued cooperation - an important lesson today as tensions in the relationship tend... Read More
Traveling with CUSEF
2019 Harvard Student Delegation - Gaia van der Esch: On the verge of power shifts
2019-11-29
Gaia van der Esch, participant of the 2019 Harvard Student Delegation.
Gaia van der Esch, participant of the 2019 Harvard Student Delegation.
Coming and witnessing the incredible development of China with my eyes was thereby a long-awaited opportunity. This trip allowed me to better grasp China as a whole. These considerations and more broadly first-hand experience of this trip to China will constitute a reference point and a source of reflection for the future. As a leader, I hope I will be better equipped to understand and react to upcoming changes in world power dynamics following this exposure trip to China. These 10 days have allowed me to gain a unique insight into Chinese culture, way of thinking and strategic priorities which I am sure will allow us to improve cross-cultural understanding and cooperation for the years to come. Read More
Traveling with CUSEF
2019 Harvard Student Delegation: Jamie Lockhart
2019-11-28
Jamie Lockhart, participant of our Harvard Student Delegation.
Jamie Lockhart, participant of our Harvard Student Delegation.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to cap my John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University studies with a visit to China, especially at a time of diplomatic tension, as our two countries negotiate over trade. Over the course of ten days, our group of 18 students visited the prosperous metropolises of Beijing, Chengdu, and Shanghai. Each city’s population dwarfs that of the cities we are accustomed to in the United States. For example, the population of Shanghai is over 26 million versus 8 million for New York City. Beijing and Shanghai have a greater population than the nation of Kazakhstan! This visit has left me impressed by China’s progress, increased my appreciation for the United States of America, and highlighted the importance of building mutual cultural understanding. Read More
News Highlights
Mid-Term Elections Surprise in the U.S.
2019-11-27
Andy Beshear greets supporters. [Photo Credit: Vox, John Sommers]
Andy Beshear greets supporters. [Photo Credit: Vox, John Sommers]
Elections held throughout the U.S. on November 5 gave both parties reasons to celebrate. This year’s elections included gubernatorial elections in Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as state legislature elections in Louisiana, Mississippi, Virginia and New Jersey. In Kentucky, Democrat Andy Beshear defeated one-term Republican Matt Bevin, but the close race pushed Bevin to request a recanvass, which forced all 120 counties in the state to recheck their vote counts. After the process was completed on November 14, the incumbent Bevin conceded defeat, a result considering surprising by many as President Trump had campaigned for him on the ground in Kentucky prior the election. Read More