The persistent issue of the United States' trade deficit with China is becoming more controversial as American manufacturing jobs are lost. Within that controversy lies the less-examined issue of the role of foreign investment in and the contribution of China's Asian neighbors to Chinese exports. Couple that with China's increasing focus on enhancing its soft power - often defined as the ability of a country to persuade others to do what it wants without force or coercion - and interesting questions arise. Is increasing Chinese soft power a zero sum game for the U.S.? Is the Chinese model of economic growth and political stability increasing attractive to the developing world? Doug Bereuter is uniquely qualified to provide insights into these questions and more. As President and CEO of The Asia Foundation, Bereuter oversees an organization with 17 offices across Asia focused on improving civil society, women's empowerment, economic reform and development, international relations and more. Bereuter joined The Asia Foundation in 2004 following his resignation as Congressman representing Nebraska's First District, a position he held for 26 years. While in Congress, Bereuter co-founded the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and chaired a task force on the transition of Hong Kong and the House Delegation to the 40-country NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
A cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues began in 1988 as part of a mission to promote better understanding of world events and issues by Nebraskans. The Forum seeks out forceful speakers who are committed to the issues they address, seeking balance over the range of its programs rather than in each presentation. The Forum does not endorse the views of the individual speakers nor limit their freedom to express their points of view.