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The Impact of the Olympics: Shen Dingli

March 27, 2009
Shen Dingli
Shen Dingli earned his doctorate in physics and was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University. He is a professor of international relations at Shanghai’s Fudan University. He directs the university’s Center for American Studies and is and executive dean of the university’s Institute of International Studies. He is the co-founder and director of China's first non-government-based Program on Arms Control and Regional Security, at Fudan University. Prof. Shen teaches courses on nonproliferation and international security, and China’s foreign policy and carries out research on China-US security matters and nuclear ties, regional security and nonproliferation issues, and Chinese and American foreign and defense policies. He is a member of the USCI board of scholars and publishes widely.



This video is also available on the USCI YouTube Channel.

Click on the play button above to view Shen Dingli’s presentation on the Beijing Olympics.

Prof. Shen argued the success of the Games reaffirmed China’s standing among world leaders. China’s economy is now the third largest in the world. He believes that the domestic and international impacts of the Games are intertwined and can’t be easily separated. He noted that this was a huge national event for China. Ordinarily the Games are hosted by individual cities and managed by non-governmental organizations, but in this case the reputation of the entire nation was at stake. In the U.S., taxpayers would complain if soldiers were deployed to train as performers for the Games. In China, people saw it as a matter of national credibility and understood the deployment. Prof. Shen also suggested that efforts to link the Games to the situation in Darfur was depicted by the Chinese government as unfair, but the protests did lead the Chinese government to change its policies toward Sudan, to quietly push for action to address the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. And many in the international community appreciated this effort. It was a useful experience for the Chinese government to act in response to criticism and then to see critics giving them credit for the effort.

Please click here to return to the USC 2008 Beijing Olympics conference page.