US-CHINA YOUNG LEADERS DIALOGUE
The Harvard Undergraduate Foreign Policy Initiative will collaborate with the Student Association for Global Affairs at Tsinghua University to host the first Harvard-Tsinghua U.S.-China Young Leaders Dialogue. Due to COVID-19 travel complexities, the dialogue will be held virtually in March 2022, but the expectation is for the dialogue to repeat annually with Harvard and Tsinghua alternating as the host.
With this dialogue, our joint 38-person team from the two undergraduate foreign policy groups at the leading universities in the U.S. and China will devise strategies for competition and cooperation on a range of issues to solve global challenges and move the world in an unambiguously positive direction.
We plan to:
1. Identify. Outline the issues we believe are most consequential to the future of humanity and that the U.S. and China have the greatest capacity to influence. Potential topics include: climate change, space exploration, the internet, genetic engineering, global digital finance, and artificial intelligence.
2. Research. Formulate the most productive framework for the U.S. and China to engage on that issue depending on where the issue will fall on a spectrum between competition and cooperation. For some issues, like AI and genetic engineering, it will undoubtedly be more competitive. It’s our job to outline what the rules of responsible competition are. For other issues like global digital finance, it will entail more cooperation. It’s our job to outline what cooperation looks like. And for others issues like climate change, it fall right in the middle and it’s our job to understand how we leverage the best of both forces—competition and cooperation—to reach the best outcomes. Our negotiated outcome will take the form of our generation's "Shanghai Communiqué" in honor of its 50th anniversary next year in 2022.
3. Present. Present our outcomes to consequential American and Chinese leaders in politics, business, finance, and technology that we convene across two-dozen meetings in custom "digital classrooms" on opposite sides of the world.
In the process, we hope to forge the first direct collaboration of its kind between Harvard and Tsinghua at the undergraduate level and remain confident this will remain an enduring channel of dialogue between the future leaders of the United States of America and the People's Republic of China for years to come. We recognize the challenge of our time is balancing U.S.-China competition and cooperation while mitigating risk and maximizing global good. This is our effort to play a positive role.