Crowds of protesters are shrinking, talks are scheduled, but frustrations on both sides remain. While many in the press and elsewhere are quick to reference the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, Robert Daly explains how what’s happening today is different in many ways. He also provides insight into the broader context of the complex relationship between mainland China and Hong Kong. Is what’s happening in Hong Kong today a preview of what may eventually occur in Beijing? In this episode of NOW, Daly addresses this question and more.
Robert Daly became the second director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Wilson Center in August, 2013. He came to the Wilson Center from the University of Maryland, where he had served since 2007. Prior to that, he was American Director of the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies. He began work in U.S.-China relations as a diplomat, serving as Cultural Exchanges Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in the late 80s and early 90s. After leaving the Foreign Service, he taught Chinese at Cornell University, worked on television and theater projects in China, where he was the first American to have major Chinese-language stage and screen roles, and helped produce Chinese-language versions of Sesame Street and other Children’s Television Workshop programs. During the same period, he directed the Syracuse University China Seminar and served as a commentator on Chinese affairs for CNN, the Voice of America, and Chinese television and radio stations. From 2000 to 2001 he was American Director of the U.S.-China Housing Initiative at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He has testified before Congress on U.S.-China relations and Chinese soft power and has lectured at scores of Chinese and American institutions, including the Smithsonian, the East-West Center, the Asia Society, and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.