Issue: 2020: Vol. 19, No. 2


Article Author(s)

James Schiffman

James Schiffman
Dr. James Schiffman is an educator and journalist, most recently as a faculty member on the Spring 2023 voyage of Semester at Sea and as an associate professor of Communication at Georgia College & State University. He began teaching after a long career in journalism, which included stints in Beijing and Seoul as Bureau Chief for The Asian Wall Street Journal. He earned a Ph.D. in Communication at Georgia State University in 2012. His dissertation critically compared narratives about ... 
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Making sense out of the current moment is challenging to say the least. The coronavirus pandemic has overtaken and overshadowed everything, which is why this edition of China Currents is dedicated to examining the impact of the crisis on China from a variety of perspectives. Even before the pandemic hit, U.S.-China relations were taking a serious turn toward the worse. Yawei Liu, in our lead article, examines the implications of decoupling ties amid the pandemic. Xuepeng Liu examines the economic impact of a pandemic-fueled decoupling on China and offers suggestions for how Beijing can avoid the worst outcomes. Björn Wahlström offers practical advice on how to mitigate problems stemming from supply chain interruptions caused by the pandemic. Zhuo (Adam) Chen focuses on public health in China, with an examination of China’s response to the pandemic, which includes key lessons learned. Daniel Kibsgaard shifts attention to China and Africa, with a piece about China’s relations with Ethiopia, one of the country’s key economic and political partners on the continent. Next we offer an interview with Barry Naughton, the China Research Center’s annual lecturer in 2020. Dr. Naughton offers his views on a wide range of issues, including the prospects for further market reforms, China’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the prospects for U.S.-China relations. Last but not least, Michael Wenderoth reflects on a quarter century of experience with a student fellowship he and his mother established to foster greater understanding of China through immersion projects in China. Fittingly, he expresses grave concern that we may be entering a dangerous new era “in which borders and minds might be closing down those important activities.”