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China and the World

May 30, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 11:15 am


Rory Truex ’07, Assistant Professor of Politics and Public Affairs


Aminda Smith *06,  Co-Director, PRC History Group, Associate Professor, Michigan State University

Owen Nee, Jr. ’65, Retired Partner, Coudert Brothers LLP

Lucy Hornby ’95, China Correspondent Financial Times

Jonathan Cheng ’05, China Bureau Chief, The Wall Street Journal




Rory Truex ’07
Assistant Professor of Politics and Public Affairs 

Rory Truex is Assistant Professor of Politics and Public Affairs. He studies comparative politics, focusing on Chinese politics and non-democratic regimes. His dissertation and book project, “Representation Within Bounds,” explains the nature of legislator behavior in China’s National People’s Congress. His research on Chinese politics is published or forthcoming in the American Political Science Review and Comparative Political Studies, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. Current projects explore how Chinese citizens evaluate their political system; the relationship between media bias and credibility in non-democracies; and patterns in dissident behavior and punishment. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton in 2007 and Ph.D. in political science from Yale in 2014.




Aminda Smith *06
Co-Director, PRC History Group, Associate Professor, Michigan State University 

Aminda Smith *06 earned her PhD in East Asian Studies from Princeton. She is now co-director of the PRC History Group, an international organization of China experts who use the Group to facilitate data sharing, research collaboration and education aimed at broadening our understanding of the PRC. She also works with the China Question, a network of China scholars and political consultants seeking to reshape political messaging on China to reflect a more nuanced understanding of the country and its leadership. She is an associate professor in the History Department at Michigan State University, where she specializes in the social and cultural history of Chinese Communism, with a particular interest in the grassroots histories of political ideas. She has researched and written on “brainwashing” and thought reform, global Maoism and leftist politics and China’s petition system. She lived in Beijing for several years in the 90s and early 2000s and continues to spend summers there, most recently teaching summer courses at Renmin University (except, unfortunately, this year).  She is also an avid tap dancer.


Owen Nee, Jr. ’65
Retired Partner, Coudert Brothers LLP

Owen Nee ’65, after graduation, was a Princeton-in-Asia fellow to the Chinese University of Hong Kong where he became interested in China and studied the language.  After law school and three years in Military Intelligence with the United States Army, including one year in Vietnam, Owen returned to Asia with his law firm, Coudert Brothers.  Mr. Nee spent 36 years in Asia in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai, representing companies investing in the People’s Republic.  Among some of the transactions, Owen handled were the first American oil concession, General Motors’ joint venture automotive plants and Coca-Cola’s bottling and concentrate plants in China.  Mr. Nee has taught Chinese law at Columbia and NYU Law Schools and publishes three books on Chinese commercial law with WEST Law Publications.  Mr. Nee retired from full time practice in 2017, but now appears occasionally as an expert on PRC legal issues in United States court cases. Owen’s three children also went to Princeton, ’96, ’98 and ’06.


Lucy Hornby ’95

China Correspondent Financial Times

Lucy Hornby ’95 has lived in China for 20 years, most recently serving as deputy bureau chief in Beijing for the Financial Times. Hornby has reported from every Chinese province and region for the FT and Reuters on topics ranging from elite politics to the trade war and environmental pollution. She first moved to China with Princeton in Asia, a program that builds bridges between the U.S. and Asia, and taught English in the industrial city of Wuhan. Ms Hornby has led investigations into some of China’s biggest and most indebted companies, including FT’s examination of the ownership of HNA, one of the country’s largest conglomerates. Her coverage won the 2018 Society of Publishers in Asia’s award for excellence in business reporting. She is currently is a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.


Jonathan Cheng ’05
China Bureau Chief, The Wall Street Journal

Jonathan Cheng ’05 has been the China Bureau Chief for The Wall Street Journal since August 2019, overseeing a team of roughly 30 journalists based in Beijing, Shanghai, across Asia and in the U.S., who are focused on China coverage, with a focus on politics, economics, business and diplomacy and geopolitics. Jonathan began his journalism career as a college freshman, when he joined the University Press Club. During his four years on campus, he studied a lot of Chinese and spent five semesters taking journalism seminars at Joseph Henry House under the Humanities Council. Jonathan spent his summers interning for the Star-Ledger and the WSJ, among others, and freelanced for the Trentonian, the Star-Ledger and the New York Times, for which he landed twice on the front page (writing about online poker and the Wilson School’s endowment, respectively) and interviewed the actor Paul Newman. After graduating, he joined the WSJ as an intern in Hong Kong. After five years in Hong Kong, he moved to New York for three years on the WSJ’s markets desk. Jonathan moved to Seoul in 2013, and became the Journal’s Korea Bureau Chief in 2016. He has traveled to North Korea twice, and is at work on a book about North Korea.


May 30, 2020
10:00 am - 11:15 am
Event Category:


Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08540 United States
(609) 258 - 3000