Past Sokwanlok Distinguished Lectures

This series brings top leaders and thinkers from China, drawing audiences from the academy and beyond to hear front-line insights and analysis of the most pressing trends in China.

"Infrastructure Investment as a Development Strategy"

Seventh Annual Sokwanlok Distinguished Lecture on China

Speaker: Francis Fukuyama, Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and Mosbacher Director, Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law

Date: Jan. 29, 2018
Time: 4-5:30 p.m.
Location: UC San Diego Campus, The Great Hall


China's model of state-led development differs both from Western approaches and also from its East Asian neighbors' industrial policies by focusing single-mindedly on infrastructure investment. This strategy was pursued both inside China and is the basis for its ambitious "One Belt, One Road" initiative.

In the seventh Sokwanlok Distinguished Lecture on China, Francis Fukuyama, who has written widely on issues in development and international politics, focused on the economic logic, functioning, and vulnerabilities of this approach to development in this lecture.

Speaker Bio

Francis Fukuyama

Francis Fukuyama is Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), and the Mosbacher Director of FSI's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University, where he is also a professor of political science.

Dr. Fukuyama has written widely on issues in development and international politics. His book, The End of History and the Last Man, was published by Free Press in 1992 and has appeared in over twenty foreign editions. His most recent book, Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy, was published in September 2014.

Read his full bio online.


China’s infrastructure investment as a development strategy
Feb. 28, 2018 | By Rachel Hommel | GPS News
GPS’s 21st Century China Center welcomed Francis Fukuyama for its seventh annual Sokwanlok Distinguish Lecture Series 

In this China 21 Podcast, Francis Fukuyama and Barry Naughton trace the origins of the Chinese state, its historic economic modernization, and how the current Xi Jinping era is challenging assumptions and theories about political order and decay.

“China’s Governance in Transition"


Sixth Annual Sokwanlok Distinguished Lecture on China

Speaker: Pacific Leadership Fellow YU Keping, Dean, School of Government, Peking University

Date: Oct. 10, 2016
Time: 4:30-6 p.m.
Location: Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine


In the sixth Sokwanlok Distinguished Lecture on China, YU Keping, a renowned scholar and advocate of reform in China addressed the great changes in governance since the economic reform. He traced the principal lines of governance reform in China since the 18th Party Congress and assessed the main challenges going forward.

Speaker Bio

YU KepingPacific Leadership Fellow YU Keping is the dean of the School of Government at Peking University. He has continued to be a stable voice in Chinese academia, as well as a strong advocate for democratization and rule of law from within the establishment—his book “Democracy is a Good Thing (2009)” relaunched an intellectual debate on the future of China’s political system and democratization.

Read his full bio online.

"Understanding China's New Normal"

Fifth annual Sokwanlok Distinguished Lecture on ChinaView photos

Speaker: Qian Yingyi (钱颖一), Professor, Department of Economics and Dean, School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University

Date: Dec. 8, 2015
Time: 5-7 p.m.
Location: UC San Diego Faculty Club, Atkinson Pavilion


As China's economic growth rate has declined to 7.5% in 2014 from its recent historic average of 9.8%, the once unstoppable economy is said to have entered a “new normal.” This new paradigm is forcing China's leaders to face a series of new and vexing questions: How to increase the quality of growth and make substantive reforms to the growth model? What will be the spillover effects of this slower growth? Yingyi, one of China's foremost economists, helped navigate the future of China's economy during this talk.

Qian YingyiSpeaker Bio

Qian Yingyi (钱颖一) was born in Beijing and graduated from Tsinghua University with a degree in mathematics in 1981. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University after earning an M.Phil. in management, science, operations research from Yale University and an M.A. in statistics from Columbia University. He was on the faculty at Stanford University, the University of Maryland and UC Berkeley. He was appointed as the dean of the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University in October 2006.