past event

SOF Digital Symposium: Hold Your Horses 悬崖勒马: The China Challenge from an Historical and Humanistic Perspective

Join us for the inaugural SOF Digital Symposium: Hold Your Horses 悬崖勒马: The China Challenge from an Historical and Humanistic Perspective moderated by experts Robert Daly, the Director of the Wilson Center’s Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, and Jiayang Fan, a staff writer at The New Yorker, for a three-day deep-dive into the idiosyncratic and complex nation of China and the ever-evolving nature of its relationship with the U.S. Using preparatory materials as the foundation for discussion, Daly and Fan will dive into the traditional roots of the country, as well as its rise to power and modernization post-Mao. They will explore its globalization under the rule of Xi Jinping and the complex evolution of US-China relations and share insights into what an effective US-China policy looks like. Lastly, the expert moderators will address the complex issues that continue to plague China and that will likely continue to do some for decades to come, namely the conflicting interests of the government and its people, journalistic freedom, economic growth, and of course its place in the world post-Covid.

Sunday, December 13 – 5:30-7:00 EST
Monday, December 14 – 12:00-2:30 EST
Tuesday, December 15 – 12:00-2:30 EST
Wednesday, December 16 – 12:00-2:30 EST

*If you are not currently a member of the Society of Fellows, and are interested in joining, please contact the SOF team at or 970-544-7980. You may also learn more on our website


Robert Daly directs the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Wilson Center. Before coming to the Wilson Center he was director of the Maryland China Initiative and American Director of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies. He began work in U.S.-China relations as a diplomat, serving at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in the late 80s and early 90s. After leaving the Foreign Service, he taught Chinese at Cornell, worked on television and theater projects in China, and helped produce the Chinese-language version of Sesame Street. His commentary is featured on NPR, C-Span, the Voice of America, and global television stations. Mr. Daly has testified before Congress on U.S.-China relations and has lectured at hundreds of institutions. He has lived in China for 12 years and has interpreted for Chinese leaders, including Jiang Zemin, and American leaders, including Jimmy Carter.

Jiayang Fan is a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine, where she writes about China and Chinese-American politics and culture. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Magazine, and the Paris Review, among other places. Ms. Fan was born in Chongqing, moving to the United States at the age of eight. She graduated from Williams College with a double major in philosophy and English literature. She received a Fulbright scholarship to spend a year in Korea. She is currently working on a book, entitled Motherland, to be published by FSG in 2023.


Event information
Sun Dec 13, 2020 - Wed Dec 16, 2020
SOF Digital Symposium