2019 Camden Conference

Camden Conference > 2019 Camden Conference

The 32nd Annual Camden Conference



February 22, 23, 24, 2019


2019 Camden Conference Poster

The 2019 Camden Conference asked the question,”Is This China’s Century?” Our ten speakers explored China as it emerges as a major global power, facing complex challenges in its domestic economic, social, environmental, and political affairs, as well as in its relations with Asian neighbors, the United States, and the broader international community.



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Indira Lakshmanan


Indira Lakshmanan is executive editor at the non-profit Pulitzer Center, which supports in-depth global reporting in U.S. media.  She herself has reported from 80 countries on six continents for leading U.S. newspapers, radio, television and a wire service. Since 2016, she’s been The Boston Globe’s Washington columnist, following eight years at Bloomberg covering foreign policy and politics and traveling regularly with secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.


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For two years, she wrote a “Letter from Washington” column for the International New York Times, and she’s been a special correspondent for PBS Newshour and Politico Magazine.

Indira spent a dozen years as a foreign correspondent for The Boston Globe in Bosnia, Asia and Latin America. She started her career on the foreign desk at NPR, and has guest-hosted numerous national public radio programs including “1A,” “Here and Now,” and “On Point.” Most recently, she was the Newmark chair in journalism ethics at the Poynter Institute, where she focused on restoring trust in journalism through transparency and accountability.

Indira graduated from Harvard and did graduate studies at Oxford University. Her awards include a Nieman journalism fellowship. 

Pic. Craig Hibbert 10-7-09

Author Martin Jacques.

Martin Jacques

Keynote Speaker

Martin Jacques is author of the global best-seller When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order, published in 2009, expanded and updated in 2012, and has since sold 400,00 copies and been translated into fifteen languages.  A new Chinese edition was published in 2016. He is currently working on a second book on China. His TED Talk on “Understanding China” has had 3 million views.

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An award-winning journalist, Dr Jacques has been an editor, columnist or essayist for more than 30 leading publications in the United States, Europe and Asia.  He has made numerous programmes for the BBC. Dr Jacques is a senior fellow in Cambridge University’s Department of Politics and International Studies and a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing and Fudan University, Shanghai.  He has previously been a visiting professor at Aichi University in Nagoya, Japan, Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Lee Kuan Yew School, National University of Singapore and Renmin University in Beijing and a senior research fellow at IDEAS, London School of Economics.


From 1977 to 1991, Dr Jacques was editor of Marxism Today.  He transformed what was once an obscure journal into what became the most influential political publication in Britain; it was famous for its pioneering analysis of Thatcherism – a term that the journal coined. 


He took a first class honours degree and a master’s degree at Manchester University, then earned a PhD at Cambridge University, where he also taught. Later he held a lectureship in the Department of Economic and Social History at Bristol University.


He is chair of the Harinder Veriah Trust, which he founded in memory of his wife and which gives financial support for the education of very under-privileged girls at his wife’s former schools in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. He lives in London with his son Ravi who is a student at Stanford University.


Susan A. Thornton

Susan A. Thornton

Special Guest 

Susan A. Thornton is a retired senior diplomat with extensive experience in Eurasia and East Asia. She is currently a Senior Fellow and Research Scholar at the Yale University Paul Tsai China Center and a non-resident Fellow at the Brookings Institution. 


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Until July 2018, she was Acting Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State and led East Asia policy making amid crises with North Korea, escalating trade tensions with China, and a fast-changing international environment.

In previous State Department roles, Ms. Thornton worked on China and Korea policy, including stabilizing relations with Taiwan, the US-China Cyber Agreement, the Paris Climate Accord and the Agreed Framework on North Korean denuclearization. In overseas postings in Central Asia, Russia, the Caucasus and China, Ms. Thornton’s leadership furthered U.S. interests and influence in a host of difficult operating environments. Ms. Thornton received her MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins SAIS and her BA from Bowdoin College in Economics and Russian. Apart from her foreign policy work, Ms. Thornton devotes her spare time to community, education, fresh food and connecting with nature on her family farm in Lisbon, Maine.


Yuen Yuen Ang

Yuen Yuen Ang is an associate professor of political science at the University of Michigan. In 2018, the Carnegie Corporation named Dr. Ang an Andrew Carnegie Fellow   in recognition of her “high-caliber scholarship that applies fresh perspectives to some of the most pressing issues of our times.”

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Her expertise on China lies in the economy, bureaucratic politics, adaptation within the party-state, corruption, and the nation’s growing role in international development. 

Her book How China Escaped the Poverty Trap won the 2017 Peter Katzenstein Book Prize and was selected by Foreign Affairs as a “Best of Books 2017.”  She has written op-eds and blogs for Foreign AffairsThe Wall Street Journal, International Herald TribuneProject Syndicate, World Bank Governance Blog, and other outlets. She has spoken at global development forums sponsored by the World Bank, United Nations, and other international organizations in Europe and China.

In 2018, she will be writing a second book on corruption and capitalism.  This project will feature a new cross-national survey that “unbundles” corruption.

A native of Singapore, Dr. Ang is a graduate of Colorado College and received a PhD from Stanford University.  Prior to joining the University of Michigan, she was on the faculty of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.


Robert Daly

Robert Daly is director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington.  Previously, Mr. Daly headed China programs at Johns Hopkins, Syracuse, and the University of Maryland.

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He has been an interpreter for Chinese and American leaders, including President Carter, Secretary of State Kissinger, and President Jiang Zemin.  While living in China for eleven years, he also worked on television and theater projects as a host, actor, and writer, helping to produce Chinese-language versions of Sesame Street and other Children’s Television Workshop programs.  He began his career in U.S.-China relations as a Cultural Exchanges Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in the late 80s and early 90s. In 2000-2001, he was American Director of the U.S.-China Housing Initiative at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  He comments frequently on U.S.-China relations in media and forums in both countries.


Elizabeth C. Economy

Elizabeth C. Economy is the C. V. Starr senior fellow and director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. An expert on Chinese domestic and foreign policy, she writes on topics ranging from China’s environmental challenges to its role in global governance.

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Her most recent book, The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State (2018), analyzes the contradictory nature of reform under President Xi Jinping. She is also the author of By All Means Necessary: How China’s Resource Quest is Changing the World with Michael Levi, and The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China’s Future (editions in English, Chinese and Japanese). She also coedited, with Michel Oksenberg, China Joins the World: Progress and Prospects and, with Miranda Schreurs, The Internationalization of Environmental Protection. Her articles and op-eds appear in Foreign AffairsHarvard Business ReviewForeign Policy, the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal, among others.   In June 2018, Dr. Economy was named one of the “10 Names That Matter on China Policy” by Politico Magazine

Dr. Economy serves on the board of managers of Swarthmore College and the board of trustees of the Asia Foundation and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.  She has taught at Columbia, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Washington.  Dr. Economy received her BA from Swarthmore College, her MA from Stanford University, and her PhD from the University of Michigan. In 2008, she received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Vermont Law School.


Yasheng Huang

Yasheng Huang is Epoch Foundation professor of international management and faculty director of action learning at Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Between 2013 and 2017, he served as an associate dean in charge of MIT Sloan’s global partnership programs and its action learning initiatives. His previous appointments include faculty positions at the University of Michigan and at Harvard Business School.


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He is currently involved in research projects in four broad areas: 1) a book project on “The Nature of the Chinese State,” 2) collaboration with researchers at Tsinghua University to create a complete database on historical technological inventions in China,  3) as a co-PI  in “Food Safety in China: A Systematic Risk Management Approach” (supported by Walmart Foundation, 2016-), and 4) research on venture finance, production of scientific knowledge, work of the future in China.  He has published numerous articles in academic journals and in media and 11 books in English and Chinese.

At MIT Sloan School, Professor Huang founded and runs China Lab and India Lab, which have provided low-cost consulting services to over 360 small and medium enterprises  in China and India. Between 2015 and 2018, he ran a program in Yunnan province  to train small and medium women entrepreneurs (funded by Goldman Sachs Foundation). He has held or received prestigious fellowships such as National Fellowship at Stanford University and Social Science Research Council-MacArthur Fellowship. He was named by National Asia Research Program as one of the most outstanding scholars in the United States conducting research on issues of policy importance to the United States. He is or has been a fellow at the Center for China in the World Economy at Tsinghua University, a research fellow at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, a fellow at William Davidson Institute at Michigan Business School, and a World Economic Forum Fellow. He has served as a consultant at World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and OECD and is serving on a number of advisory and corporate boards of non-profit and for-profit organizations.


Kaiser Kuo

Kaiser Kuo is the founder and host of the Sinica Podcast, a weekly discussion of current affairs in China, and editor-at-large of SupChina.com.  He recently repatriated to the U.S. (North Carolina) after 20 years in Beijing, where he worked as director of international communications for Baidu, a Chinese technology company specializing in Internet-related services and products and artificial intelligence.  

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The second largest search engine in the world, Baidu holds a 76% share of China’s search engine market.  Baidu also has one of the world’s leading autonomous driving programs. 

In 2010, Mr. Kuo started Sinica, a current affairs podcast based in Beijing that invites prominent China journalists and China-watchers to participate in uncensored discussions about Chinese political and economic affairs.

Before taking a job with Baidu, Mr. Kuo was a technology correspondent for Red Herring magazine.  He also worked as director of digital strategy, China, for Ogilvy & Mather in Beijing.   From 2001 to 2011, he wrote a column for the foreigner-focused English-language magazine The Beijinger

Mr. Kuo is also a guitarist and co-founder of the band Chunqiu (Spring & Autumn).  He founded China’s first heavy metal band, Tang Dynasty. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and holds an MA from the University of Arizona.

Ma Jun

Ma Jun

Ma Jun is Director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE) in Beijing, one of China’s leading environmental NGOs.  IPE has developed pollution databases to monitor corporate environmental performance and to facilitate public participation in environmental governance.

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Committed to promoting transparency around pollution issues in China, IPE developed the China Water Pollution Map, the first public database of water pollution information in China. “Water pollution is the most serious environmental issue facing China,” says Mr. Ma. “It has a huge impact on people’s health and economic development.” 

In the 1990s, Mr. Ma became known as an investigative journalist, working at the South China Morning Post (SCMP) from 1993 to 2000. There, he began to specialize in articles on environmental subjects. He eventually became the newspaper’s chief representative in Beijing.

Mr. Ma’s 1999 book China’s Water Crisis was China’s first major book on that nation’s environmental crisis and has been compared to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.  In 2006, Time magazine named him as one of the 100 most influential persons in the world.

In 2012, Mr. Ma received the Goldman Environmental Prize and was on the list of Foreign Policy Top 100 Global Thinkers. In 2015, he became the first Chinese to win the Skoll Award.  for social entrepreneurship.  He is currently a Wilson Center Global Fellow (2013-2019).  In 2016, Mr. Ma appeared in “Before the Flood,” the 2016 National Geographic film on climate change.

IPE has created the Green Choice Alliance, a coalition of Chinese NGO organizations that promote a global green supply chain by pushing large corporations to concentrate on procurement and the environmental performance of their suppliers. It has also developed the Pollution Information Transparency Index (PITI), China’s first index to evaluate environmental information transparency in 113 cities


Wu Xinbo

Wu Xinbo is professor and dean of the Institute of International Studies and director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai.  He teaches and researches China’s foreign and security policy, Sino-U.S. relations, and U.S. Asia-Pacific policy.

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Dr. Wu is the author of The New Landscape in Sino-U.S. Relations in the early 21st Century, Managing Crisis and Sustaining Peace between China and the United States, Turbulent Water: US Asia-Pacific Security Strategy in the post-Cold War Era, and Dollar Diplomacy and Major Powers in China, 1909-1913.

He has published numerous articles and book chapters in China, the United States, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Singapore and India.  Dr. Wu is on the editorial board of The Washington Quarterly published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies

He has been a visiting scholar or fellow at George Washington University;  the Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University; the Henry Stimson Center in Washington DC; the Brookings Institution: and the United States Institute of Peace.  

Dr. Wu graduated with a B.A. in history from Fudan University in 1986.  In 1992, he received his Ph. D. in international relations from Fudan, and in the same year he joined the university’s Center for American Studies. 


Yuki Tatsumi

Yuki Tatsumi is Co-Director of the East Asia Program and Director of the Japan Program at the Stimson Center in Washington, DC.   Before joining Stimson, she worked as a research associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and as the special assistant for political affairs at the Embassy of Japan in Washington.

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Her most recent publications include Balancing Between Nuclear Deterrence and Disarmament: Views from the Next Generation and Lost in Translation? U.S. Defense Innovation and Northeast Asia.  She was also the editor of four earlier volumes of the Views from the Next Generation series: Peacebuilding and Japan, Japan as a Peace Enabler, Japan’s Global Diplomacy, and Japan’s Foreign Policy Challenges in East Asia.  She is the author of Opportunity Out of Necessity: The Impact of U.S. Defense Budget Cuts on the U.S.-Japan Alliance, co-author of Global Security Watch: Japan; author of Japan’s National Security Policy Infrastructure: Can Tokyo Meet Washington’s Expectations?; editor/contributing author of U.S.-Japan-Australia Security Cooperation: Prospects and ChallengesThe New Nuclear Agenda: Prospects for US-Japan Cooperation; and North Korea: Challenge for the US-Japan Alliance.  She was a recipient of the 2009 Yasuhiro Nakasone Incentive Award.  In 2012 she was awarded the Letter of Appreciation from the Ministry of National Policy of Japan for her contribution in advancing mutual understanding between the United States and Japan. A native of Tokyo, Ms.Tatsumi holds a B.A. in liberal arts from the International Christian University in Tokyo and an M.A. in international economics and Asian studies from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University.

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George S. Yip

George S. Yip is Professor of Marketing and Strategy at Imperial College Business School in London.  His previous academic positions have included Professor of Strategy and Co-Director of the Centre on China Innovation at China Europe International Business School in Shanghai;  Dean of the Rotterdam School of Management – Erasmus University;  and appointments at Harvard Business School, UCLA, Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, and London Business School.  He is a Former Lead Senior Fellow of the UK’s Advanced Institute of Management Research.   

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Dr. Yip has also held numerous positions in business, including Vice President and Director of Research & Innovation at Capgemini Consulting; senior manager at Price Waterhouse (USA); manager at Unilever; and a member of various corporate boards.

His most recent book is China’s Next Strategic Advantage: From Imitation to Innovation (2016), coauthored with Bruce McKern.    He also published Strategic Transformation (2013), Managing Global Customers (2007), Asian Advantage: Key Strategies for Winning in the Asia-Pacific Region (1998), and Total Global Strategy (1992 and 2012).  Dr. Yip has contributed over 100 articles to leading journals.

Dr. Yip was educated at Cambridge University and holds an MBA and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.   


Friday, February 22

7:30 pm Conference begins [NOTE NEW TIME]

Welcome by Bruce Cole, Board President

Martin Jacques –“What China Will Be Like as a Great Power”

Saturday, February 23

8:45 am Program begins 

Opening remarks by moderator Indira Lakshmanan

9:00 am Yuen Yuen Ang – “How the West – and Beijing – Got China Wrong”

9:30 am Yasheng Huang – “Is the China Model Sustainable?”

10:00 am Break

10:30 George Yip – “China’s Rise from Imitation to Innovation”

11:00 am Panel of Keynote and morning speakers

11:45 am Lunch Break

1:30 pm Afternoon session begins-Kaiser Kuo – “What Makes China’s Tech Tick?”

2:00 pm  Wu Xinbo – “China: Building a community of common destiny with its neighbors”

2:30 pm Break

3:oo Yuki Tatsumi – “Japan’s View of China’s Rise and the Prospect of Japan-China Relations”

3:30 pm Afternoon speakers panel plus Susan A. Thornton

4:30 pm Adjourn

Sunday, February 24

8:30 am Program begins-Ma Jun — “China’s Role in the Global Environment”

9:00 am Elizabeth Economy — “The Xi Vision”

9:30 am Robert Daly — “U.S.-China Relations: A New Era in Need of New Ideas”

10:00 am Q & A with morning speakers

10:30 am Break

11:00 am Final Panel (all speakers)

12:30 pm Adjourn





Abrami, Regina M., William C. Kirby and F. Warren McFarlan. Can China Lead?: Reaching the Limits of Power and Growth. Harvard Business Review Press. 2014.

Despite China’s remarkable economic growth for more than 30 years, it now faces enormous challenges that could shift the country’s political and economic trajectory, challenges that are deeply rooted in Chinese history and the country’s political system.

How China Escaped the Poverty trap

Ang, Yuen Yuen. How China escaped the Poverty Trap. Cornell University Press. 2016.

Ang contends that China evolved into the world’s second-largest economy through the adaptive strategy of “directed improvisation”—a paradoxical mixture of top-down direction (by Beijing) and bottom-up improvisation (by local governments) within China’s single-party state. 


Obama China Rise

Bader, Jeffrey A.. Obama and China’s Rise: An Insider’s Account of America’s Asia Strategy. Brookings Institution press. 2013.

An Insider’s account of the formulation and Implementation of the administration’s East Asian policy, dominated by the booming economy, expanding military power and increasing influence over the region of a rising China.

The Third Revolution

Economy, Elizabeth C.. The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State. Oxford University Press. 2018.

A wide-ranging exploration of Xi Jinping’s top political, economic and foreign policy priorities and the tensions, shortcomings and successes of his reform efforts and their implications for the rest of the world.


Huang, Yukon. Cracking the China Conundrum: Why Conventional Economic Wisdom Is Wrong. Oxford university Press. 2017.

China’s rise is altering global power relations, reshaping economic debates, and commanding tremendous public attention. This book provides a holistic and contrarian view of China’s major economic, political and foreign policy issues.


Jacques, Martin. When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global order: second edition. Penguin Books. 2012.

Expanding a book that was published in 2009, Martin Jacques renews his assault on conventional thinking about China’s ascendancy, showing how its impact will be as much political and cultural as economic, changing the world as we know it.

China Water Crisis

Jun, Ma. China’s Water Crisis. EastBridge, a nonprofit corporation. 2004.

A comprehensive, authoritative, and up-to-date-source of information on the enormous water resource crisis confronting the Peoples Republic of China.


McGregor, Richard. Asia’s Reckoning: China, Japan, and the Fate of U.S. Power in the Pacific Century. Viking. 2017.

A history of the combative, military, diplomatic and economic relations among China, Japan and the United States since the 1970s-and the potential crisis that awaits them.


Nye, Joseph S.. Is the American Century Over? (Global Futures). Polity. 2015.

Despite the tempering of America’s superpower status because of its own domestic problems and China’s economic boom, Joseph Nye argues that its military, economic and soft power capabilities will continue to outstrip those of its closest rivals for decades to come.


Osnos, Evan. Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2015.

The clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party’s struggle to retain control: a battle between aspiration and authoritarianism, in which only one can prevail.


Schell, Orville and John DeLury. Wealth and Power: China’s Long March to the Twenty-first Century. Random House. 2013.

A panoramic narrative of China’s rise that is at once analytical and personal: the examination of the lives of eleven influential officials, writers, activists and leaders whose contributions helped create modern China.


Weiss, Jessica Chen. Powerful patriots: Nationalist Protest in China’s Foreign Relations. Oxford University Press. 2014.

Identification of the diplomatic and domestic factors that drive protest management in authoritarian states and the consequences of actions between 1985 and 2012.


Huang, Yasheng. Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics: Entrepreneurship and the State. Cambridge University Press. 2008.

Clarifies the issues related to China’s economic development and the growing divide between the rich and poor, the urban and rural.


Wu, Xinbo. East Asian Studies in the perspective of Regional Integration. World Century Publishing Corporation. 2018.

Explores the process of regional integration of East Asia as countries in this region experience economic growth and social change.


Yip, George S. and Bruce McKern. China’s Next Strategic Advantage: From Imitation to Innovation. The MIT Press. 2017.

China’s move away from the strategy of imitation to one of innovation driven both by domestic needs and global ambition.


Oros, Andrew Lee and Yuki Tatsumi. Global Security Watch-Japan. Praeger. 2010.

A comprehensive overview of Japan’s national security institutions and policies.


Chang, Eileen. Naked Earth. NYRB Classics. 2015.

A harrowing tale of perverted ideals, damaged souls, deepest loneliness and terror by one of the greatest and most loved modern Chinese writers.


Chang, Jung. Mao: The Unknown Story. Alfred A. Knopf. 2005.

Called the most authoritative life of the Chinese leader ever written.


Clissold, Tim. Mr. China: A Memoir. HarperBusiness. 2006.

Reviewer calls Mr. China one man’s coming of age story where he learns to respect d admire the nation he sought to conquer-China.

Guo, Xiaolu. Nine Continents: A Memoir In and Out of China. Grove Press. 2017.

The story of a curious mind coming of age in an inhospitable country, and her determination to seek a life beyond the limits of its boarder.

Hua, Yu. The Seventh Day: A Novel. Anchor. 2016.

In the journey through China after his death, the main character movingly traces the contours of this vast nation-its absurdities, its sorrows, and its soul.

Jian, Ma. The Dark Road: A Novel. Penguin Books. 2014.

A novel about the human cost of China’s one-child policy.

Jin, Ha. Waiting: A Novel. Vintage International. 2000.

An amazing glimpse into Chinese culture-not only the political landscape, but family relations.

Li, Yiyun. The Vagrants. Random House Trade. 2010.

A stunning novel that is at once a picture of life in China in the period after Mao, a universal portrait of human frailty and courage, and a mesmerizing work of art.

Meyer, Michael. The Road to Sleeping Dragon: Learning China from the Ground Up. Bloomsbury USA. 2017.

A brilliant portrait of China today and a memoir of coming of age in a country in transition.

Yan, Mo. Red Sorghum. Penguin Books. 1994.

A book of love and resistance in China in which fable and history collide to produce fiction that is entirely new-and unforgettable.

Xingjian, Gao. Soul Mountain. HarperCollins Publisher. 2000.

This book probes the human soul with an uncommon directness and candor and delights in the freedom of the imagination to expand the notion of the individual self.


Lilley, James R. and Jeffrey Lilley. China hands: Nine Decades of Adventure, Espionage and Diplomacy in Asia.  PublicAffairs. 2005.

A memoir of a government career that spanned almost four decades, almost 10 of which were spent in China and South Korea.