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CAMDEN CONFERENCE IN THE WORLD-AUGUST 2019

Susan Thornton, a 2019 Camden Conference speaker and former senior diplomat, joined two other distinguished China experts last month in penning an open letter to President Donald Trump and members of Congress expressing deep concern “about the growing deterioration in U.S. relations with China, which we believe does not serve American or global interests.” The letter was later signed by an impressive list of diplomats and others including at least three Camden Conference alumni: Director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States Robert Daly, Career Ambassador and former Under Secretary of State Thomas Pickering, and academic and senior Central Intelligence Agency veteran Paul Pillar. These and other past Camden Conference speakers have of late been actively debating the pros and cons of a threatened and extended “cold war” between the US and China in numerous forums. Martin Jacques, 2019 keynoter and bestselling author on China, told the…

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CAMDEN CONFERENCE IN THE WORLD-July 2019

Camden Conference alumni are a diverse group, engaged in a remarkable range of issues. Just the last month alone provides an array of contributions spanning everything from the risk of war in Iran to Nigerian domestic politics to the aging of America’s farmers. John Piotti, moderator and star of the 2014 Camden Conference, who subsequently moved up from Maine Farmland Trust to become head of American Farmland Trust, was featured in May in a segment of the BBC documentary series Follow the Food (minute 12) called “Generation Farmer” on the aging farm population and efforts to bring young people back to the land. Also, in the Farm Journal’s Over He(a)rd podcast, Piotti recently outlined the importance of halting the disappearance of farmland. On a strikingly different topic, 2010 Conference speaker Paul Pillar assessed President Donald Trump’s Iran policy in “The Fog of Selling a War” on the investigative and analytical…

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Oceanside and Medomak Valley high school students talk of ‘China’s Global Ascendancy’

Pen Bay Pilot article, posted June 10, 2019 Students from Oceanside High School in Rockland and Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro addressed the public Wednesday evening, May 22, with presentations on China’s Global Ascendancy as part of the continuing Informed Young Leaders Series. At the conclusion of the presentations, the students engaged with the audience in an active round of Q & A, answering questions such as ‘What was the biggest surprise you encountered when researching this topic?’ to which a number of the students replied, “Finding out how quickly China’s economic and technological gains are accelerating,” according to the Series, in a news release. One member of the audience commended the students, saying, “I learned a lot about China tonight that I suspected but never knew. I can’t tell you how impressed and grateful I am for your thoughtful presentations.” Jake Newcomb of Medomak Valley High School, and…

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CAMDEN CONFERENCE IN THE WORLD-June 2019

With trade and other geopolitical mayhem seeming to greet us in the headlines each morning over the last month, it’s hard not to see the 2018 Camden Conference theme of “New World Disorder” as prescient. Stephen Walt, 2018 keynoter and Belfer Professor of International Affairs at Harvard, has been thinking along similar lines, listing on his Foreign Policy blog five global problems that “are getting worse – and may never get better.” These “Bad Things” start with climate change, move onto the potential collapse of both the two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians and of the European Union, and conclude with a nuclear crisis with Iran and the collapse of America’s long-standing Asian alliances due to its clash with China. Our 2019 keynoter, best-selling author and Cambridge professor Martin Jacques, discussed the impacts of that American clash with China on not just the US’ Asian allies but also on its…

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UNA Maine summer events

Maine Model UN Conference (MeMUNC)(May 2019)The keynote speaker at the Opening Ceremony of MeMUNC, Professor Rebecca Davis Gibbons, an authority on international relations and nuclear issues, challenged approximately 600 high school and middle school students in attendance to identify and understand the meaning of the above stark symbol (the “Doomsday Clock”) during her address on Wednesday evening, May 15.  Although this started as a somber message, she commended the students for preparing themselves through Model UN to take on leadership roles in the world and to work toward moving the clock back.  Professor Gibbons is currently a post doctoral research fellow at the Belfour Center at the Harvard Kennedy School.  She will join the USM faculty and work with Professor Tim Ruback and MeMUNC students next September.  Thanks to Chapter members and friends who contribute to the Chapter’s Education Fund, we were again able to provide scholarship support to many of the students attending. UNA-USA…

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Students from Portland High School present their Capstone projects

Two Portland High School students, Mariam Douale and Elisa Membreno, presented their Capstone projects to the Portland Board of Public Education on May 21. Their projects were based on this year’s Conference topic “Is This China’s Century?”, which they attended in February 2019 with their teacher, Troy Crabtree, as participants in the Camden Conference in the Classroom program.

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China: This is not your Century-post courtesy of the Bangor Daily News The Glocal Blog

May 28, 2019 HomeBy Stefano Tijerina Share Late in February I was fortunate to attend the Camden Conference together with more than sixty students from the University of Maine system.  This year’s theme, “Is this China’s Century?” presented many favorable views that supported the thesis that China was going to surpass the United States economically and therefore become the next superpower of the world.  In 2012 U.S. ambassador Chas Freeman had coined the phrase that this century was “Nobody’s Century;” in less than seven years we went from a century that was up for grabs to a century that belonged to China.[1]  Quite rushed conclusions considering that we have only been in a position of global power since 1945.  I consider seventy four years a short period of time to judge the success or failure of our global leadership, and I also consider China’s growth of the last forty years too…

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CAMDEN CONFERENCE IN THE WORLD-May 2019

With a conference on “The Role of Media in Global Affairs” in prospect for 2020, it’s a good moment to see what some of the many journalists are up to who have spoken to our community in years past on places and problems spanning the globe. A lot it turns out, and from a lot of directions. From Russia, 2015 speaker and editor of Russia in Global Affairs, Fyodor Lukyanov, recently described the grappling underway in Russia to understand the end of the post-Soviet era and the mix of opportunities and uncertainties the country now faces in a multi-polar world. Soon after, Natalie Nougayrède — a 2018 conference speaker, Guardian columnist and faithful adherent to classic European ideals — celebrated the April election as president of Ukraine of comedian-recently-turned-politician Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Nougayrede sees the election and expected peaceful turnover of power as proof that a pro-European, non-expansionist Ukraine is “the…

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Camden Conference in the World-April 2019

The themes that dominated the 2019 Camden Conference on “Is This China’s Century?,” and the speakers who came to the Midcoast to address them, remain in sharp news focus. Two 2019 speakers, MIT professor Yasheng Huang and retired senior US diplomat Susan Thornton, again shared the stage at an Intelligence Squared debate on The “Techonomic Cold War with China.” The two agreed – in opposition to the other three debaters – that China’s Belt and Road initiative is a “Trillion-Dollar Blunder.” With Chinese President Xi Jinping on a tour of Europe in March aimed in part at furthering the Belt and Road initiative, 2019 speaker and University of Michigan professor Yuen Yuen Ang argued in a Newsweek interview that Europe should be cautiously open to working with Beijing. Likewise, when interviewed by France’s RFI during Xi’s visit, 2019 keynoter and author Martin Jacques suggested that good relations with China could…

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Camden Conference in the World-February 2019

Speakers from the 2018 Camden Conference on New World Disorder have been making news of late, on topics including the 2019 China theme. Harvard professor and 2018 keynoter Stephen Walt argued in Foreign Policy that Europeans who want to keep a skeptical US President Donald Trump committed to NATO would do well to join the US in restraining China’s military might. “European concerns about Chinese ambitions have grown in recent years, as have their fears about a total U.S. withdrawal” from NATO. This might provide a rationale for a “new trans-Atlantic” bargain at a time when “China’s rise continues to draw U.S. attention away from Europe and toward Asia,” Walt wrote. Natalie Nougayrede, who also spoke in Camden last year, took on the sprawling trans-Atlantic debate over truth in the media in one of her recent Guardian columns. “Outlandish claims of secret cabals can arguably go further in Europe than…

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