Russekoff lecture focuses on U.S.-China relations

Jessica Chen Weiss, associate professor of government, was the featured speaker for this year’s Mitzi Sutton Russekoff ’54 Lecture, hosted by the College of Arts & Sciences on March 16.

Weiss’ talk “The domestic politics of Chinese foreign policy and US-China relations” was offered in a virtual webinar from 7-8 p.m. EST, with time after for questions and answers. 

Jessica Chen Weiss, associate professor of government, gives the Mitzi Sutton Russekoff '54 Lecture on "The Domestic Politics of Chinese Foreign Policy and US-China Relations."

During her talk, Weiss focused on how China’s domestic governance shapes its foreign policy and the role that nationalism and ideology play in Beijing’s regional and global ambitions.

“The Chinese leadership has been at once a revisionist, defender, reformer and free-rider in the international system—insisting rigidly on issues that are central to its domestic survival, while showing flexibility on issues that are more peripheral,” Weiss said.

Weiss illuminated this variation and what might lie ahead for US-China relations and the international order, discussing her new book project, which theorizes and illustrates the domestic-international linkages in Beijing’s approach to issues ranging from sovereignty and homeland disputes to climate change and COVID-19.

David Russekoff ’89 established the Mitzi Sutton Russekoff '54 Lecture in 2015 in memory of his mother, Muriel “Mitzi” Sutton Russekoff ’54, who graduated from the College of Human Ecology. A proud and dedicated Cornellian, Mitzi Russekoff’s enthusiasm continued long after she left the Hill. She served on the board of the Cornell Club-New York and, as co- president and secretary of the Class of 1954, she never missed a reunion.

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