China's influence is topic of Nov. 10 Thompson Forum

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China's rising global influence and the growing nation's relationship with the United States will be among the topics explored when former U.S. senator from Nebraska Chuck Hagel and Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yesui present the next lecture in the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues.

They will present "China Rising: Good News or Bad News for U.S. Workers, Consumers and Investors?" at 7 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts. The lecture also is the Charles and Linda Wilson Dialogue on Domestic Issues.

Both an ancient civilization and a rising power, China presents some of the most complex questions facing the world today. China is the largest developing country in the world and is home to one-fifth of the world's population. China's rise is one of the transformative events of our time, as well as one of the most important challenges facing U.S. foreign and economic policy.

"China as far as I can tell does not have a lot of global ambitions to become a hegemon as they would call it. I think they're willing to co-exist with the United States," said Andrew Wedeman, UNL political scientist. "I also think that culturally, there's a surprising amount of similarity and empathy between the two peoples."

During his two terms in the U.S. Senate (1997-2009), Hagel was a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations, Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, and Intelligence committees. He also served as the chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China and the Senate Climate Change Observer Group.

Hagel is a distinguished professor at Georgetown University and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He is co-chairman of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board; chairman of the Atlantic Council and is a member of the secretary of defense's policy board and secretary of energy's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future. He is also the author of "America: Our Next Chapter," an examination of the current state of the nation that provides substantial proposals for the challenges of the 21st century.

Zhang, a native of the Hubei province, is a Chinese diplomat. Prior to serving as ambassador to the United States, he was the permanent representative of China to the United Nations and vice minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University and studied at the London School of Economics.

The lecture is the third in this season's Thompson Forum lecture series. This season's theme is "Globalization's Promise."

To reserve free tickets, call the Lied Center at (402) 472-4747 or (800) 432-3231. Free tickets may also be picked up in person or ordered by downloading a form from the Thompson Forum website,

Thompson Forum lectures will be available live online at, and on Lincoln TimeWarner Cable Channel 21 or 5, NETSAT 105, UNL campus Channel 8 and UNL's KRNU radio (90.3 FM). Live satellite broadcasts and follow-up discussion will be available in Kearney, Hastings, Columbus, McCook, North Platte, Omaha and Scottsbluff.

The series, established in 1988, is a cooperative project of the philanthropic Cooper Foundation, the Lied Center and UNL. It aims to offer all Nebraskans a better understanding of world events and issues.

- Jean Ortiz Jones, University Communications

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