Li Cheng

Director, John L. Thornton China Center, Brookings Institution

Dr Li is the director of the John L. Thornton China Center and a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy programme at the Brookings Institution. He is also a director of the National Committee on US-China Relations. His latest book, Middle Class Shanghai: Reshaping US-China Engagement, was published by the Brookings Institution Press in May 2021.

 

 

 

Amazon workers, environmental advocates, labour groups, and small business owners participate in a rally and news conference to protest plans for a new Amazon air cargo mega-hub at the Newark International Airport on 6 October 2021 in Newark, New Jersey, US. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)

Worsening global digital divide as the US and China continue zero-sum competitions

In the digital era we live in, seven “super platforms” in the US and China constitute two-thirds of total market value worldwide. Yet we hardly see any significant joint efforts or “healthy competition” between the US and China to help combat digital divides in the least developed countries. These are places where more than 80% of the population are still offline and the problem has been compounded by the pandemic. How can the US and China do more where help is most needed?
This photo taken on 13 June 2021 shows people looking at the city view from a bridge in Shanghai, China. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

The Shanghai middle class: Embracing 'cosmopolitanism with Chinese characteristics'?

Around 400 to 500 million Chinese citizens are thought to enjoy a middle-class lifestyle today. They are an important political and economic force but their political outlook and worldviews are neither homogeneous nor clear-cut. Many of them share certain cosmopolitan values, but some among them are also those with the most strident nationalistic views. How will this key demographic influence China’s relations with the US and the world? Professor Li Cheng, author of Middle Class Shanghai: Reshaping US-China Engagement, tells us more.