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HomePolicy & PoliticsCenter on U.S.-China Relations

What We Do

Mt. Everest and the Rongbuk Glacier. David Breashears, 2007.

Mt. Everest and the Rongbuk Glacier. David Breashears, 2007.

Each year the Center launches multiple projects and initiatives, including:

The Initiative for U.S.-China Cooperation on Energy and Climate

The two largest producers of greenhouse gases are the United States and China. Their cooperation is essential if there is to be a solution to the daunting climate change challenge.  This Initiative addresses the unfolding global climate crisis and the critical roles that both the U.S. and China must play in forging a solution.  The project specifically aims to catalyze U.S.-China cooperation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting from energy use, especially the continued reliance on coal power.

With input from scores of experts, stakeholders and policymakers fromthe sciences, business, civil society and politics in China and theUnited States, the Initiative explores the climate and energychallengesfacing both nations and recommends concrete steps for collaboration and on-the-ground action.

The first report of the Initiative, unveiled in February 2009, presented a concrete roadmap for U.S.-China collaboration, recommending high-level engagement to address the issue.  The second report, coming in November 2009, will focus in on Carbon Capture and Sequestration technology, exploring its viability as a solution to the coal issue.

China Green

Over the past three decades, China has dazzled the rest of the world with its stunning, high-speed economic growth.  However, rapid urbanization, poverty reduction and transformation of city skylines have come at a grave price: air and water pollution; degraded forests, pasturelands and marine habitats; increased greenhouse gas emissions and a host of other environemtal problems.

China Green, a multimedia enterprise, visually documents China's environmental issues and serves as a web forum featuring critical information and stories about China's response to its domestic environmental challenges.  China's participation in the global effort to curb climate change is indispensable, making dissemination of timely and accessible information about its environmental state ever more crucial.

The Glacial Research Imaging Project

The ice mass of the Tibetan Plateau, sometimes called the "frozen water tower of Asia," feeds many of Asia's major river systems.  However, it's 50,000 glaciers have begun, due to global climate change, to melt away at an increasingly rapid and alarming rate.  What glaciologists now fear is that their increased melt-rate could threaten a "continental crisis" in the coming century, generating hundreds of millions of refugees along the great waterways of the Asian continent and subcontinent.

The G.R.I.P. project aims to produce and disseminate significant research on this out-of-the-way but crucially important piece of the global environment.  The G.R.I.P. team is returning to the great glaciers of Asia, beginning at Everest, K2 and Anymaqen to document to state of the glaciers on film. The teams photos will be matched pixel-to-pixel with archival photographs from the great mountaineers of the early 20th century, providing stark visual evidence of the reality of climate change.

The China Boom Project

This project seeks to answer a deceptively simple question: Why, over the past three decades, has China boomed? With teams based in Beijing, Shantou and New York, the Project is interviewing a wide array of business executives, entrepreneurs, diplomats, officials, journalists, scholars, artists and economists, as well as ordinary people.  The Project seeks out leading participants in and observers of China's economic boom, and draws on their most incisive answers to create a composite answer to the riddle of China's growth.

The Project is creating a digital archive, composed of full-length videotaped interviews, which will be donated to select research libraries around the world.  The Project will design an interactive website presenting edited clips of the interviews, allowing users to interact with the footage as the explore the issues raised by China's development. Intended for a diverse audience of China watchers, the Project will educate Americans on the causes and complexities of China's growth, and create a resource for researchers in decades to come.

New York Programs

The Center regularly holds events at the Asia Society's headquarters in New York, and at centers around the world, focusing on critical issues in the Sino-U.S. relationship in the fields of history, economics, politics and the environment.  To see our schedule of events, visit the Asia Society Events Calendar.