John Liebman '18, center, discusses the China Leadership Summit over lunch with organizers and delegates.

John Liebman ’18, a Chinese and world politics major, was  selected to attend the China Leadership Summit as a delegate. The annual student-run conference co-hosted by Duke and North Carolina Universities took place in the spring of 2017.  Its  theme was “China’s Soft Power in the 21st Century Global Order,” and more than 100 undergraduates from China and the U.S. attended.

Liebman was chosen as an out-of-state delegate to the conference from a pool of about 80 applicants. The application process included the submission of an essay about China and fewer than 30 delegates were chosen. Student Activities sponsored Liebman’s trip.

Featured speakers at the conference included former U.S. Ambassador to Nepal Julia Chang Bloch, former U.S. Ambassador to China Jim Sasser, and political scientists and experts on China David Shambaugh and Stan Rosen.

Liebman was the winner of a case competition in which delegates designed plans for China to increase its soft power with Latin America. Projects were created during the conference and presented on the final day.

“It was really great to meet other people my age that were all so well informed about China as most of my discussions around these issues have been with professors,” Liebman said. He called the conference “a great networking opportunity” and a chance to bond with people he may work with again one day.

Liebman will be participating in the Associated Colleges in China program in Beijing this summer and fall.

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