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Institute for US-China Issues

Institute for US-China Issues

Interlocking OU, Institute for U.S.-China Issues, The University of Oklahoma website wordmark.

The Institute for US-China Issues seeks to enhance the understanding and management of US-China relations by simultaneously addressing two sets of interrelated issue clusters — the security, technology, economic, environmental, public health and political (STEEPP) issues, and the instrumental role culture plays in shaping how the two nations perceive and engage each other. To achieve this goal, the Institute works along parallel tracks through public programming, research, publications, symposiums and teaching to tackle both the STEEPP and cultural issues confronting the two nations.

The Institute for US-China Issues at the University of Oklahoma was established in 2006 with the generous financial support of Harold J. & Ruth Newman.

News & Events

Chinese Politics and US-China Relations: Frontline Observations from an American NGO Leader in China

Wednesday, March 13, 12-1:15 p.m
Farzaneh Hall 145

The Institute for US-China Issues presents a lunch and discussion with Elizabeth Knup, former Regional Director, China, Ford Foundation.

Lunch will be served. Please RSVP by March 11 at

China’s Rise in the Global South: The Middle East, Africa, and Beijing’s Alternative World Order

China’s Rise in the Global South: The Middle East, Africa, and Beijing’s Alternative World Order

Thursday, April 25, 12-1:15 p.m.
Zarrow Hall 145

The Institute for US-China Issues presents a lunch and talk with Dawn Murphy, Associate Professor of National Security Strategy, National War College.

Lunch will be served. Please RSVP by April 23 at

March 20, 2023: The Institute for US-China Issues hosted a zoom talk with Shen Dingli. Shen is a professor and former executive dean at Fudan University’s Institute of International Studies, and former Director of the Center for American Studies. He is also an Honorary Visiting Professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

March 3, 2023: The Institute for US-China Issues held the Newman Prize for Chinese Literature 2023 ceremony. This year's Newman Prize for Chinese Literature was awarded to Sinophone novelist Chang Kuei-hsing. The ceremony included introductory remarks, and a speech by Chang, as well as the presentation of this year's Newman Prize for English Jueju awards.

November 9, 2022: The Institute for US-China Issues, with the Farzaneh Family Center for Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies and the Center for Middle East Studies, co-sponsored a talk with Ambassador Chas Freeman, Visiting Scholar, Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Brown University.

October 25, 2022: the OU Institute for US-China Issues hosted this Zoom talk with Dr. Zhao Hai, Director of International Political Studies, National Institute for Global Strategy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS); Research Fellow, Institute of World Economics and Politics, CASS, Beijing.

Weining Ai

Introducing 2023-2024 Newman Post-Doctoral Fellow Weining Ai

Weining Ai is the Newman Postdoctoral Fellow in the Institute for US-China Issues, Department of International and Area Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He received his PhD in Political Science from Arizona State University in 2023. He was born and grew up in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China. His research interests lie in foreign policy analysis, international security and political economy, and China. 

Read Weining Ai's full bio

Sinophone Novelist Chang Kuei-hsing Wins 2023 Newman Prize for Chinese Literature

An international jury has selected the Sinophone novelist Chang Kuei-hsing (張貴興) as the winner of the eighth Newman Prize for Chinese Literature.

Sponsored by the Institute for US-China Issues, the Newman Prize is awarded biennially in recognition of outstanding achievement in prose or poetry that best captures the human condition, and is conferred solely on the basis of literary merit. Any living author writing in Chinese is eligible. A jury of five distinguished literary experts nominated the seven poets last spring and selected the winner in a transparent voting process on Oct. 26, 2022.

Read the Newman Prize press release (PDF)

Jonathan Stalling

IAS Professor Jonathan Stalling Leads UNESCO Writing Workshop

In summer 2022, Jonathan Stalling, Co-Director of the Institute for US-China Issues, led a month-long UNESCO writing workshop, “Creative Writing and East-West Ecologies.” The workshop was co-sponsored by the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program and was the first ever UNESCO workshop held between the first cities of literature in China (Nanjing) and Iowa (Iowa City).

Read more about the workshop

Watch video highlights from the workshop and opening ceremony

Institute Co-Directors

Bo Kong, PhD
ConocoPhillips Associate Professor of Chinese and Asian Studies

Jonathan Stalling, PhD
Harold J. and Ruth Newman Chair in
US-China Issues and Professor of International Studies


The US-China STEEPP Dialogue brings faculty, students, and scholars together to discuss the state of US-China relations with a focus on STEEPP Issues. The goal is to uncover the deeper structure of the bilateral relationship: its dynamics of security and insecurity, perception and misperception, identity and power.

US-China STEEPP Issues

In the absence of public platforms able or willing to provide a more sophisticated or nuanced understanding of the cultural interdependence and interaction of our nations, media cultures on both sides of the Pacific have become increasingly reliant on reductive cultural memes that guide public opinion and policy (albeit in different ways). The Institute for US-China Issues cultural programming, publications and research facilities provide a deeper cultural estuary space where Americans and Chinese citizens alike can come to better understand the cultural forces that have shaped and will continue to shape bilateral relations long into the future.

US-China Cultural Issues

Harold and Ruth Newman Chair in US-China Issues

The University of Oklahoma is deeply honored to be the recipient of a generous endowment from Mr. and Mrs. Harold J. and Ruth Newman for the creation of a chair that will focus on substantive issues of difference between the United States of America and China.  In addition to academic responsibilities, this chairholder will assume a leadership role in the establishment and oversight of an Institute of U.S.-China Issues.

The Newmans’ many years of interest in international matters is demonstrated by their involvement in the Asia Society.  Harold served as a Trustee for ten years as well as chair of its nominating committee.  Ruth is currently serving as a Trustee.  Within the Asia Society they are actively involved in a program they endowed entitled “The Soul of Asia”.  Harold also has a long history of involvement with the East-West Institute, serving as a Director for 13 years and as Chair of its Executive Committee for four of those years.  His other interests include an oil exploration and production company in Kazakhstan - which he sold to Sinopec, a private venture capital firm; a Nashville music company; and an off-Broadway theater group.  He also produced a Broadway show that won a Tony Award.  He currently has investment interests in the former Soviet Union, India, and China.  His general interests include history, dancing, tennis, writing poetry, and boxing.

The Newmans live in Connecticut and Harold’s business offices are in New York City.  He has a long and successful history in investment activities and is the Managing Director of Neuberger Berman which was acquired by Lehman Brothers several years ago.  Harold has an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, an M.A. from the School of South Asian Studies, University of Pennsylvania, and a B.S. in Geography from the University of Oklahoma.

A strong supporter of the University of Oklahoma, Harold Newman also serves as a member of the International Programs Center Board of Visitors and the Board’s planning and development committee for the Institute of U.S.-China Issues.