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Book Talk: Seattle-China Club

November 30, 2018

“The China Club of Seattle, founded in 1916 by Judge Thomas Burke, was an advocate for American investment in China and the development of Seattle‘s trade with Asia, as well as a cultural and political organization. The China Club’s economic goals included the expansion and renovation of Seattle’s port, the development of Chinese infrastructure, and the creation of connections between American businesses and contacts within China. These efforts were ultimately intended to provide American businesses with access to and domination over Chinese markets. Its cultural programs, focused in higher education, were largely connected to its economic programs. The Club’s political advocacy originally focused on the creation of legislation regulating and prohibiting the use and sale of opiates. During World War II, it would become involved in anti-Japanese protests, and It became an advocate for support of Taiwan after the Chinese Civil War.” – Wikipedia

As the United States wrestles with a polarized society, often dysfunctional government, and insecurities about its economic future and place in the world, China may provide a convenient scapegoat. Benjamin Shobert believes this would be short-sighted, potentially destabilizing the world order taken for granted over the past forty years. Join us Friday, Nov. 30 for a thought provoking discussion of the issues raised in Shobert’s new book ‘Blaming China – It Might Feel Good but It Won’t Fix America’s Economy’.

Benjamin Shobert is Senior Associate for International Health at the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR). He advises and contributes to NBR research programs on international health in Asia. Mr. Shobert is also the Director of Strategy for health business at Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence and Research division, where he leads strategy engagements with national governments, providers, and the biotech community. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was Founder and Managing Director of Seattle-based Rubicon Strategy Group, a boutique consulting firm that specializes in market access work in China’s healthcare, life science, and senior care industries. For six years, Mr. Shobert wrote a column for the Asia Times on U.S.-China trade and economic policy, with a particular focus on how relations between the two countries were affected after the 2008 financial crisis.