David Zweig

Dr David Zweig’s expertise lies in the area of Chinese domestic politics and political risk, China’s domestic and international political economy, China’s search for talent, Hong Kong politics and Mainland-Hong Kong relations, China’s energy policy, Chinese higher education, China’s foreign policy, International Relations in East Asia and Sino-American relations.

Dr. Zweig studied in Beijing in 1974-1976 and was a Visiting Scholar at Nanjing University in 1980-81 and 1991-92. He did field research in rural China in 1980-1981 and 1986, publishing two books on rural politics (one with Harvard University Press), and in 1991-92 and 1997, he carried out field research in Jiangsu Province on China’s “opening to the outside world,” publishing another book with Cornell University Press.

Dr. Zweig has a PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan and was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University in 1984-86. He has lived and taught in Hong Kong since 1996 and is currently a contributing writer to the South China Morning Post.

He founded the Center on China’s Transnational Relations at HKUST in 2004 and is Vice President of the Center on China and Globalization in Beijing.  In 2013-14, he was awarded the Humanities and Social Sciences Prestigious Fellowship from the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, and in 1999, he was awarded the “Outstanding Teaching Award,” Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, School of Humanities and Social Science.


Political Risk in China

In his presentation, Prof Zweig will propose three scenarios for China’s future. First, greater reform, enhanced democratic institutions and a gradual transition to a more open political system; second, “Market-Leninism,” with continued or even tightened political control, albeit with flexible policies that keep stability and support for the CCP; and third, a rejection of reform, internal disintegration and the collapse of CCP system. Prof Zweig will address these three options and explain why he sees variant number two as the most likely future.

U.S.-China Energy Triangles: Resource diplomacy under hegemony

Despite China’s rise, the US maintains hegemonic authority in many realms. Thus as China seeks the oil to maintain growth and social stability, some Chinese believe that the US uses its influence to contain China’s rise. Drawing from his recent book, “US-China Energy Triangles: Resource Diplomacy under Hegemony,” Zweig presents a framework for assessing this concern and looks at “energy triangles” among the US, China and three oil rich states, Angola, Venezuela and Canada.

Triangularization of East Asian Foreign Relations: Can states balance the US and China?

China’s rapid rise as a challenger in an International system dominated by a sole superpower has tremendous implications for the countries of East Asia. On one side is the U.S., the global “hegemon,”—the key strategic ally of most countries in the region. Its many alliances, established in the early- mid-950s, have survived the collapse of the USSR. On the other side is China, the major trading partner of almost every country in the region, even as President Xi Jinping’s “Belt and Road” Initiative and the AIIB intensify China’s enormous leverage on the states in the region. So how does this triangle play out? Can China use economic interdependence with countries in the region to exert strategic influence on them?  Are states in the region cozying up to the rising power or are they hedging their bets and maintaining strong military ties with the US in the face of China’s military strengthening? Three countries, the Philippines, South Korea and Australia illuminate the ongoing dynamic that affects most countries in the region.

The Best are yet to come! State Programs, domestic resistance and reverse migration of high level talent to China

People say that the best and the brightest Mainland-born Chinese academics are not returning home; but they have lacked the data to prove it. Well, I have proven it! I compare the participants in three national programs, established to encourage reverse migration of high-end talent, and also compare full-time and part-time participants in these programs, showing that part-time returnees who still hold their overseas post and spend most of their time overseas, are the best researchers. I also show that the research culture in China slows the pace of reverse migration.

Anil Gupta

INSEAD Chaired Professor of Strategy, INSEAD & Chief Advisor, China India Institute

Andy Xie

Renowned Economist

George Yip

Global Strategy and China Innovation