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John Israel & Tao Xie (Israel/Xie)

Discipline: History & Political Science
University of Virginia & Beijing Foreign Studies University

John Israel, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Virginia, received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1955) and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard (1957, 1963).  His scholarly writing has focused upon students and higher education in 20th century China.  His magnum opus is Lianda: A Chinese University in War and Revolution (1998). He has traveled, lived, and studied in Taiwan (1959-1962, 1985-1986) and the People’s Republic of China (since 1978).

After retiring from the UVa faculty in 2003, Professor Emeritus Israel taught American history to Chinese students at the Yunnan Nationalities University and Chinese history to American students through the Duke in China program in Kunming. On the 2010 spring voyage, he helped to launch Semester at Sea’s Tung program in Sino-US relations. He and Professor Tao Xie teamed up for the Tung program in spring 2013.  His commentaries on contemporary China have been broadcast through the Voice of America’s Mandarin Language Service.  A veteran of the anti-Vietnam-war movement, he has periodically conducted colloquia and seminars on Vietnamese history and the Vietnam War.


Xie Tao is professor of political science and associate dean at the School of English and International Studies, Beijing Foreign Studies University.

He holds a PhD in political science from Northwestern University (2007). His research interests include U.S. Congress, public opinion, U.S.-China relations, and Chinese foreign policy. He is the author of U.S.-China Relations: China Policy on Capitol Hill (Routledge 2009) and Living with the Dragon: How the American Public Views the Rise of China (with Benjamin I. Page, Columbia University Press, 2010). He has also published several articles in the Journal of Contemporary China, including “What Affects China’s National Image? A Cross-national Study of Public Opinion” (September 2013).

Professor Xie is currently working on a book project that aims to assess Chinese power through three dimensions, namely, economic, military, and ideational. He is also writing a paper on why some countries joined the Asian Infrastructure Investment but others chose not to, using cross-national macro data.

Professor Xie has been interviewed by many Chinese and foreign media outlets, including CCTV News, BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, New York Times, Economist. He is also a regulator contributor to China Power, a blog at