Witnessing China’s Development

David LunaBefore coming to China I knew the U.S.-China relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world. I also knew engagement with China is critical to addressing almost every regional and global challenge we face.  Working in the Political section allowed me to be part of that engagement and see firsthand the intricacies of diplomacy and attain a better understanding of U.S. and Chinese foreign policy. Prior to arriving in Beijing I took Professor Suisheng (Sam) Zhao’s course, “Politics of China’s Modernization,” where we examined China’s role in the international system and debated scenarios for China’s future trajectory. It was fascinating to witness China’s development along with its challenges up close, especially through a diplomatic purview.

One of the things that made Beijing so exciting was the importance of the work, the access, and the audience. There is a tremendous thirst back in DC and the wider policy community for what Embassy Beijing produces. It felt rewarding to see such an interest in what I was contributing to. The highlight of the summer was serving as the control officer’s aide for National Security Advisor Susan Rice’s visit.  My experience also made me feel somewhat more optimistic about the U.S. – China relationship. There was not the constant cynical and overly sensational coverage of the relationship that permeated news coverage back in the U.S., albeit reticent Chinese State media had something to do with this.

David Luna

– 2014 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellow

– MA Candidate in International Security, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, Expected 2016


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