Book Talk – Engaging China: Rebuilding Sino-American Relations


Tuesday, February 7, 2023


12:00 PM


1:30 PM


The School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University (SAIS)
Rome Building, Rome 806


The SCRC welcomes Prof. Melvin Gurtov, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Portland State University, Oregan, in conversation with Prof. Andrew Mertha, George and Sadie Hyman Professor of China Studies  Inaugural Director of the SAIS Global China Research Center to discuss his new book, “Engaging China: Rebuilding Sino-American Relations.” In Engaging China, Gurtov identifies and details the many facets of China that worry critics. But he also argues for a strategy of coexistence that allows for economic and technological competition while managing frictions over issues so diverse as human rights and access to the South China Sea. This book is wide-ranging but compact; realistic but value-oriented; clearly argued but backed by extensive references to documents and scholarly literature–including writings by leading Chinese scholars who also seek a viable modus vivendi between the two great powers.

Event Guests

Prof. Mel Gurtov

Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University

Mel Gurtov is Professor Emeritus of Political Science in the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University, Oregon. He is Senior Editor of Asian Perspective, an international quarterly, which frequently publishes articles on US-DPRK and US-ROK relations, and on the politics and foreign policy of North Korea. Gurtov previously served on the staff of the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, Calif. (1966-71), where he was a co-author of the Pentagon Papers, and at the University of California, Riverside (1971-86), where he was professor of political science. He has published more than twenty-five books and numerous articles on East Asian affairs, U.S. foreign policy, and global politics. His newest book is Engaging Adversaries: Peacemaking and Diplomacy in the Human Interest, published in 2018 by Rowman & Littlefield. His publications include: Will This Be China’s Century? A Skeptic’s View ( Rienner, 2013); Superpower on Crusade: The Bush Doctrine in US Foreign Policy (Rienner, 2006); Pacific Asia? Prospects for Security and Cooperation in East Asia (Rowman & Littlefield, 2002); Confronting the Bush Doctrine: Critical Perspectives from Asia-Pacific, co-edited with Peter Van Ness (Routledge, 2005); and Global Politics in the Human Interest, 4th ed. (Rienner, 1999). Mel is a frequent visitor to East Asia, where he has been a visiting professor and Senior Fulbright Scholar at Waseda University in Tokyo and Hankuk Foreign Studies University in Seoul and has lectured at universities and research institutes in South Korea, Japan, and China. He is fluent in Chinese. His blog, “In the Human Interest,” is at