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Nat. Cathedral Hosts Event on China’s Soul

The Washington National Cathedral hosts a unusual program Wednesday night featuring Chen Guangcheng, the blind lawyer and activist who escaped house arrest in northeast China and took refuge in the U.S. embassy in Beijing before obtaining a student visa to enter the United States. After he speaks, The Atlantic‘s James Fallows will moderate a panel.

The event, this year’s Ignatius Program, is called “In Search of China’s Soul: Money, Politics, and the Pressure for Social Change.” The program begins at 7:30 in the Cathedral nave.

Following Chen’s talk, explains a release, a panel of top China experts will discuss the issues he raises and explore questions such as: Where is China headed? Is it America’s friend or foe? Where is China’s moral center, and who speaks on its behalf?

Who’s on the panel and how do Washington journalists attend? The panel: Jerome Cohen, a law professor at NYU considered to be an expert on China and Chinese law, Cheng Li, director of research and a senior fellow at the Brookings John L. Thornton China Center, and Dorinda Elliott, global affairs editor of Conde Nast Traveler and editor at large at ChinaFile, the Asia Society’s new China website. Fallows, a national correspondent at The Atlantic, was a fitting choice to moderate the panel. He lived in China for several years and is the author of several books, including two about China: “Postcards from Tomorrow Square” and “China Airborne.”

Media RSVP: This event is open to press and coverage is welcome. Media should RSVP to Meredith MacKenzie at by January 29 at 5 p.m.

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