Social media and the politics of reform in China to be discussed at Baker Institute conference April 1

As part of its 20th anniversary event series, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and the institute’s Transnational China Project will host a panel discussion on the impact of new media on political reform in China April 1.

The panelists are Chinese media experts Wenhong Chen, assistant professor, Department of Radio-TV-Film, College of Communication, University of Texas at Austin; Aynne Kokas, fellow in Chinese media, Baker Institute, and postdoctoral fellow, Chao Center for Asian Studies, Rice University; and Steven Lewis, the C.V. Starr Transnational China Fellow, Baker Institute. The discussion will be from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Baker Hall’s Kelly International Conference Facility.

Chen, Kokas and Lewis will examine what the once-in-a-decade leadership changes at the Communist Party of China’s 18th Party Congress last November and the introduction of the new state leadership at the 12th National People’s Congress last month reveal about how China’s leaders and average citizens use new media to openly and frankly discuss political reform in digital public forums.

The Baker Institute is celebrating its 20th year. To mark this milestone, the institute has planned a series of special events that highlight its programs and research. Throughout the year, lectures and conferences will focus on a host of important and timely issues, including U.S. fiscal policy and immigration reform.

To view the event description, visit A live webcast will be available at

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.